Masahiro Sakurai has explained in his weekly column in Famitsu why Wii U owners will have to wait for Super Smash Bros. Sakurai says that the reason for the delay is simply because of the debugging period during which they test for bugs. By delaying the Wii U version Sakurai says they could shift the debugging periods and get the Nintendo 3DS version out the way.
“Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed.” Sakurai explained. “So, debugging alone becomes a huge project. So much so that one of the biggest reasons for the separate release dates for the 3DS and Wii U versions was so that we could shift the debugging periods.”
“In a previous Smash Bros., we found a bug during the debugging process where if fighter A hits item B and fighters C and D are simultaneously affected, the game would freeze.” Sakurai recalled. “Considering not only the different fighters, but items, stages, color settings, play rules, and game modes, the number of varying combinations are astronomical. In order to properly debug, every pattern must be tried, but such a task would be impossible no matter how many decades or centuries you take.”
“There are many reasons why a game’s release date will be delayed, but eight or nine times out of ten, it’s usually because a bug couldn’t be fixed in time.” Sakurai wrote. “But it’s better than releasing a product like that.”