Nintendo’s mobile strategy begins with Mii

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Nintendo's mobile strategy

Nintendo’s first mobile app was revealed Wednesday to be Miitomo, and it isn’t so much a game as it is a social network designed to encourage people to come out of their shells and meet others in a safe, very Nintendo-like way.

It’s also not coming out this year as originally planned, but is now targeted for a March 2016 release.

Nintendo's mobile strategyRevealed in a Tokyo investor meetingMiitomo will be a free download with upgrades available for purchase. It looks a lot like Miiverse and other Mii-based features of the Wii, Wii U and 3DS systems. (And it sounds something like a less-salacious version of Tinder, but for introverts.) The idea is to create Mii avatars and use them to overcome hesitance to communicate with others and discover new things about the friends you already know.

Future apps, which will be released between now and 2017, are expected to feature more familiar Nintendo intellectual property such as Mario and Zelda characters.

Meanwhile…

Looking beyond Nintendo’s mobile strategy, the company revealed there are several unannounced 3DS and Wii U titles to come before year’s end, and that its next console, still code-named NX, would make “aggressive” use of its rich back catalog of existing IP. According to creative genius Shigeru Miyamoto, “the first example is Amiibo. We want our IP to better reach more children, and smart devices is just one vehicle.”

They also talked a little bit about the replacement for the defunct Club Nintendo loyalty program, My Nintendo, and a cloud-based Nintendo Account system that will sync across all Nintendo consoles as well as apps for various devices and PCs.

Finally, the popular Nintedo Direct presentations, halted after the death of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata earlier this year, will resume in some form by the end of the year.

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