Nintendo today gave Wii U owners a bit of good news, saying they don’t have to wait to download Super Smash Bros Wii U. However, the bad news is that they won’t be able to play it yet. Super Smash Bros. Wii U pre-loading has gone live today, though Wii U owners still have to wait until Nov. 21 to play it.
Effective immediately, Wii U owners can pre-purchase Super Smash Bros Wii U directly from the Nintendo eShop or via a download code purchased from participating retailers. Would-be owners can then register the code and activate the download process before SSB for Wii U ships on Nov. 21.
Presuming the Wii U is in standby mode, most of the game’s data will then begin to pre-load onto the buyer’s Wii U console. When the clock strikes midnight EST on Nov. 21, the last bit of data will download, unlocking the full game and making it playable.
Both Microsoft and Sony have made extensive use of pre-loading with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, respectively. Some of the companies’ most high-profile games of Q3 and Q4 have been or will be available for pre-loading, from Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection to Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Crew.
Super Smash Bros Wii U has been available for pre-order for some time on Nintendo.com. However, it wasn’t until today that Nintendo confirmed those pre-orders would also support pre-loading. Within 72 hours of the game’s release date, people who have pre-ordered the digital version of the game on Nintendo.com using their Nintendo Network ID will be emailed a redemption code. Once they redeem the code, they will also be able to pre-load the game.
While that’s good news for some, the 72-hour window does not guarantee those gamers will be playing Super Smash Bros Wii U on its actual release date. If you have a choice, then, it’s better to pre-order SSB via the eShop.