1. How will this generation's online features change the series?
Both the Wii U and the 3DS have online capabilities their respective predecessors did not have. Sakurai is certain the Wii U will allow for much better online play for Super Smash Bros., which will be a most welcome and necessary addition to the series. Super Smash Bros. Brawl did feature online matches, but most of the time Nintendo's servers couldn't handle the frantic gameplay.
More intriguing is whether or not Nintendo will utilize the systems' online functionality further. In Brawl, Meta Knight was notorious for being an overpowered character; as a result, it stands to reason that Nintendo might offer character balances the same way other fighting game series do. While he appears hesitant to commit to balance patches and DLC, Sakurai admits both may be seen in Super Smash Bros.'s future when the game finally launches.
Online support may be just what Super Smash Bros. needs to modernize the series and keep it up to date with other popular fighting games; however, we won't see this question answered until after Super Smash Bros. releases sometime in 2014.