If you’ve been following the news on Nintendo’s first smartphone app, you already know that it isn’t part of any of the company’s beloved game franchises, such as Mario, Metroid, or The Legend of Zelda. After a delay of over four months, the app had finally launched two weeks ago in Japan, and now we know that it will arrive in the US on March 31.
In addition to the US, Nintendo said that Miitomo will also make its way to other countries, with the list thus far including Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. The company is not ruling out a wider rollout, but did not offer details on when that might happen.
For those of you who don’t already know, Miitomo is more of a social experience rather than a game. The app allows users to create and customize ‘Miis’ - animated avatars that were first introduced on the Wii console – using a number of options for eyes, hair style, outfits, as well as choosing the way the characters speak, or how they express their personality.
Miitomo follows a free-to-play model, so it has to convince you to collect various items for customizing your Miis, which can be more easily obtained with real currency. After you’ve finished customizing your own Mii, you can use it to interact with other avatars, and the resulting reactions can net you varying amounts of virtual currency that you can use to buy new items in the store or unlock certain prizes.
Nintendo claims that the Miitomo app was downloaded more than a million times in the first two days following its release in Japan, and it’s important to note that if you have a Wii U or a Nintendo 3DS, you can import your existing Miis on your smartphone by simply scanning a QR code from within the Miitomo app.
In an effort to counter the investor negativity caused by the fall in profits that was reported for Q4 2015, Nintendo’s announcement suggests the existence of other projects for its mobile gaming venture, and the company openly admits that it has taken its sweet time in bringing its content to other platforms.
If you’re interested in Miitomo, know that it will be available on iOS and Android starting on March 31, and you can pre-register here. Nintendo is also launching a rewards program called My Nintendo along with Miitomo, which allows users to earn platinum and gold points that can be used to redeem free games, discount coupons, or gain access to bonus content.