In his latest Famitsu column, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai shared his thoughts on Banjo-Kazooie and The Hero's inclusion into the roster, as well as the general Console Wars. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about to enter its seventh month of release, and shows no signs of slowing down. Among the titles being featured at this year's EVO tournament, Ultimate is the most registered as of early June, showing its massive popularity in the competitive scene.
Although every release of Super Smash Bros. is a big deal, Ultimate exceeded all expectations. "Everyone is here" instantly became one of Nintendo's most famous taglines. It's not too often a game has over 70 playable fighters, and over 100 stages. DLC has been smartly implemented, making players highly anticipate every announcement. Joker, the first DLC character in the Fighters Pass, was announced at The Game Awards. This was a surprising pick, and set the tone for future characters. During this year's E3, Nintendo shocked players by not only announcing one DLC character, but another as well. The Hero from Dragon Quest is coming this summer, and Banjo-Kazooie will arrive in the fall.
In a series of translated Tweets by @PushDustin (via Game Informer), Sakurai talked about including Banjo-Kazooie in the game. Although the director couldn't share gameplay mechanics, he did talk about the history and popularity of the duo. Sakurai notes that even after King K. Rool and Ridley were announced for Ultimate, there were still requests for Banjo-Kazooie's inclusion. It seems it was hard for the duo to be in previous Smash Bros. installments due to Microsoft owning the characters. However, Sakurai states this time it was very easy for them to make it in. Regarding The Hero, Sakurai discussed the Command Prompt, and that an MP system would come into play as well in battle. Interestingly, the character was originally not going to have voice acting in Ultimate, but was implemented due to Dragon Quest XI S giving the protagonist a voice.
Sakurai also briefly shared his thoughts on the Console Wars. The Console Wars defined is basically fans debating which console is most superior. According to Sakurai, it doesn't matter what kind of console releases; if it has enjoyable games, he will respect that.
Sakurai always offers valuable insight into Super Smash Bros., and gaming in general. Regarding his statements on Banjo-Kazooie, it truly does seem like Nintendo and Microsoft are no longer competitors, but two companies working in the same space for the betterment of fans. We've seen that in recent history with crossplay, Cuphead on Switch, and of course now with Banjo-Kazooie in Smash. The director's stance on the Console Wars is also insightful. While there is nothing wrong with healthy debate on what consoles fans prefer, it's important to remember that all gamers occupy the same hobby, and to not let console preference separate.