The handheld market, since the culture bomb that was the Game Boy, has been dominated by Nintendo. For years, competitors came and went. Some still try. But some years ago there came a storm, a shock to the system: Mobile. Mobile games have since become immensely profitable, throwing the future of gaming itself into doubt. There’s no company whose transition into this new world has been more closely watched than Nintendo, as their near-monopoly on handheld gaming puts them in a particularly fuckable position. Now, Nintendo have finally dropped the soap. In March, they will release their first ever foray into the mobile world with MiiTOMO. They’ll also be releasing My Nintendo, the successor to Club Nintendo which closed last year. Better yet, you can preregister for both MiiTOMO and My Nintendo right now here.
From Nintendo’s press release:
Nintendo’s first-ever app for smart devices, Miitomo, launches next month, but now’s the time to sign up to receive a notification when the app is available for download. From now through launch day, anyone can preregister for Miitomo by signing up for the new Nintendo Account service at https://www.miitomo.com/ and be among the first to get in on the fun when Miitomo launches in March. Those who create their Nintendo Account before the launch of Miitomo will also receive Platinum Points for the new My Nintendo rewards programme, which will launch simultaneously with Miitomo.
Miitomo is a free-to-start social experience that uses Nintendo’s Mii characters and lets you spark conversations with your friends in a whole new way, which first debuted with the launch of Wii Sports in 2006. More than 200 million Mii characters exist across Nintendo systems worldwide. To get started, users can quickly create a Mii character to act as their social go-between, customising its facial features, eyes, hair, as well as voice and personality. Users can also use the camera of their smartphone or tablet to snap a photo that will be translated into Mii form, or they can simply import their Mii from the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS systems using a QR Code.
Once their Mii is ready, users can add friends in person, or through their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. After that step is complete, it’s time to answer some questions. Miitomo creates conversations and turns discussions into a form of play by prompting users to answer all kinds of questions. Did you know that your best friend’s favourite food is pizza? Maybe, but did you know her favourite music genre is secretly polka? And that she believes in aliens? The answers get shared among friends, sparking interesting conversations – part of the fun is discovering surprising facts about your friends that you never knew before. When users hear how their friends responded to questions, they can give it a heart or a comment, either through text or with a picture.
Mii characters will travel around and visit others that users have added as friends in the app, so it’s important to look good. Users can set their own style with shorts, pants, socks, shirts, shoes, accessories, hats and more. If they want to go further in expressing themselves, they can even dress up in a variety of outlandish costumes, such as a bear costume, pirate costume, hot dog costume and more. As users experience Miitomo, they’ll earn Miitomo coins, which can be redeemed in the in-app shop to get all kinds of varied and interesting outfits. There is also the option to get more Miitomo coins via in-app purchases.
And if that’s not enough, users can try out the Miifoto feature, which lets them put their Mii characters in fun poses and use cool stamps, or combine their Mii image with photos they have taken themselves. These creations can then easily be posted to social media services like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Launching alongside Miitomo in March, My Nintendo aims to become much more than a traditional rewards program. It is a more comprehensive service that rewards users for interacting with Nintendo products and services in a variety of ways. Miitomo users with a Nintendo Account will be able to take advantage of My Nintendo to enhance their experience.