Splatoon 2 screen.jpg

When Nintendo unveiled some early retail release dates and windows, we couldn't help but ponder the gap between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. With ARMS still sitting in a vague 'Spring' window and a number of third-party retail releases coming around the same time or later than MK8, there's a genuine gap there - LEGO City: Undercover is bucking the trend a little with an early April arrival.

It's all understandable, to a degree, as there's no point in going big with new releases in stores when there's hardly any hardware stock in some major territories, with demand still outstripping supply in countries like the US. The assumption is that Nintendo will deliver a decent volume of restocks by late April as a second wave to take the system into the Summer.

The eShop fills the gap for early adopters, of course, and Nintendo's strategy in gap-filling includes the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire this weekend. It's actually a different approach to that taken with the original's Testfire - with the Wii U title the online demo was announced just a couple of days before it started, and this was just a few weeks before the full game's release. There were some technical hiccups and one or two server meltdowns but, in general, it was a successful quickfire publicity exercise that built hype and gave plenty of us a genuine thrill.

When is the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire?

March 24

  • 12-12:59 p.m. PT / 3-3:59 p.m. ET / 19:00 - 19:59 GMT / 20:00 - 20:59 CET
  • 8-8:59 p.m. PT / 11-11:59 p.m. ET / 03:00 - 03:59 GMT / 04:00 - 04:59 CET (25th March EU)

March 25

  • 4-4:59 a.m. PT / 7-7:59 a.m. ET / 11:00 - 11:59 GMT / 12:00 - 12:59 CET
  • 12-12:59 p.m. PT / 3-3:59 p.m. ET / 19:00 - 19:59 GMT / 20:00 - 20:59 CET
  • 8-8:59 p.m. PT / 11-11:59 p.m. ET / 04:00 - 04:59 BST / 05:00 - 05:59 CET (26th March EU)

March 26

  • 4-4:59 a.m. PT / 7-7:59 a.m. ET / 12:00 - 12:59 BST / 13:00 - 13:59 CET

This time it's a bit different, though, probably due to the aforementioned gap-filling taking place here. Announced well ahead of time, this Testfire also arrives while there's no actual release date for Splatoon 2; we only know it's out this 'summer', presumably after ARMS. It'll be interesting to see whether the Nintendo Treehouse broadcast will be used for any announcements on that score, but the impact this time is certainly less precise than with the original.

Still, it's Splatoon 2 online play, so we're looking forward to it. With the first session just hours away we want to know whether you're excited about it - hit up the poll and comments below, and be sure to join us for a live stream and chat for the opening hour and Treehouse broadcast later today.

Will you be taking part in the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire this weekend?
Are you hyped about the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire?
What do you think of the timing of this Testfire?