A year after announcing its entrance into smartphone gaming, Nintendo will finally tap into the mobile market with all your Miis in tow, the company revealed today at an investors’ conference in Japan.
Despite its original intent, Nintendo announced that it’ll not be releasing a new smartphone game before the end of 2015 as they initially planned. Instead, it’ll be launching a free-to-play mobile app dubbed the Miitomo by March 2016, which it hopes will see a worldwide release.
Recently elected Nintendo chief executive Tatsumi Kimishima explained that Miitomo is designed for players to communicate through Miis. Your Mii avatar, which represents you on the Wii U home console’s and 3DS handheld’s online networks, will even go and communicate with others while you are not actively playing, akin to the 2014’s Tomodachi Life on 3DS.
Miitomo will be the first of five smartphone games from Nintendo and Japanese mobile partner DeNA by March 2017. Of these first five games, Nintendo claims that it won’t be porting any of its existing controller games to a touchscreen. Kimishima further claimed the company has a number of unannounced games for this holiday for the Wii U and 3DS despite there now being less than three months left in this calendar year.
The company does not enter the mobile market without criticism, though, particularly with its hardcore fanbase. Late Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata spoke at length last March on the need for the company to adapt to growing markets, but meanwhile promised that Nintendo intended to stick with the hardware business with a new platform codenamed NX.
While we have yet to see the full results of Nintendo’s mobile endeavors, it’ll be interesting to see what new ideas, if not new IPs, the Nintendo brand will bring to our phones in the year ahead.
Source: Wall Street Journal