Splatoon 2 for the Nintendo Switch.

‘Splatoon 2’ Switch Global Testfire Available To Download, But Not Play Yet

Splatoon 2 is one of the more highly anticipated games for the Nintendo Switch and fans will get a chance to try the game out early soon. Nintendo announced the demo version of the game available to download Tuesday in anticipation of a Global Testfire (aka beta test) weekend.

Those interested in trying out Splatoon 2 should head to the Nintendo eShop of their region and head to the game’s page there. The demo version will be available to download there and weighs in at only 410 MB.

While the Splatoon 2 demo is available to download, it won’t be playable until Friday, March 24. That is the weekend Nintendo has set aside for the Global Testfire event. It will be run much like the same event for for the original game on the Wii U with six one-hour windows for Switch owners to find matches and compete with others.

Here is the full schedule of one hour playable windows during the Global Testfire weekend. Nintendo spread the windows of availability to allow those from the North American, European, and Japanese regions to all have an opportunity to play.

Friday, March 24

  • 3 p.m ET / 12 p.m. PT
  • 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, March 25

  • 7 a.m. ET / 4 a.m. PT
  • 3 p.m ET / 12 p.m. PT
  • 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. ET

Sunday, March 26

  • 7 a.m. ET / 4 a.m. PT
Nintendo announces the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Event.
[Image by Nintendo]

A post to the official Splatoon 2 page on Nintendo’s website confirmed the demo contains four different main weapons, including the new Splat Dualies, which introduces a new Dodge Roll move. Remixed versions of the Splat Roller and Splat Charger will also be available.

Obviously, online multiplayer will be available during the Global Testfire event, but it is not clear yet to what extent local multiplayer will be supported. One of the selling points of the Nintendo Switch is the ability to play locally with friends, but there has been no mention of that yet for the testing weekend.

Nintendo is taking a slightly different approach for online multiplayer with the Switch, so the Testfire event for Splatoon 2 should prove interesting. As previously covered, the new console’s online service launched at no cost. This will turn into a subscription-based service later in 2017 with prices somewhere around $17 to $26 a year, significantly less than the premium online subscription services for Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network.

The cost of Nintendo’s new online service will pay for online multiplayer and related services, plus grant subscribers what is essentially a one-month rental of a classic NES or SNES title via digital download.

The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Event Schedule.
[Image by Nintendo]

Nintendo’s new online service will also make use of a smartphone app for features such as friends list, matchmaking, and online chat. This is a risky departure from typical online console usage, but it also is likely a way for the company to cut back on costs. Most everyone that has a console has a smartphone already. Offloading some data traffic to a cellular carrier cuts back on needed resources for the Switch. However, the app will not be ready for the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire event.

The Nintendo Switch’s first big online multiplayer first-party release will be Mario Kart 8 at the end of April. There are third-party games such as Fast RMX and Super Bomberman R that have online multiplayer, however.

Splatoon 2 will release later this summer with new weapons, maps, characters, and updates to the hub world. It will also make use of the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, and Nintendo plans to support the game with new content updates post-launch.

Are you going to give Splatoon 2 a whirl the weekend of March 24? Sound off in the comments below.

[Featured Image by Nintendo]

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