Nintendo Switch To Get 'Arms' June 16, 'Splatoon 2' July 21

What are Nintendo Switch owners supposed to do after they've finished exploring Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Nintendo answered that question yesterday with a presentation devoted to the Arms fighting game and Splatoon 2 third-person shooter, which will debut on June 16 and July 21, respectively. The company also shared release dates for Nintendo 3DS titles, Switch indies, and other product launches.

Arms is boxing as imagined by Stretch Armstrong. Your goal is to knock out your opponent with your mechanical arms, each of which has their own attacks or abilities, while dodging their attacks. The motion controls built into the Switch's Joy-Con controllers are used to control each arm, evoking the motion-centric games from the Wii era. This is a new franchise for Nintendo and its first one-on-one fighting game, at least with this setup.

Nintendo revealed Arms when it let the media go hands-on with the Switch and some of its games in January. During yesterday's announcement, the company revealed that you and your opponent will be able to partner up with others for 2-on-2 matches. This doesn't quite match the insane number of characters you can have on-screen in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but the motion controls and unique arms could make it just as hectic.

Splatoon 2 is a sequel to the Wii U's surprise hit. The game has been updated with new weapons, sub-weapons, and special abilities that are used to cover the map with as much of your ink as possible. Nintendo also confirmed during the Nintendo Direct presentation that Splatoon 2 will feature local co-op play in which you must fight off hordes of enemies. This, and other changes, make Splatoon 2 more than a gussied-up port of the first game.

Nintendo will also use Splatoon 2 as a benchmark for its online service. Even though the game won't debut until July 21, the company has already run a "Global Testfire" to help stress-test its servers and make sure it can handle the rush to one of the Switch's first online games. (Splatoon was incredibly popular even on the poorly selling Wii U; a sequel on what's shaping up to be a more popular console is likely to have even more players.)

Both games' release dates suggest that Nintendo wants Switch owners to have one big game to play about every month or so. Breath of the Wild covered March, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will debut April 28, Arms comes out June 16, and Splatoon 2 hits on July 21. Those waits are punctuated by smaller games, like the remastered Blaster Master Zero or charming Snake Pass platformer, to make sure there's always something to play.

Highlights from Nintendo's other Switch game-related announcements include Disgaea 5 Complete debuting May 23; Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers landing on May 26; and news about Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania, and Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition becoming available later this year. The company also announced new (to the West) 3DS titles like Hey! Pikmin, Monster Hunter Legends, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters, and more.

You can find links to the Switch and 3DS games mentioned in the presentation on the Nintendo Direct website.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • dstarr3
    I'm both glad and not glad that they didn't go for some clever Splatoon sequel naming gimmick. Splat2n or something.