Nintendo's latest is the colorful, kid-friendly Wii U shooter Splatoon, where players compete in painting as much of the map as possible with their team's color.
It's not every day we get a new Nintendo property. Naturally, fans are pretty excited for this one. A recent Splatoon-centric Nintendo Direct went into plenty of detail on the game, as Nintendo announced new game modes, pre-order bonuses and more. The company also announced the "Splatoon Global Testfire", or as other video game companies might call it, an open beta.
While Splatoon does feature an in-depth single-player mode, the game is designed to be played online in multiplayer matches. It makes perfect sense then that Nintendo would want to test out the game and make sure everything is running smoothly ahead of the title's release date at the end of May.
What doesn't make much sense is the timeframe for all of this. Players can download the demo for the "Splatoon Global Testfire" right now. However, eager gamers will only be able to play the demo for three, one-hour periods over the course of the weekend.
The demo will be available during these time periods, for one hour only:
Friday, May 8 at 8 p.m. Pacific / 11 p.m. Eastern
Saturday, May 9 at 4 a.m. Pacific / 7 a.m. Eastern
Saturday, May 9 at 12 p.m. Pacific / 3 p.m. Eastern
If Nintendo is looking for a server stress test, they are sure as heck are going to get one. Forcing every interested player to log on at one of three times is a surefire way to bring the game's online component crashing down. We see it all the time in betas for games. That is part of what a beta is for, after all. But unlike most betas, which will go on for an entire weekend or even one or two weeks, Nintendo is limiting their test to three, one-hour windows.
Nintendo isn't the most experienced game company when it comes to online multiplayer, and an announcement like this proves it. It will be interesting to see how the Global Testfire goes. Who knows; maybe it will work flawlessly?
Splatoon releases for Wii U on May 29.