As it approaches the middle of its sixth year of life, the Nintendo Switch is starting to seem like old news. While the console has sold incredibly well thanks to its hybrid design and a plethora of amazing titles, fans are more interested in what comes next. Thankfully there is no shortage of rumors and leaks about the Switch successor. But what games will be on it?
If Masahiro Sakurai has anything to do with it, there will at least be a new Super Smash Bros. title. During a recent YouTube video Sakurai expressed interest in developing the next entry in the series saying, “I'd like to keep working with Nintendo however I'm able.”
Sakurai is the creator of the Smash Bros. series and has served as the director for every entry since the 1999 original. The most recent entry in the series is 2018’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which launched on the Nintendo Switch and has in many ways become the definitive entry in the series. The game received its last update at the end of 2021 and since then Sakurai has been making videos discussing the games industry on his own YouTube.
During the latest video, Sakurai spent time discussing the series and what comes next. “Smash Bros. is a massive, important title for Nintendo,” said Sakurai, “so it's fair to assume there will be another one at some point, but it’s going to take some work to figure out exactly how to make that happen."
While it makes sense that he would be thinking about the next Smash Bros. game, the timing of the comment could hint at some bigger news — a Nintendo Switch 2. The latest reports suggest the next Nintendo console could be coming in 2024, which would suggest dev kits for the console are already in the hands of developers making games for it. This is something Sakurai would most likely know of, naturally leading to his own thoughts on what the console’s version of Smash Bros. will look like.
Nintendo’s approach to first-party titles also hints at the imminent arrival of a Switch 2. The company has some of the most popular franchises in gaming (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, etc.) but typically is reserved in how many games come to each console generation. Usually, each big franchise from Nintendo gets one new entry per console. Of course, there are some variations such as the Nintendo 64 having both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, but those are outliers.
If Nintendo is preparing its next console and the lineup of titles to go with it at launch or even within the first year a great option would be Super Smash Bros. It will be close to six years since Ultimate was released, and the franchise is so popular that it would be a way to attract players to the new console.
During the video, Sakurai also discusses the possibility of leaving the franchise to someone else and retiring, but at the moment he can’t see the franchise without him. In 2019, Sakurai revealed to Famitsu that he tried to pass the baton to no avail, and has discussed how working on the franchise has been physically taxing. However, that isn’t stopping him from thinking about getting back to it with a new entry, which could all be because the prospect of a Switch 2 has gotten his gears turning once again.