Sakurai told IGN that because the franchise is so popular lately, he believes the core gameplay is on target, and thus won't change much in the next installment. "The game system itself is complete," says Sakurai, "so we don't want to make it 3D or introduce complicated controls just for the sake of it." The Wii U's new controller will be used, but outside of that, it sounds like things will stay familiar for fans.
That will be true for characters as well. While Sakurai thinks "Snake and Sonic joining were fantastic," he's leery of going too far outside the Nintendo staple, for fear of losing "the focus of the game." Will there be anything new at all? Sakurai says only that he and his team are thinking of "ways we can introduce a slightly different, fun experience all the while keeping the usual frantic game play."