Nintendo has announced that Miitomo, its first smartphone game, will be launching in the US and Europe on March 31st. The company had previously promised a "March" release outside of Japan, so, with only a few days remaining, we were starting to wonder if the app had been delayed. Clearly there was no need to worry. It'll be available on iOS and Android, with the option to import a Wii U or 3DS Mii using a QR code.
Miitomo is a social app that has you building a Mii and then answering questions written by Nintendo. The responses -- which are usually insightful or funny -- are then shared amongst your friends, sparking further comments and reactions. Taking part in these exchanges will net you coins which you can then use to buy new clothes in the shop. Customisation is a clear draw here, and some of the rarer items can only be unlocked by taking part in a pinball-style mini game, which requires coins either unlocked through the game or purchased with real money.
The second element is Miifoto, a feature that lets you snap your Mii in various poses. You can choose different backgrounds and even import your own, creating barmy pictures that are perfect for sharing on social media.
It's these addictive qualities that Nintendo hopes will make Miitomo a success. The app has already attracted one million downloads in Japan, which bodes well for its international release. On Thursday Nintendo will also be launching My Nintendo, a program that rewards players for buying digital games and using apps like Miitomo. The scheme will coincide with an "enhanced Wii U and Nintendo 3DS shop" that will be based on Nintendo.com. For now, it will exist alongside the Nintendo eShop, although we suspect the older stores will eventually be merged or shut down -- mostly likely when the Nintendo NX launches.