It is no secret that Nintendo has been expanding the range of characters it will allow into its Smash Bros. series of games. When Smash first started, it was all Nintendo owned characters, but over the course of the years, it has allowed such characters as Sonic, Solid Snake, Pac-man, Ryu and more. Its latest character choice shows that Nintendo is not above including characters not seen on Nintendo consoles.
In its latest Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that Final Fantasy fan favorite character Cloud Strife will be coming to Smash. With Cloud’s inclusion, Nintendo has confirmed that a character need not have any tangible connection to Nintendo or its consoles to be included in Nintendo’s fighting franchise.
Following that, Nintendo has announced its latest round of roster updates. In the coming year, three new characters will be coming to Smash. First up will be Sony and Naughty Dog’s lead in the Uncharted franchise, Nathan Drake. Second is Microsoft’s Halo star Master Chief. And finally, we have a classic Atari character, the Pong Paddle.
“With the inclusion of these three characters, we will increase the appeal of Smash Bros. and our own Wii U console to fans of video games on other consoles, with Pong appealing to those who have been fans of games from ages back but fell out of gaming,” a Nintendo spokesperson said. This meshes well with Nintendo’s inclusion of Cloud. In an “off the record” comment, the Nintendo Rep stated that Cloud’s inclusion was to appeal to fans of Final Fantasy games proper, which haven’t been seen on a Nintendo console since the mid 90s. “What fan of Final Fantasy wouldn’t want to buy a Wii U and a copy of Smash Bros in order to play as Cloud in a non-Final Fantasy game?”
Nintendo feels confident that the same holds true of Playstation and XBox fans who love Uncharted and Halo. “These people love these games and will be willing to play anything with their favorite characters in it. Just look at Halo Wars and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. These people will buy anything. So why not a Wii U and Smash Bros?”