Super Smash Bros. 4 Official Site
The official website for Super Smash Bros. 4 launched on June 11, 2013, shortly after the two games' E3 2013 trailer. Like its predecessors, Smabura-Ken and the Smash Bros. DOJO!!, it was periodically updated with information on the games, but unlike its predecessors, the information was shown mostly through pictures instead of text. For a short time after a character was revealed, their image links would have an "UPDATE" banner affixed.
The website gives information about all of the characters and shows videos and images in both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions. On the main page, there is a picture that was changed every weekday. This picture was the most recent "pic of the day", which was also posted by Masahiro Sakurai in the Miiverse community called the Director's Room, where he started providing captions and sometimes additional pictures starting July 2013.
The language selection offered by the site includes English, Japanese, German, French, Italian and Spanish, like its predecessor Smash Bros. DOJO!!, in addition to the newly-added Portuguese, Dutch and Russian. For some languages, regional variations are available.
When a character was revealed, a banner under the daily photo that said "Warning! Challenger Approaching!" (a reference to the message that typically appears whenever unlockable characters are first encountered within a Super Smash Bros. game) was added. It remained there for a couple of days. The amount of time the banner stays up seemed to be dependent on how soon the next character would be revealed, though there was an approximate maximum and minimum timeframe.
Over time, the website was gradually fleshed out, later including Nintendo 3DS informational manuals about character movesets (Japanese version), as well as additional information regarding Pokémon, Assist Trophies, and music previews.
Each character confirmed for Super Smash Bros. 4 has their own character page. These pages can be accessed by clicking on the picture displaying the fighter on the website's front page. Each character page contains the characters' official render within a frame displaying their name, and ten additional photos. These pictures will be a mixture of Wii U and 3DS screenshots—there are typically more from the Wii U—and the Wii U pictures always precede the 3DS pictures. The background color of the page changes according to character. When applicable, these character pages will sometimes link to a recent or then-upcoming Nintendo game featuring the character. On special characters, such as newcomers and third-party fighters, there would often be a bonus video or piece of artwork alongside the main character render.
Unlike the website's predecessors, the Smash Bros. DOJO!! and Smabura-Ken, there is no additional text on the page regarding the character, except for Ryu, whose page explains the system for his Street Fighter-style inputs.
On April 1, 2015, the website was updated to include a new section titled Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. The purpose of this ballot was for regular players outside of the development team to have an input on what characters should be released as DLC. Upon entering the sight, the voter is given four tasks. The first is to identify their gender - male or female - then the character, their game of origin, and a brief explanation as to why the character should be included. this final section has a 500 character limit. Once every section is filled out, the voter presses the large Confirm button, where the vote is submitted to a database. Their is no limit to the amount of times a single person can vote, though multiple votes from a single person being taken into account has never been confirmed. This ballot was live until October 3, 2015, where it was closed and removed from the website. All votes were then tallied and a winner was decided.
During the Final Video Presentation on December 15, 2015, it was revealed that Bayonetta officially won the ballot. She was the #1 choice in Europe and in the top 5 in North America. She was also the #1 choice among "realizable and negotiable" characters, which was the real deciding factor. Bayonetta was released as the final Smash 4 DLC fighter on February 3, 2016. The game was later datamined in June, 2018, and the dataminers discovered evidence that parameters for Bayonetta were added to the game as early as version 1.0.6 on April 15, 2015, only two weeks after the ballot went live, despite not actually releasing until nearly ten months later with version 1.1.5. This information suggests that Bayonetta might have already been decided as a character before the ballot ended.
Masahiro Sakurai had confirmed that the results of the fighter ballot would be a factor in the direction of future installments, particularly with new characters. As promised, several highly chosen character from the Fighter Ballot would later be introduced as fighters in Ultimate, including Ridley, King K. Rool, Chrom, Dark Samus, Simon, Richter, Banjo & Kazooie, and Sora, the latter of which was revealed to be the overall winner of the Ballot during his Presentation.