Update #2 [Fri 8th Jan, 2021 11:05 GMT] It looks like maintenance is finally over - you should now be able to download the Monster Hunter Rise demo.
Update [Fri 8th Jan, 2021 06:30 GMT]: If you've been having trouble downloading the demo, you're not alone - as the eShop is now undergoing maintenance.
It seems the demand for the Monster Hunter Rise "limited-time" demo has caused some serious problems on Nintendo's end. Here's the message you'll get if you try to boot up the store:
"The server is currently undergoing maintenance. We apologise for any inconvience. Please try again later."
Nintendo's customer support Twitter account also notes how downloads have not been immediately starting and may take several minutes to begin:
Original article [Fri 8th Jan, 2021 01:55 GMT]: The moment monster-hunting fans have been waiting for is here – a demo for Capcom's Monster Hunter Rise is now available on the Switch eShop. It's a 1.6 GB download.
This sample of the upcoming Switch exclusive also includes local and online co-op play - allowing you to team up with your friends. All up, there are four different quest types. A beginner quest, an intermediate quest, a basic training quest and a Wyvern riding training quest - with all 14 weapon types playable.
Here's a brief rundown about the beginner and intermediate quests, which are both co-op enabled:
"For this demo, you'll get to explore the Shine Ruins. This is a great locale for learning about Wirebug and the new stat-boosting endemic life featured in this game."
"The beginner quest features Great Izuchi, while the intermediate quest has you take on Mizutsune."
"you'll be able to take a Palamute and/or Palico with you, so you can experience riding a Canyne and receiving various kinds of support from your buddies."
Of course, to team up with others over the internet, you'll need to have access to a Nintendo Switch Online membership. Keep in mind, this demo will only be available for a "limited-time" until 1st February - so enjoy it while you can.
The full version of Monster Hunter Rise will launch on the Switch on 26th March this year.