The big Nintendo Switch release for July 2017 is going to be Splatoon 2, and Nintendo is hosting a special Nintendo Direct broadcast on July 6 to help focus attention.
Colourful team-based action game Splatoon 2 is the follow-up to one of Nintendo's best new franchises of recent years.
Despite underwhelming sales of its previous home console, the Wii U, Splatoon was a critical and commercial success, with its fresh take on the team shooter genre that had become a staple on other consoles over the previous decades.
Players equipped themselves with paint-based weaponry – brushes, rollers, buckets and spray guns – and set about claiming an arena's worth of territory in their own team's colours.
Added to that was a dual speed mechanism by which participants could transform their characters from a person into a swimming squid and back again.
Squids could travel through painted territory at speed, allowing them to cover ground and race to claim, reclaim or defend team territory, but were vulnerable if detected by opposing team members.
At 4.8 million sales, Splatoon was bought by over a third of 13.5 million Wii U owners; it was the best-selling new franchise introduced through the Wii U, and the console's fifth best-selling game overall.
But where Splatoon arrived two and a half years into the Wii U's lifespan, its direct sequel is preparing to make a splash not four months after the Nintendo Switch launched.
New weapons, moves and modes are part of the Splatoon 2 package, with better support for tournament play: scenes of a full-blown arena competition were included in the Switch's very first video reveal.
Enthusiasm has been further stoked by public beta tests held for Switch owners in March.
The Nintendo Switch, a home and portable console hybrid, launched alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms following in April and June respectively.
Fellow exclusive Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has been tabled for August, while Super Mario Odyssey spearheads a holiday season push from October onwards.
The Splatoon 2 Direct, hosted at nintendo.com/nintendo-direct and twitch.tv/nintendo, starts at 7am PT/10am ET on Thursday, July 6 2017, which corresponds to 2pm UTC, 3pm UK, 4pm Central Europe and South Africa, 10pm Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Beijing, China, 11pm in Japan, and then midnight July 5 in Sydney, Australia. — AFP Relaxnews
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