Super Smash Bros. Brawl (?????????????X, Dairanto Sumasshu Burazazu Ekkusu?, lit. "Great Melee Smash Brothers X"), is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games, developed by Sora and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. Brawl was announced at a pre-E3 2005 press conference by Nintendo president and Chief Executive Officer Satoru Iwata. Masahiro Sakurai, director of the previous two games in the series, assumed the role of director for the third installment at the request of Iwata. Game development began in October 2005 with a creative team that included collaborations with various second- and third-party Nintendo developers. The game was released on January 31, 2008 in Japan, March 9, 2008 in the United States, June 26, 2008 in Australia, and June 27, 2008 in Europe.
The number of playable characters that players can control in Brawl has grown from that of Super Smash Bros. Melee; Brawl is the first game in the series to expand past Nintendo characters and allow players control of third-party characters. Like its predecessors, the object of Brawl is to knock an opponent off the screen. It is a departure from traditional fighting games, notably in its simplified move commands and emphasis on ring outs over knockouts. It includes a more extensive single-player mode than its predecessors, known as The Subspace Emissary (SSE). This mode is a plot-driven, side-scrolling beat 'em up featuring computer-generated cut scenes and playable characters from the game. Brawl also supports multiplayer battles with up to four combatants, and is the first game of its franchise to feature online battles via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
The game was met with positive reviews, with critics praising the game's entertainment value, despite issues relating to Brawl's loading times. The game's musical score, which was composed through a collaboration among 38 renowned video game composers, was lauded for its representation of different generations in gaming history. Brawl received an aggregate review score of 94% on Metacritic and 93.3% on Game Rankings. It has sold a total of 7.47 million copies worldwide as of September 30, 2008.