Well when I took a sick day from work, I figured I'd be spending a lot more time lying around on the couch, playing some more Fallout 4. But that didn't happen so much as there was some house cleaning and lunch with my sister. Then a mid-afternoon nap that just happened to coincide with what I thought was going to be a somewhat light Nintendo Direct that I would just read a synopsis of later. Then I woke up to Cloud Strife being announced for Super Smash Bros...
Well that's curious...?
My first thought was "has he even ever appeared in a Nintendo game?" Final Fantasy VII was the notable departure from mainline Final Fantasy games appearing on the Nintendo platforms when they moved to the PlayStation so I sat there racking my brain for whether or not any of the Final Fantasy VII games had ever been ported to Nintendo. And nope. They never were. As best as I can tell, the only times Cloud has ever appeared on Nintendo were in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on the Game Boy Advance and the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy games on the 3DS.
Seems like a pretty big leap to get him into Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS. Especially when you consider that Square Enix either refused to license him for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale or asked Sony for an amount that they weren't willing to pay. But Square Enix is a different company than it was a few years ago when those decisions were made. This Square Enix, for example, just took a bundle of money from Microsoft for a co-producing one-year exclusivity deal on Rise of the Tomb Raider. Selling an appearance in one of Wii U's few significant titles seems like a good way to help tide fans over until Cloud's presumed next appearance in Kingdom Hearts III before eventually starring in the Final Fantasy VII Remake (which I still assert will be 2017, even if they have to throw all of the money at it to get it out in time for the 20th anniversary). It also wouldn't surprise me if we eventually see that Nintendo and Square Enix worked out a deal that involves the creation of a Cloud Strife amiibo (likely with the two companies sharing the profits).
So my question is will this announcement actually move any units of Nintendo's flailing console? The also announced new Wii U Bundle including Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon as pack-ins might finally convince some of the PlayStation 4/Xbox One audience that now is the best time to buy their second (or third) consoles in the current generation, even if it is only really useful for playing Nintendo exclusives like Super Mario Maker, Smash, Mario Kart, and the eventual Star Fox and Legend of Zelda games. Time will tell, I suppose.