"And I think we're actually starting to look at the annual calendar differently," said Kaplan, justifying the February release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. "The first two quarters of the year tend to be more quiet. But now we've seen some evidence of sales in that period." Avoiding the jostling of the year-end crowd is but one benefit, with the added development time yielding a game that's "absolutely as perfect as Japan knows it can be." Kaplan, who views the Wii and DS as being a little more integrated into people's (boring) lives, concludes via basketball metaphor that timing isn't necessarily everything. "I think a really good product can be a slam dunk any time of the year."
A note of caution to other publishers considering delays: Let's not get carried away now. We don't want February becoming the new November.