From the very start, the Nintendo Switch has been all about multiplayer. Its online service will let users play against each other wherever they are. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers were designed to be separated from the system and used on their own by two different people. Now Nintendo needs to sell multiplayer games of all kinds. Forget The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, that’s where the Splatoon 2 release comes in.
Splatoon 2 will be only the second major multiplayer game release for the Nintendo Switch since its launch in March. Slated for release in 2017, it’s a sequel to the enormously popular arena shooting game that took the Nintendo Wii U by storm. It’s up to players on each team to use a mix of weapons to cover as much of the level in their team’s colored ink as possible. Nintendo’s dedication to updating the game with new content and characters after its release made it a winner with critics and fans. You may not have heard of Splatoon because it was marooned on dying hardware. At its launch, most gamers were already waiting on a new console from Nintendo.
The Splatoon 2 release will bring a lot, Nintendo says. New weapons and new stages are planned for the upcoming title. Supporting hardware features that make the Nintendo Switch unique is also a focus.
Here is what we know of the Splatoon 2 release thus far.
Splatoon 2 Release Window
Nintendo had to knew that the Nintendo Switch would launch with a pretty big hole in its games library. Though seemingly designed with every kind of multiplayer experience in mind, the console is without any of its big-name multiplayer franchises today. Through the spring and summer, Nintendo hopes to remedy that. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will arrive on store shelves April 28th.
We’re still waiting on an actual Splatoon 2 release date, but we do have a release window. A check of Nintendo’s website reveals that the game will arrive in the Nintendo eShop as a digital download and at retail stores on a Game Card sometime this summer.
Splatoon 2 Release: New Content & Features
The things coming with the Splatoon 2 release comfortably fit into two categories. There’s new content and new capabilities for multiplayer. Because we’re so far from release, we don’t know that much about the content. Nintendo likes to tease that stuff in videos close to a game’s release. Two years have passed in the game world since the last release. There are new and returning characters. The Splat Dualies weapon is all new. The Splat Charger and Splat Roller have been updated in big ways, Nintendo says.
The multiplayer and functional upgrades are extensive. First, Splatoon 2 will adopt the same control schemes that allow the Nintendo Switch to act as a great mobile and living room gaming console. Compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is coming. Those that don’t have the Pro Controller can opt to use their Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons for motion play. They each have gyroscopes inside.
Turf Battles will work whether connected to a television or on the go. The Splatoon 2 release will be among the first to get assistance from an upcoming app for iPhone and Android that allows players to find other gamers to play with and voice chat.
Gamers can expect new content long after the Splatoon 2 release has concluded, an entry on the Nintendo website reveals.
Splatoon 2 Release: Free Splatoon 2 Preview
To build awareness for the new game and test out its systems, Nintendo is planning a free Splatoon 2 TestFire this spring.
The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire will last just two days. It’ll start on March 23rd, then conclude on March 26th. It’s helpful if you don’t think of this event as a game beta. Those usually last a few days. Players can join in at any time.
Nintendo says that the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire will have “six special 1-hour playtimes” during the weekend that it’s available. That’s just six opportunities to experience the game before launch. Each opportunity lasts for just an hour. On March 24th, the 1-hour long windows start at 12 PM and 8 PM. March 25th has three windows, 4 PM, 12 PM and 8 PM. March 26th offers just a single window at 4 AM. These are all Pacific Time.
All you need to participate is a Nintendo Switch and access to the internet. There’s no purchase or pre-order required. Only four weapons and the updated Splat Roller and Splat Charger will be available during the Splatoon 2 Global Test Fire.
Splatoon 2 Release: Splatoon 2 Pre-Orders
We don’t have a final Splatoon 2 release date, but we do have Splatoon 2 pre-orders. GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy are already selling physical copies of the game. As of right now, they don’t include any pre-order extras at all. The game will appear in the Nintendo eShop closer to launch, where it will be available as a digital download for those that don’t like Nintendo Switch Game Cards. The game sells for $59.99.
No doubt, the Splatoon 2 release will be a huge event for the Nintendo Switch owners. Finally, one of Nintendo’s best games in recent memory will be available on hardware millions can get excited about.