Splatoon 3 is ditching the gender binary, confirms surprise Nintendo Direct announcement trailer

Nintendo, Splatoon 3

Nintendo Direct gave us our first glimpse at the newly announced Splatoon 3, including its character customisation options.

It’s the latest in Nintendo’s online shooter series that sees cartoon squid kids battling it out in teams to squirt as much ink as possible over the battlefield using some wild weaponry. In previous games, you were forced to choose between boy or girl for your Inkling (or Octoling) character, though in Splatoon 2 you could at least change your gender later on. 

Now, it appears you can simply select a ‘style’ for your squid or octopus kid. Two styles are available for each type of character, but they’re not labelled by gender. In addition, all customisation options appear to be available for both styles, such as hair, skin tone, eye colour, and legwear.

This is a welcome forward step from Nintendo, following the likes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons which similarly does not ask players to choose a gender and allows for all hair and clothing options to be worn.

Splatoon 3 was revealed in a Nintendo Direct on Wednesday (17 February), the first large-scale video announcement in almost two years. Saved for the very end, Splatoon 3 was a surprise inclusion to many and will be released in 2022.

The reveal begins in a dusty, post-apocalyptic setting and shows not only player customisation, but also your adorable chicken-fish-pet-thing. The game sees the return of its 4-v-4 Turf War battles, with new movement abilities and weapons, and a brand new region: The Splatlands.

Nintendo also revealed a HD remake of its divisive Zelda title Skyward Sword, Pyra/Mythra as the latest Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighter, and a brand new Mario sports game Mario Golf: Super Rush

For everything revealed, check out our full rundown including the likes of Apex Legends, Fall Guys and Outer Worlds coming soon to Nintendo’s console.

See the Splatoon 3 trailer below.