Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the first in what has turned out to be a number of recent delays, both high and low profile. But while Nintendo bandied their stock explanation of having more time to polish the game to perfection, Perrin Kaplan, their outgoing vice president of marketing in the U.S., gave an additional reason for the delay, one that seems to be a growing trend: getting the hell out of the way of the holiday onslaught.
Kaplan said the following about the new February 10, 2008 release date:
"Sunday is actually a really good launch day of the week for products. And I think we're actually starting to look at the annual calendar differently. The first two quarters of the year tend to be more quiet. But now we've seen some evidence of sales in that period. Other than the holiday quarter, I think the traditional way of viewing it is not necessarily a slam dunk. I think a really good product can be a slam dunk any time of the year."
Of course, Kaplan also said the extra time for polish contributed to the delay, saying "we see it [as] a little bit of a perfection program to make sure the game is absolutely as perfect as Japan knows it can be and it will." But for anyone who has ever complained about the glut of holiday releases -- as if publishers don't realize we like to play games all year round -- it's nice to see the message is being heard.