Nintendo's social networking app Miitomo and revamped rewards program My Nintendo will be available to Australian iOS and Android users late this Thursday.
30 March 2016: Australian Nintendo fans will finally get their hands on Nintendo's social networking app Miitomo some time late this Thursday. The "free-to-start" (that's a new one) iOS and Android application has received an overwhelming response in Japan where it launched just 13 days ago, accumulating more than one million downloads.
Nintendo's answer to The Sims, (if you don't count the already existing Tomodachi Life), Miitomo allows players to customise their Mii's features and interact with other Miis. However, this time players will be interacting with real people. Users make friends in Miitomo by linking it with their social networks like Facebook or Twitter or by discovering other users nearby.
With Miitomo, Nintendo hope to encourage some unique conversations between friends and strangers. Once a Mii is created, the user will then be asked to answer a series of unique questions like:
- How would you define your fashion style?
- What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- If you were given ten grand to spend in one day, what would you do?
The answers to these questions are shared amongst friends and/or strangers (your choice) and act as conversation fuel, or an ice breaker of sorts.
Along side Miitomo, Nintendo will also launch its new rewards program My Nintendo, officially replacing Nintendo Network.
Nintendo are incentivising the transition from Nintendo Network by offering up free Platinum Points to those who sign up before March 31st. Platinum points are generally earned by interacting with apps and Nintendo services, whereas Gold points are earned by purchasing digital content from the Nintendo eShop.
We signed up using our old Nintendo Network details and it couldn't have been easier, but you can also sign up using your Google, Facebook or Twitter account. Signing up with your Nintendo Network will save you the hassle of creating another Mii.
If users sign up before the end of April, they will also score a free download of the animation app Flipnote Studio 3D for Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo Australia have not confirmed what time Miitomo will become available to download in Australia, but our best guess would be around 3:00 AEST when the app drops at midnight in th US.
Miitomo launch trailer
What is Miitomo?
Miitomo sees users create Mii characters - avatars that are linked to the user’s Nintendo Network account - and then through these little virtual beings communicate with other players, revealing details about themselves. It appears to most closely resemble the 3DS title Tomodachi Life, in that it is a social/life simulation about forming and building a virtual world around relationships.
The intriguing inspiration for the game was shyness. Nintendo hoped to solve this social issue that many people suffer by allowing them to “break the ice” with other humans through their Mii character. So even when you’re not playing, your Mii character will be off meeting individuals and sharing your stories and information. For the socially challenged, or simply lonely, it will be interesting to see how this mechanic impacts their lives.
The game will be free-to-start, with in-app purchases available for those who want to augment the experience by dressing up their Mii character with additional content and (it would seem from the use of the phrase “free-to-start”) to reach the end game. Outside of these raw details, the only other real information currently released by Nintendo comes in the form of the following statement:
"Miitomo a free-to-start communication application that helps friends share fun personal facts and interests. Consumers create and use their own Mii characters to engage friends in a welcoming social environment, answering questions and sharing information to discover more about each other and what they have in common. Miitomo is designed to appeal to a wide range of global smart device users and introduce them to uniquely Nintendo experiences beginning with Miitomo and carried through future applications."
Without knowing too much else, Miitomo - which means Mii Friends in Japanese - is less a game and more a gateway product to get smartphone users signing up for the Nintendo Network. It gets them building Mii characters and forming relationships with other users or fans in the process. This profile and friendships formed will then carry across to other mobile (and no doubt console and handheld) games down the track.
Certainly the use of the word “application” as opposed to game by Nintendo is an intriguing one that suggests much about the company’s intent with Miitomo.