During Spike's VGX show, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime announced that Cranky Kong will be playable in the upcoming Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The inclusion of Cranky Kong was rumored previously when he was spotted on the European box art behind the other three playable characters.
This marks the first time in the series Cranky Kong will be a full-fledged playable character despite having been around since the 1981 arcade version of Donkey Kong where he appeared as the original Donkey Kong himself (the current Donkey Kong is Cranky's son). Cranky has aged significantly since then and is shown using his cane to perform jumps in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Fils-Amie also went on to confirm a release date of 21 February for North America. A date for other regions wasn't mentioned but hopefully Europe won't have to wait much longer to traverse the jungle with the whole Kong family. Come to think of it, does anyone really understand that family tree?