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I was reading the tag info for , which reads as follows:

A 2018 fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd., published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros series.

(emphasis mine)

However, a friend of mine insists that Masahiro Sakurai, the creator, refers to Smash Ultimate as the sixth game in the series, since Smash for Wii U and Smash for 3DS were technically two different games. That being said, neither of us can find proof of this online (though we do see discussions about it like this one).

I know this may be trivial to my enjoyment of the game, but if I want to let my inner pedant shine, what number in the series is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, technically?

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    After a lot of back and forth consideration, I ended up voting to reopen this as the fifth vote, as I disagreed that this required the developer to have said anything which is what the 'Developer Intent' close reason is for. This question still might be opinionated enough to be considered 'Primarily Opinion Based', (as there's arguments to be made for both sides) however, I'll leave that judgement to the community. – Robotnik Jan 9 at 23:17
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Sixth

According to Sakurai it is the sixth because in an interview in 2013 he refers to Smash for Wii U and Smash for 3DS as "versions four and five within the series".

Sakurai: No, actually, there was never any consideration to having him in previous games, and if you think about it, there hasn't been really a precedent for third-party characters joining other than very special cases like Sonic, during the last game. It's something that wasn't even possible. We're now going into versions four and five within the series—this is only something that's now possible.

Kotaku: When you say four and five, do you mean the 3DS and Wii U versions? Those are separate?

Sakurai: Yeah, exactly.

Kotaku: While we bring that up, how will those versions be different?

Sakurai: Essentially between the two versions the character structure is the same, and the moves shared between the characters are the same, but the stages are entirely different. On the 3DS, we've taken the motif of handheld games and then on the Wii U version, featured primarily stages based on games on console.

Kotaku: And how will they be able to connect, the 3DS and Wii U version? Will I be able to play against Wii U people if I'm using the 3DS?

Sakurai: It'll be possible, in fact, on the 3DS version there'll be a certain degree of character customization. You can have your own personalized character that you'll then be able to take over and move onto the Wii U version and play.

Kotaku: And you can also—on the 3DS version—play against people playing the Wii U version?

Sakurai: Actually, that's not possible. What is possible is for you to be able to customize your character, transfer it to the Wii U, and then play there. It would be technically impossible, just because the stages are so different between the two versions, so there isn't a situation where you have a handheld device and a console and you're able to play at the same time. Just more of a situation where there's integration, and [ability] to transfer data.

Kotaku, An In-Depth Chat With The Genius Behind Super Smash Bros.

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    Seems lacking to not mention why the game is often referred to as the "fifth" entry. My impression is while quote is true, the community around the game hasn't taken to this. Referring to it as the sixth game is more likely then to be confusing. – MattTreichel Jan 8 at 17:54
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    I disagree with this. Typically, when the (mostly) same game is released on multiple consoles, they're not considered separate entries in the series. Otherwise you could say there are eg. 50+ Resident Evil games - but no one is arguing that. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 8 at 19:46
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    @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft Completely agreed. Minor differences aside, the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash 4 are two different versions of the same game. It doesn't matter what Sakurai says. "Word of God" doesn't apply here. The Smash series should be treated just like every other video game series. Smash UItimate is Smash 5. Period. Repeat: It doesn't matter what Sakurai says. – only_pro Jan 8 at 20:23
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    @All while the Sakurai "Word of God" is what I was looking for here, if you believe this answer isn't complete or entirely correct, I'd love to read an answer with a solid argument or some sources that takes the opposing stance that Ultimate is in fact the Fifth game. – scohe001 Jan 8 at 20:33
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft you should expand that into an answer :) – Robotnik Jan 9 at 23:20
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While I personally prefer to consider it to be the 5th game, technically it is the 6th, because 5 other entries came out prior to it. The confusing thing is that Super Smash Bros for 3DS is the 4th game and Super Smash Bros for Wii U is the 5th game, because they came out at different time, and although the games are practically identical, they have some differences, so they are considered separate entries. N64 is 1, Melee is 2, Brawl is 3, 3DS is 4, Wii U is 5, and Ultimate is 6.

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