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3DS Hardware Limitations Meant Sheik And Zelda Were Developed As Separate Characters

zelda_sheik_smash_brosSuper Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai has given fans an explanation as to why Zelda and Sheik, as well as Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separate characters rather than alt-characters as seen in previous versions of the franchise. According to new translations from Sakurai’s Famitsu column, hardware limitations on the 3DS meant the team needed to develop those aforementioned characters entirely separate.

“It’s basically due to the 3DS’ limitations. It was impossible to have both characters exist together [as one] on 3DS. However, reaching that limit can sometimes lead in good directions. Transforming characters had the drawback of ambiguous tactics and such, and I believe that they have become more fresh now.”

Alongside such limitations, Sakurai also explained those same limitations were the reason behind a development dismissal of support for the Circle Pad Pro. Unfortunately, due to the 5 per cent CPU processing load the peripheral device demands, the team was unable to utilise the additional control on the 3DS without hindering gameplay. Do you agree that the alt-characters will bring new tactics to the game? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks, Ahmad

94 thoughts on “3DS Hardware Limitations Meant Sheik And Zelda Were Developed As Separate Characters”

    1. Nintendo Sub-Lieutenant

      Even so, I call BS on the circle pad pro thingie. I mean… People have made mods that allow a gamecube controller to be used. AN ENTIRE CONTROLLER! Not just a stick. But another set of buttons. I like Sakurai-san. I just… Wonder whats goin’ on in there sometimes.

      1. The GC controller mod only relies to the circuit so that it’d send the very same signals as the original 3DS buttons (and sticks etc…), it’s not adding entirely new buttons (or stick in our case) like that circle pad pro.

        But still, I really think 5% cpu power reserved to it is exaggerated…

        1. I think the true reasons behind these things is “not being able to get around the hardware limitations in time”.

          After all, it works on Kid Icarus: Uprising, and I think he said it also uses the same amount of power as Smash Bros.

    2. we all did.. stupid stupid decissions. this is one of those things that I just look past. I can’t believe that its going to be the best smash bros when they limited the so drastically when they didn’t even have to.

      1. Yes it is, Zelda is one of my main and I hate it when I accidently transform to sheik, also I hate sheiks moveset so damn much..

    1. It could be a great improvement to Wii U sales having exclusive characters in Super Smash Bros… Let Ice Climbers return!!

    2. Sony Commander Kratos

      Wow you guys could have a even better than playstaytion battle royale but your hardware held it back

      1. I think it’s understandable if hardware holds the game experience back, as a developer one has to deal with those issues all the time. However it’s even worse when a non-innovative, horrible ideas or lack of imagination holds the game back. Even if you have the best hardware at the time, the game will fail. That was the case of Playstation battle royale.

      2. Separating the characters was a good thing. Thanks 3Ds! That’s about the only good thing since Super Smash been on 3Ds. Other than that yup it held it back.

  1. Nintendo is My Blood Reborn

    oooo… I was afraid of that…
    Does this foreshadow a possibility that a Majora’s Mask 3D remake is a difficult task?

      1. Nintendo is My Blood Reborn

        You misunderstand, multiple characters in one, meaning how can they work the Zora, Deku and Goron mask into it?

        1. Link in OOT3D is technically multiple characters in one, with Adult and young Link, and if an N64 can run MM, I think a 3DS can (it may not be able too, idk)

      1. Hah, I could just see all the fanboy rage at that. The idea makes me happy and wouldn’t surprise me. MM already needed extra power on the original system release because it’s a more detailed game. Post-update it might need that extra bit of power the New 3DS will have (maybe they’ll aim for 60 frames in 3D again, I wouldn’t mind that at all)

    1. but why make MM just for 3ds when it would look so much better on wii u. isn’t that the point of a remaster, to restore a game with the best technology available?

  2. Not too surprising, same thing goes for the Ice Climbers. This game needs to run at 60 frames and any hindrances would’ve taken away from the experience. Heck, the assist trophies and Pokemon were already separated out to play at 30 so they’d draw less attention from the system, and you can’t use miiverse at the same time because the game literally uses the full power of the system. People throw other titles out there for things like circle pad support, but do those games run at 60 frames with or without it, even with 3D off? Your hint is no, they don’t. Plus, if they can use miiverse, that’s enough to let you know that, yes, the game is not completely tapping out the system, a la Pokemon or Smash Bros

    1. You realize how dumb that thought is don’t you? The Wii U alone wouldn’t nearly sell as many copies as Brawl so they would not have put in as much effort. The 3DS SAVED the Wii U version. It made it better. Sure there are some hold backs, but very few. Without the 3DS version the Wii U version wouldn’t have been as good. Stop complaining about the 3DS and crying over the ICs not coming back.

      1. HollowGrapeJ- Too Lazy To Sign In

        So your argument as to why it shouldn’t have been a Wii U exclusive is sales… Pfft.

        1. That literally wasn’t my argument. I personally don’t care about the Wii U version selling well, (I’m going to buy it myself) All I was saying was that Nintendo knows damn well how abysmal the console’s sales have been and without the 3DS version being developed they wouldn’t have worked as hard on the Wii U version.

          1. You are ignoring the possibility that it only being for Wii U might have actually helped the Wii U sale more consoles. But this is Nintendo we’re talking about here. Japan always comes first. Since handhelds are the ones selling the best over there, Nintendo was obviously going to cater more to their wants than the rest of the world’s. Thus the 3DS version was born to capitalize on the fact that mobile sells in Japan.

      2. they chose to sell more software than hardware with this smash bros. if it was only for wii u they would’ve sold over 2 million wii u’s easily this holiday. but people can get the same experience for much cheaper on the 3ds. this was their biggest console seller. but why buy a wii u when you can get the same identical game $20 cheaper on a system over 40 million already have? the incentive to buy a wii u over a 3ds is gone because of their decission to make both games equal.

        1. This. This is exactly why i’m very interested in seeing what the “big hook” is for the Wii U version. All the people defending the 3DS version with their lives most likely don’t have a Wii U, so they are glad it’s coming to their beloved 3DS, but as a person who owns both and wanted the console version to be way better it’s disappointing every time I hear that the Wii U version is missing some feature it would have had if it weren’t for 3DS hardware limitations. The more expensive and more powerful console version should be WAY better than the handheld one. Nerfing the console one so that the 3DS players don’t feel left behind is annoying. There’s very little incentive to upgrade to the Wii U version right now if HD visuals don’t matter to you, and as far as we know there’s no story mode so the Wii U exclusive mode(s) better be really fun. I’m sure i’ll enjoy both games either way but if the Wii U exclusive modes aren’t amazing and groundbreaking then i’ll still be slightly disappointed that the only Smash game we get this generation was far off from what it could have been if it weren’t for the handheld version…

          1. I’m pretty sure the only thing the 3DS version limited was characters. We still barely know about the Wii U version or what it has to offer so we can’t just assume it’ll be extremely gimped because of the 3DS version. I mean unless there was something I missed.

    1. I don’t mind it, portable Smash is pretty sweet, but I disagree with their choice to limit the Wii U version because of it

      1. China is a volatile country. The first the goverment hears that microsoft spies for the usa they will ban all consoles again.

  3. pink0crystal0midbus

    So basically, if you are wondering why something weird has been done to Smash Bros…. blame the 3DS’ limitations.

    That seems to be the gist of it.

  4. I love how everyone here is a developer who knows exactly why these decisions are made. The Wii U version isn’t even out yet, if they add more characters or features would you take back your silly words?

  5. I hate the fact he even wanted to make a 3DS version, he knew the 3ds isn’t powerful at all.
    It should have been kept for home consoles as it’d had been since the beggining.

    1. fzerofalcondensetsu

      I think that it was more of Iwata’s decision to have two Smash Bros games, rather than Sakurai’s. From what I heard, Sakurai was annoyed that Iwata made that announcement at E3 2011 before discussing it with him prior.

  6. Crazy how a good thing came from the limitations of the hardware. Still, I’m a little sad to see how much the 3DS had to hold back. I really like the roster, so as long as the Wii U has some killer single player modes, I think it’ll do GREAT.

  7. As a primary player of Zelda/ Sheik I am pretty dissappinted by this. The main reason is because Zelda and Shiek were completely opposite characters in terms of play style so switching between the two was a very useful strategy. Zelda was good at playing long range battles, especially in brawl. In Melee I can agree that Zelda was useless, but they really beefed her up for Brawl. Din’s fire was a nasty at long range and her deflection spell was perfect for keeping projections away and her teleportation meant you could warp across an entire map if you needed too. Shiek was a monster in Melee, got sort of nerfed in Brawl. In Melee she was the best one on one fighter for me and one of the best at closing distances. In brawl they took away some of her power but hopefully they will fix that in the new game.
    Also why Zelda’s Down B now summons a Darknaut is a questionable design choice.

  8. So gimp one of your biggest Wii U games to aid the 3ds version. Well it’s obvious which piece of hardware Nintendo favors. Imagine all the other things that were held back on the Wii U version they are ‘not’ telling us about.

  9. This just really proves that they should have just kept the games 100% independent. I really doubt that there will be enough interaction between the games, that will warrant us missing out on something. If they had just scaled back the 3DS version a little bit, they could have probably managed the Ice Climbers and transformations.

    The 3DS isn’t a super powerhouse, but it’s no slug either. It’s as capable as the Gamecube at the very least, I mean, it can handle Wii ports fairly well, with little sacrifice. If the Gamecube can handle transformations and Ice Climbers, so can the 3DS. It would just have to cut down on certain content and maybe lose some graphical fidelity.

    Even still, losing out on transformations and a character that only a select few like, due to their exploits (which would have been removed anyway) to have more content and pretty graphics, is not a tough pill to swallow.

  10. So…. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The word that’s used a lot on this site, “gimped,” comes to mind. But I assume that doesn’t apply to this title because it’s from Nintendo.

      1. The actual definition for the word refers to someone with a limp (in a derogatory manner). However, in terms of the gaming community whining about games lacking features or content due to one reason or another, the slang, “gimped” is often used.

        So… What’s your point?

  11. Jesus u ppl are dumbasses. The only thing the 3ds version limits is characters. AND WE ALREADY HAVE OVER 50!!!!! You are sum of the dumbest ppl i’ve ever seen. The 3DS version definitely should have been made. It’s smash on the go. The Wii U version will prob. hav more stages, more modes, more features, more options, more trophies, etc. You ppl r literally bitching about nothing. I’m ashamed at how many ignorant, ungrateful fucktards are part of the Nintendo fanbase.

    1. Okay??? And when the 3ds version sells like hot cakes and the wii u version doesn’t sell that much, who is to blame? They decided to make the exact same game excluding the stages and modes. You think most 3ds users will care about the wii u verison if it’s the same characters? Nope they won’t.

  12. This will probably be the only good thing to come out of the 3DS version holding the Wii U version back.

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