Gamers now know Super Smash bros Switch is coming in 2018. What gamers don’t know, is if this title will be a port of the Wii U game or a brand new title built from the ground up on Nintendo Switch.

Ever since Nintendo has started porting Wii U games like Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 to the Switch, a lot of gamers assumed that Super Smash Bros Switch would end up being a port of the Wii U game. But month after month went by with zero news about what Nintendo was doing with Smash on Switch. Finally, gamers know that Super Smash Bros Switch is coming in 2018.

The timing is rather curious though. Due to many factors, there is a lot of speculation on if Super Smash Bros Switch will be a new game or a port of the Wii U version.

Calling Super Smash Bros Switch a port or new game might be the wrong answer.

Personally, I don’t think there is any way this will be a “new” title. However, If you look at the evidence it’s impossible to doubt that it might not be a port either. The fact that Hal is working on  Super Smash Bros Switch is interesting. Simply because Namco Bandi helped previously. But it could just mean Namco is too busy at the moment with other projects.

The explanation might already be explained if you look at Nintendo’s previous first-party title, Splatoon 2.  It was argued for a while that Splatoo 2 wasn’t a true sequel due to it borrowing or having content from the first game. This approach by Nintendo undoubtedly gave them the ability to release the sequel quicker than the traditional time between sequels. This style of development is how I believe Nintendo is approaching Super Smash Bros Switch.

Without any concrete information on when development started on Super Smash Bros Switch, there is no definitive way to know how long it has been in development.   The final piece of DLC for Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U was Bayonetta in February of 2016. It is pretty safe to assume that Sakurai wasn’t working on Smash Switch as well as the DLC. It’s possible sure, but with Sakurai’s own admission of just how time-consuming and rigorous development had been, it’s very unlikely. That would mean if Super Smash Bros Switch does indeed hit in 2018, it will have less than 2 years of development. This is very short compared to previous games in the franchise.

The time since the release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS doesn’t leave a ton of time for development for Switch.

That time frame is simply just not long enough to create a new from the ground up. This isn’t necessarily a bad approach though. Super Smash Bros doesn’t need to be built from the ground up anymore. In an ever-changing world of how games are developed and supported, Smash Bros is one of the titles that makes perfect sense to be always evolving instead of starting over.

This leads me to believe that Super Smash Bros Switch will be an evolution of Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Not exactly a port, but not actually a “new” game either.  The characters, stages and overall design will likely be taken and tweaked. With classic and unexpected characters like Bayonetta and Cloud being added to the mix, the roster became the strongest the series has ever seen. Carrying this work forward seems like a no-brainer for Super Smash Bros Switch.

With Super Smash Bros Switch Nintendo can clean up the online issues and improve the single-player content.

There are some key areas that Nintendo needs to clean up when it comes to Super Smash Bros Switch. Online play still isn’t as smooth as it should be. Even with the Lan adaptor I rarely had a game that didn’t feel a bit sluggish on Wii U. Trying to play on Wifi was almost never possible unless players will willing to deal with massive slowdown. Smash will always be a game that is best played locally. That is without needing to be stated. But the ability to play online even if its just casually needs to be better.

The single-player story and content also weren’t up to par compared to previous titles. While Subspace Embarassary of Brawl wasn’t loved by all, you can’t deny it was very cool and creative. While Meele added Adventure mode which wasn’t a drastic change of mechanics, it was a new way to play along with the super addicting Event mode.

Super Smash Bros Switch needs something to capture that feeling of wonder again The series is basically a coming together and celebration of Nintendo characters. Almost a dream-like scenario in the world of games that shouldn’t be possible. Subspace Embasarray was an example of that in Braw. I would like to see something along those lines to be implemented in Super Smash Bros Switch.

Even if Super Smash Bros Switch ends up just being a port with a couple new characters, I think it’s safe to say that fans will still anticipate it. While gamers did get the 3DS version to take on the go, the design and philosophy of the Switch seem like a perfect fit for the franchise. With the enhanced capabilities of the Switch, even if Super Smash Bros Switch is a port, will look and play very well on the Switch.