Nintendo’s first mobile app, Miitomo, will launch in North America later this week. After a successful launch in Japan, Nintendo of America announced that the company will be bringing the app across the world starting March 31. Described as a “free-to-start social experience”, Miitomo allows users to create yet another version of the avatars used in Nintendo’s various platforms, Miis, and interact with friends as a social go-between. Miitomo also includes minigames which award in-app prizes, such as clothing to further customize your Mii, and a photo editor, which can be shared on social media platforms. Pre-registration began on February 17, and after its launch two weeks ago, the app was downloaded on over 1 million devices.
Along with Miitomo, Nintendo’s partnership with mobile gaming company DeNA also includes a replacement to the Club Nintendo online rewards program, now called My Nintendo. Launching alongside Miitomo, My Nintendo allows users to rack up points which n be redeemed for game downloads or merchandise. Pre-registering for Miitomo will earn users bonus points when the two services launch.
While not the most exciting way to begin mobile app development, Nintendo is taking the right step by dipping its feet into the mobile market. Handheld gaming systems like the 3DS are enjoyable, but the mass market finds universal devices much more appealing. This will allow the company to attract new customers by featuring new services and games for people to enjoy. It’s far easier for people to use texting or social media to contact others, rather than the proxy that is Miitomo, but if developed correctly and with the right systems and monetization utilized, it could be a fun piece of software with the same quirkiness that Nintendo products seem to have.
Miitomo and My Nintendo launch worldwide March 31. Miitomo will be available for iOS and Android devices.