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Splatoon 3 Announced: Coming In 2022

by Donald Theriault - February 17, 2021, 6:13 pm EST
Total comments: 19 Source: Nintendo Direct

If you'd like to know why the game's in a post-nuclear wasteland, blame Team Chaos.

Kids and squids of the world, unite: Splatoon 3 is coming.

The follow-up to the unfathomably popular shooter series was announced at the end of today's Nintendo Direct, with a 2022 release date. Customization for the player character and a pet were shown, as well as new weapons such as an ink bow and arrow.

After the presentation Nintendo revealed on Twitter some additional information about the game. There are a variety of new hairstyle and braids. The small little Salmonid is called a Smallfry and will be working alongside the main character. You read the full thread with these tidbits here.

Talkback

Mr. BungleFebruary 17, 2021

Did they explicitly say this was going to be a Switch game?

MythtendoFebruary 17, 2021

Quote from: Mr.

Did they explicitly say this was going to be a Switch game?

The beginning of the trailer has the Switch logo, so yes.

broodwarsFebruary 17, 2021

I look forward to playing this on the Switch 2, because there's no way this isn't a Switch 2 launch game, having a nebulous 2022 release date like that.

EnnerFebruary 17, 2021

Chaos won and we got a post-post apocalypse Paris!

I'm anxious for this one. On one hand, I fear the Splatoon series becoming like contemporary Mario Kart in how similar iterations feel. On the other, I feel the four versus four Turf War mode is perfect/near-perfect. And lastly, I'm reminded that I didn't even make it to Rank 20/30 (where all the weapons are available for purchase) in Splatoon 2.

Quote from: broodwars

I look forward to playing this on the Switch 2, because there's no way this isn't a Switch 2 launch game, having a nebulous 2022 release date like that.

I agree. I'm wondering if it could be a cross-gen Switch and Switch 2 game with a unified online community.

Luigi DudeFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: broodwars

I look forward to playing this on the Switch 2, because there's no way this isn't a Switch 2 launch game, having a nebulous 2022 release date like that.

I agree. I'm wondering if it could be a cross-gen Switch and Switch 2 game with a unified online community.

The Switch is still selling like crazy and has yet to even drop in price.  A successor isn't coming out until at least end of 2023.  Of course with Splatoon 3 coming next year, I wouldn't be surprised if a successor is closer to 2024 or 2025.

When Nintendo told investors they plan on supporting the Switch longer then previous systems, they're not releasing a successor 5 years after launch when previous successful systems all got at least 6 years.  Microsoft and Sony just gave their last systems a 7 year lifecycle so it's not hard to believe Nintendo can do the same.  Especially when the Switch is selling better and has more momentum then either the PS4 and Xbox One did at this point in their lives.

broodwarsFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: Luigi

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: broodwars

I look forward to playing this on the Switch 2, because there's no way this isn't a Switch 2 launch game, having a nebulous 2022 release date like that.

I agree. I'm wondering if it could be a cross-gen Switch and Switch 2 game with a unified online community.

The Switch is still selling like crazy and has yet to even drop in price.  A successor isn't coming out until at least end of 2023.  Of course with Splatoon 3 coming next year, I wouldn't be surprised if a successor is closer to 2024 or 2025.

When Nintendo told investors they plan on supporting the Switch longer then previous systems, they're not releasing a successor 5 years after launch when previous successful systems all got at least 6 years.  Microsoft and Sony just gave their last systems a 7 year lifecycle so it's not hard to believe Nintendo can do the same.  Especially when the Switch is selling better and has more momentum then either the PS4 and Xbox One did at this point in their lives.

What complicates that plan is that Switch pretty much seems to be losing most of what little AAA 3rd party support it had with the launch of the new consoles, now that Switch is nowhere near comparable from a technical standpoint. And those new consoles aren't going to be supply-constrained by bots & part scarcity forever.

I think it's highly likely Switch gets a successor by the end of 2022.

ThePermFebruary 18, 2021

What would be market disruptive is if the next system is a  better standard console that's backwards compatible with switch.

Luigi DudeFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: broodwars

What complicates that plan is that Switch pretty much seems to be losing most of what little AAA 3rd party support it had with the launch of the new consoles, now that Switch is nowhere near comparable from a technical standpoint. And those new consoles aren't going to be supply-constrained by bots & part scarcity forever.

Microsoft and Sony aren't even trying to compete with the Switch.  It's literally a night and day differences between the top selling games on the Switch compared to Playstation/Xbox.  The whole reason for Splatoon's rise in the first place is it's an online team shooter, appealing to people that don't normally care for them.  What games are coming out next year for PS5/Xbox that will even remotely steal peoples attention from Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Mario Platformers, BOTW, Pokemon or in this case Splatoon?

And the Direct showed that the Switch still has steady third party support.  You complain that many are ports and remasters but ports and remasters sell very well on Switch.  That's been the bulk of third party support from AAA studio's from the beginning of the system, and yesterdays Direct shows it has yet to slow down.  If you want to talk about indies, the Switch is still getting most major new titles with some still being timed exclusives.  Most indies still get their best sales on Switch so that support isn't dropping anytime soon.  Plus it's not like indie studio's can afford to go all exclusive to next gen systems when most AAA studio are still releasing last gen versions to make up cost.

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2021

I thought Splatoon was going to be a "one per system" type of series, or maybe I was just hoping it would be. This is the third game released on essentially the same hardware, so I hope they're going to do something drastically different with the gameplay to set it apart. If it ends up feeling like something which could have been DLC for Splatoon 2, that will be disappointing.

AdrockFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: Luigi

A successor isn't coming out until at least end of 2023.  Of course with Splatoon 3 coming next year, I wouldn't be surprised if a successor is closer to 2024 or 2025.

No offense. That's a terrible idea because it's awfully reminiscent to...

Nintendo in 2010: I'm sure we can launch the Wii successor in 2012. No problemo!
Nintendo in 2012:
https://i.ibb.co/QXHH85H/roadragebrawl.jpg

Quote:

When Nintendo told investors they plan on supporting the Switch longer then previous systems, they're not releasing a successor 5 years after launch when previous successful systems all got at least 6 years.  Microsoft and Sony just gave their last systems a 7 year lifecycle so it's not hard to believe Nintendo can do the same.  Especially when the Switch is selling better and has more momentum then either the PS4 and Xbox One did at this point in their lives.

Quote from: Luigi

Microsoft and Sony aren't even trying to compete with the Switch.

As you stated, Sony and Microsoft aren't trying to compete with Nintendo. Conversely, Nintendo isn't trying to compete with them either. That said, it isn't fair to apply the same principles here.
Sure, Nintendo can push Switch to a seven year life cycle, but a better question is whether they should. Personally, I vote nay. Even Switch was launch just six years after 3DS (and obviously, less than five after Wii U).
It's important to consider why and how Sony and Microsoft pushed last generation to seven years. First, Sony was market leader and Microsoft was in the unenviable position of having to react to that. Second, PS4 and Xbox One were far more capable than Switch.
Switch is about a generation behind PS4/Xbox One in terms of hardware power. We still all marvel at some of the ports Switch gets rather than it merely being a thing that happens or is expected. While they're technically impressive, they are still inferior ports. It isn't so much the graphics as it is the frame rate. Most PS4/Xbox One ports top off at 30 FPS, some aren't even consistently that.
The gap is even larger with PS5/Series X. The ports are eventually going to dry up, sooner rather than later as third parties fully transition to the latest generation. And at this point, if Nintendo hasn't figured out that it's better off with more third party support than less, it absolutely deserves and will earn another Wii U situation of completely falling off a cliff because it held onto a successful product longer than it should have.
Nintendo can (and should) still support Switch after it launches a successor, adhering to what it told investors. While not a 1:1 comparison, it didn't immediately cease supporting 3DS after Switch launched and only ended 3DS production last year. To me, that's a much better strategy.
Nintendo should skip the New/Pro model and launch a successor middle to end of 2022. Keep it simple. Mid-generation upgrades are enthusiast releases that are rarely fully supported.
To steer this back to Splatoon 3, maybe it can be a cross-generation release with shared multiplayer. Nintendo could add unsightly yet necessary "Enhanced for Switch 2" or "Compatible with Switch" badges to the box (depending on branding). For a year or two, Nintendo would have some shared releases. Perhaps more importantly, it would have hardware capable of handling third party ports.
With that in mind, the Breath of the Wild sequel probably shouldn't be a shared release in order to encourage people to the newer hardware. *gets booed off stage*

Luigi DudeFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: Adrock

Quote from: Luigi

A successor isn't coming out until at least end of 2023.  Of course with Splatoon 3 coming next year, I wouldn't be surprised if a successor is closer to 2024 or 2025.

No offense. That's a terrible idea because it's awfully reminiscent to...

Nintendo in 2010: I'm sure we can launch the Wii successor in 2012. No problemo!
Nintendo in 2012:

The Wii peaked in its 2nd year and had a steady decline each year after.  The Switch just had it's best year during its 4th.  The system has yet to even peak for Nintendo, so the Wii in 2010 comparisons don't work since the Wii as already in clear decline in 2010.  This is the company that delayed the GBA because the GBC was still selling better then expected.  Unless hardware sales completely crash to Wii U levels, they're not releasing a successor so soon when they know they can still sell an extra 50+ million systems the next few years.

Of course the biggest problem for the Wii in 2011/2012 is Nintendo moved most development to the 3DS and Wii U, causing Wii software to dry up.  One of the reasons for unifying all there studios under one system is so a repeat of 2011/2012 doesn't happen again.  As yesterdays Direct shows, the Switch isn't going to have the drought in its 5th year the Wii had, which literally solves the biggest cause of that system crashing so hard in the end.

For third parties, the Switch never got ports of many of the top sellers on the PS4/Xbox and yet that never hurt the system.  There's still a large audience that hasn't bought a Switch yet but keeps buying it because of the ever growing list of titles.  Releasing a Switch successor too soon makes much of that audience buy the new system instead.  Nintendo wants everyone buying the Switch and then buying the successor.  Even if third party support completely dries up next year, Nintendo's own software has already created a self-sustaining eco system to thrive on.  Even when compared to the Wii, the Switch software sales are on a whole different level.

AdrockFebruary 18, 2021

Quote from: Luigi

The system has yet to even peak for Nintendo, so the Wii in 2010 comparisons don't work since the Wii as already in clear decline in 2010.  This is the company that delayed the GBA because the GBC was still selling better then expected.

That's my point. Nintendo shouldn't wait for there to be a decline. Instead, it should anticipate Switch's inevitable decline and be ready with a new console. Nintendo can delay the successor if it really feels Switch is doing that well. That said, I really can't envision a scenario in which Switch rides a wave of unprecedented success to 2023, let alone 2024 or 2025. Historically, Nintendo has rarely been ready to launch new hardware even with the writing on the wall. Rather, it's weathered the storm with its more successful hardware (and flat-out failed with Wii U). Maybe Nintendo should stop doing that.

Also, using an outlier year like 2020 as an indicator for sustained Switch sales performance seems like fool's gold to me.

Quote:

Of course the biggest problem for the Wii in 2011/2012 is Nintendo moved most development to the 3DS and Wii U, causing Wii software to dry up.

Yes, and Nintendo was still bafflingly ill-prepared to launch both 3DS and Wii U anyway. The lack of first party software is always going to hurt Nintendo hardware since that's what the company hangs its hat on. However, third party support was also drying up and wasn't consistently shored up for the successors either. How many times does this have to happen before Nintendo, you know, maybe tries something else?

Quote:

For third parties, the Switch never got ports of many of the top sellers on the PS4/Xbox and yet that never hurt the system.

I fundamentally disagree with this argument. While not getting other consoles' top selling third party titles may not have hurt Switch per se, it didn't help either. Ideally, Nintendo would be actively courting third parties for support.

Quote:

Releasing a Switch successor too soon makes much of that audience buy the new system instead.  Nintendo wants everyone buying the Switch and then buying the successor.

Nintendo's bread and butter is software, not hardware. If it released cross-generation games for a couple years, Nintendo gets what it wants anyway and better positions itself moving forward. It should be planning for sustained success rather than reacting to falling into a deficit.

broodwarsFebruary 18, 2021

On a side note I can't believe that anyone still believes anything Nintendo has to say about their console life cycles after...what was it...the 3DS that they announced a day after publicly denying that a successor to the DS was in the works?  :rolleyes:

The Switch could very well have a 7 year life cycle built entirely on Wii & Wii U ports...or they could announce the Switch 2 tomorrow. That's just how Nintendo is, and I'm not going to trust a word that comes out of the Nintendo PR machine on such matters.

On the matter of Splatoon 3, Nintendo doesn't have a strong history of supporting multiple mainline installments of multiplayer games on the same platform. There tends to be 1 Mario Kart, 1 generic Mario sports title, etc. per console. Switch has already had 2 Splatoon releases with Splatoon 2 & its Octo Expansion. The 3rd game seems primed to be cross-gen and/or a Switch 2 launch game. Frankly, so does Breath of the Wild 2 at this point, as well as Metroid Prime 4.

StratosFebruary 18, 2021

Sony and Microsoft extended their systems by releasing "stop gap" products in the Pro and One-X. There is no reason to not expect a similar solution from Nintendo.

I try to separate talks of "successors" from "upgrades". Absolutely convinced that they do not intend to release a non-Switch branded successor device for a good long while. This is the device they have commented will need to be disruptive and different in its design philosophy.

In the next year or so I fully expect to see a "New Super Switch Pro Plus" that has some minor performance and graphical enhancements that is backwards compatible and scalable. It also falls in line with the Apple release style of upgrading their devices constantly.

This allows them to always be telling the truth...from a certain point of view.

Spak-SpangFebruary 19, 2021

I am excited for this game.  As Splatoon 2 was a game I got into late and was really blown away by both online and single player modes.  Single player felt like a Mario Sunshine type obstacle courses that were tightly designed and fun to play. 

I really have high hopes for the single player in this game.  I would love for them to figure out a way to make a free exploration game in the Splatoon universe with Ink powers.  It could be really fun. 

I am hoping that Nintendo figures a way to just make everything backwards compatible going forward so whenever Switch Pro or Switch 2 comes out everything bought now will just work.  Digital and cart. 

OedoFebruary 19, 2021

Comparing Wii to Switch is apples to oranges. Wii found widespread success with a mechanic that was going to lose its appeal to a mainstream audience past the short-term. That's why even waiting a year or two too long was make or break. Switch's main appeal (as a concept) will become more appealing over the next decade, if anything. Like does anybody envision them moving away from this concept with the successor? They will refine it, make it more flexible and convenient, and obviously more powerful, but the main principle of the hardware design will be the same.

It's not only about when they want to put out a successor, it's also about when they can. Moving to a new generation means that you're segmenting your playerbase, and the leap forward has to be significant enough to justify that while also being affordable enough for a mass market product. It's not enough to just want to do strategically, it has to be technically feasible too.

Imagine Sony and Microsoft trying to put out PS5 and XBSX when they launched the PS4 Pro and XB1X, or alternatively, trying to start a new generation with those iterative consoles as their next gen. They would've hurt themselves immensely in either case. There's a pretty good argument to be made that they pulled the trigger too early even now given what a mess their launches have been.

Spak-SpangFebruary 24, 2021

All I want is a Switch 2 is 100% backwards compatibility and controllers that are bigger and function better.  I don't care about 4K, 8K or anything like that.  I just want functioning controllers and fun games.

MASBFebruary 27, 2021

I think Luigi Dude has some good points, but Adrock's strategy is the most likely to succeed. It's better to release the successor a bit too early than too late. Once an software ecosystem has lost momenteum, it's hard to get it back. Plus since it is likely Nintendo will release games that can play on both systems for awhile, that helps ease "the blow" of a new system launch.

But until we know the power of the new Switch, it's hard to gauge how it will fill in the gaps and keep the train rolling. If it's a marginal upgrade, it may not be enough to keep ports meant for the PS4/5 coming. It has to be a big enough upgrade to allow that as it allows Nintendo (and its customers) the best of both worlds: A console with Nintendo games and a good selection of the best third-party games available on other systems. A propisition like that becomes self-sustaining so that it doesn't have to be on Nintendo to sustain the system all the time. They can have more smaller, riskier games come out between the big hits, knowing that third-parties will be there with hits of their own.

A Monster Hunter Rise-type third party event shouldn't be a once in a generation thing for Switch systems. It should come more often. I think the key to that is to release a geniune leap forward Switch model in 2022.

Right now, Nintendo's in a great spot. The momenteum will continue through at least this year. Chip shoratges are making it seems that even a second "launch" for the PS5/SeX may not be possible this Christmas season. So their competitors won't be growing as fast as they otherwise would. Nintendo has to be ready to strike in such a way that keep ahead at almost all times. A worthwhile successor no later than 2022 will do that.

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