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Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima announced the publisher’s first major mobile game, and it doesn’t star a mustachioed plumber or sword-wielding elf adventurer. It’s called Miitomo and, as far as we can tell, it’s more of a social app than a standard game.
We should be used to Nintendo head-scratchers at this point, but I’m not sure anyone was expecting the publisher’s first big mobile game to turn out like it has. During last night’s press briefing, Kimishima gave the world its first glance at Miitomo, as well as revealed that the game will not launch until March of 2016.
Nintendo originally planned to launch its first mobile game by the end of the holiday season but, according to the recent press event, the publisher decided to allow for a bit of breathing room between promoting its big titles for the holiday and educating the public about its mobile plans.
Nintendo will likely launch a big holiday push for recent favorites like Splatoon, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Super Mario Maker, as well as upcoming games like Triforce Heroes (launching today) and Yo-Kai Watch, which arrives next week. Rather than have all of those games (And Amiibo, of course) share the spotlight with a new mobile marketing campaign, Nintendo has opted to push back the launch of its mobile platform to early next year.
Kind of a bummer if you were hoping to see the Nintendo logo on your smartphone during winter break, but it makes a heck of a lot of sense from a marketing standpoint.
As for Miitomo (Which we assume is short for tomodachi, the Japanese word for “friend”) it’s actually pretty similar to the Nintendo 3DS’ StreetPass functionality. You can design a Mii to your liking, then send it out into the world to meet other nearby Miis. During the press event, Kimishima said the focus of Miitomo is to promote communication between friends, giving them new and interesting topics to discuss while possibly allowing them to learn more about each other.
Again, we’re not entirely clear on the extent of Miitomo’s functionality, but its bizarre nature is par for the course for Nintendo. These left-field ideas pay off nicely half of the time for the Big N, so here’s hoping we see something impressive between now and next March.
This news comes in tangent with the shift to a “My Nintendo” account system, which will unite devices for players under a single account. We’re guessing that this will all tie in nicely with whatever Nintendo has planned for the NX, hopefully bringing your portable and home console, as well as mobile devices and PC under one Nintendo-shaped account umbrella.