And at last we have it! After months of rumors and whispers and promises of an announcement, we now know how Nintendo will take its first steps into the world of mobile gaming. They announced it at their Corporate Management Policy Briefing last night. For this big adventure, they’re not bringing Link. Or Bowser. Not even Mario! No, they’re bringing…the Miis, for a game called Miitomo.
In Miitomo, you create a Mii, and converse with it. It will ask you questions about yourself, and then in turn gossip about you to other Miis belonging to your friends. They will share information you gave them, and receive information about your friends, which they will in turn tell you. Nintendo’s marketing it as a “conversation starter”, stating it’s a way for friends to get to know each other better by asking questions they would not normally think to.
Miitomo will be free to play, with future add-ons planned, and is slated for release in March of 2016. This is later than was anticipated–we were expecting it this fall. Whether it’s the nature of the app (a fairly simple social app focusing on the Miis rather than on, say, Mario) or the delay, Nintendo Life is reporting some serious stock dropping after the announcement. Their shares closed 9% down on 20,945 yen and are losing gains made over the past month.
It’s an understandable reaction. For all the hype that Nintendo games of any sort seem to generate, Miitomo is…rather underwhelming. It looks like a combination of StreetPass and one of those conversation chat bots. Still, when you combine this announcement with Nintendo Accounts, allowing mobile device to talk to the gaming platforms, it’s possible that Miitomo may have some longevity and utility to it in relation to everything else Nintendo has planned. We’ll just have to wait and see.