We weren't expecting news on Super Smash Bros. today, but Nintendo surprised us with the revelation that Namco Bandai staff are working on the Wii U and 3DS game.

While series supremo Masahiro Sakurai will still direct the new instalments, top staff from Namco Bandai will pitch in too: Masaya Kobayashi has pledged his "best staff" to make Mr Sakurai proud. Namco staff include Tales series producer Yoshito Higuchi, Tetsuya Akatsuka from Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs., the art and sound directors from the SoulCalibur series and many of the staff responsible for Tekken.

Namco Bandai has already produced a prototype that "looks pretty good" according to Sakurai, who also had a personal message for fans eagerly awaiting news on the new Super Smash Bros. games.

Hello, I’m Masahiro Sakurai, the director of the Super Smash Bros. series.

It’s my personal belief that the only time a creative product really resonates is in that first moment when it’s actually in front of you.

With that said, I’ve realised that if we keep the new Super Smash Bros. title’s development structure secret, it’ll only create more and more speculation, and I won’t be able to develop the game with any freedom. That’s why I’ve decided to announce this news right now, even though it’s still very early on.

I would love to provide more information, but for now, I’m going to stay quiet until I have something solid to show you.

The project has just gotten started. Bear in mind that not only are we developing two titles simultaneously, but we announced the project before we even started actual development, so I’m afraid we will likely have to keep you waiting for quite a while. Please be patient.

Currently, the prototype prepared by NAMCO BANDAI Games and NAMCO BANDAI Studio’s special team looks pretty good, and it’s working great. In order to take advantage of the fact that there will be versions for two different systems, and to maximise and offer fun new gameplay elements, the entire team is going to work hard together. Thank you.

[source nintendo.co.uk]