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Nintendo is launching Splatoon 3 for Switch on September 9. This gets the game out just before the fall equinox, which means that the publisher was able to make the summer release window it promised fans last year. For Nintendo, which is facing some criticism for its treatment of contract employees, this ensures the Switch will have a major release just before the holiday season.

Of course, it seems likely that Splatoon 3 was due out earlier in the summer. Earlier this week, Nintendo moved up the release date of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. That game is coming July 29. Nintendo originally planned to launch it in September. It seems likely that Nintendo swapped those games to give Splatoon 3 extra development time.

Splatoon 3 is available to preorder today. The multiplayer shooter series originally debuted on Wii U, where it turned into one of Nintendo’s biggest new IPs in years. In the main game mode, Splatoon has teams of squid kids (kids who are squids) fighting over turf by firing ink at the ground. The side that covers the most area wins. Splatoon 2 expanded that with even more modes and a robust, standout single-player campaign.

For this new sequel, Nintendo looks like it is bringing back all of the favorite gameplay modes, weapons, and gear. In the new trailer, which you can watch at the top of this page, you can also get a glimpse at new weapons and clothing for your squid kid.


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But a question remains about how much new stuff fans will get in Splatoon 3. While Splatoon 2 was a full follow up due to its single-player mode, its online multiplayer felt like Deluxe version of what came before. And that worked because few people owned a Wii U. But after 12 million in sales for Splatoon 2, a much bigger audience is waiting to see what Nintendo EPD 5 has in store in terms of surprises.

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