Nintendo kicks off a new era, launches its first mobile game
After years of ignoring the mobile market, Nintendo just released its first ever mobile title for smartphones. It’s a free-to-play game known as Miitomo, and it’s due out in March 2016.
In some ways, the name of the game tells you everything you need to know. The “Mii” refers to the name of Nintendo’s avatars, known as “Miis,” while “tomo” is the Japanese word for “friend.”
According to Kotaku, Miitomo is a social game that is designed for players who may not be the most sociable people to begin with. Players will start by creating their Miis; to do so they will answer a few questions, and the answers will then pair them with likeminded people. The game will be free, but there will be plenty of microtransactions.
The game will connect with Nintendo’s recently announced “My Nintendo,” which is described as a way to connect consoles and smartphones. More will be shown off later.
According to WSJ, this is the first of five smartphone games planned between March 2016 and 2017.
For years Nintendo fought the idea of developing, or even licensing its titles for the smartphone market. Recent poor financial results have convinced the company otherwise though, and in March of 2015, it confirmed its plans to expand.
The new game is the first major announcement under the new leadership of Tatsumi Kimishima, who recently took over as Nintendo president after the untimely death of Satoru Iwata.
Kimishima isn’t responsible for the mobile game – it was in the works long before he took over – but it is another sign that Nintendo is changing.
Along with the expansion into the mobile field, Nintendo is preparing the new Nintendo NX, which is rumored to combine console and handheld devices. More than that though, the new console is expected to use the most modern chipsets; that will likely increase the price.
If the new console is like Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, it will probably be sold at a loss, at least at first.
That is something Nintendo has fought against in the past, but this is a new day. Nintendo is changing its strategies from the way it creates content to the content itself.
Nintendo is not the same company that it was even a year ago. Time will tell if that’s a good thing or not.