It goes without saying that the online play in Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a bit lacking. Nintendo seems to have realized this, with Masahiro Sakurai, the series director, even stating as much during this evening's Nintendo Direct. The upcoming Wii U and 3DS installments will feature several new features that cater to both hardcore and casual players, and will allow Nintendo to discipline those who misbehave online.
For starters, players will no longer be able to play anonymously while online. Every player will be tied to their Nintendo Network ID, which will allow Nintendo to better monitor their online activities. Those who start a match and immediately drop out, drop out on a frequent basis or decide to target one specific player, will all be punished with temporary bans. It hasn't been made clear yet how Nintendo will monitor these actions, or how they will deem certain playstyles as “unfair.”
Online play will also feature two main modes where players can choose to play for fun or glory. Those who choose to play for fun may be dropped in any stage, with the exception being Final Destination. The game's many items will also be available for players to use during these matches. Players who seek glory will find themselves itemless, with the only available stage being Final Destination. Glory mode also allows for 1-on-1 matches, where those who are serious about competing can test their raw skills. This will certainly appease hardcore fans who may have felt a bit left out by Brawl's “party game” approach.
Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS is set to launch sometime this summer, while its Wii U counterpart is scheduled to release during winter of this year.