Nintento has confirmed that its first smartphone game will launch not earlier than March 2016 rather than this year as originally planned, delaying the company's plans to cash in on the growing market for games on smartphones. The company's president Tatsumi Kimishima said on Thursday that the mobile game, called Miitomo, will actually be a social application that lets users share information with other users via avatars called Mii.
The game is likely to be a disappointment for gamers who had expected the popular character Mario to figure in the first smartphone game from Nintendo.
Nintendo first smartphone game from the alliance between Nintendo and DeNA was scheduled to be available later this year, with about five titles in all planned to be released by March 2017.
Kimishima on Thursday also said the company was setting up a membership service, called "My Nintendo," which would connect users through a cloud across a variety of devices including consoles and smartphones. "My Nintendo will work as a bridge between dedicated game systems and smart devices," Kimishima said.
Nintendo plans to introduce a new account system. USers will be able to log in with their Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts. Alternatively, they will be able to log in with a combination of their email addresses and their passwords, or continue continue using their Nintendo Network IDs.
The name of this new account system is "Nintendo Account." With Nintendo Account as the basis, the company will provide new membership services, such as purchasing digital download software for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS though Nintendo's website, purchase records and play records.
Miitomo will be a free-to-start type communication application for smart devices, which will push forward the My Nintendo membership service.
As we previously mentioned, the main character of Miitomo is the user. First, users will create their own Mii. The Mii will asks them a variety of questions and communicates their answers with their Friends’ Mii.
The people users will be able to communicate with are limited to their friends whom they have registered as Friends.
In this way, instead of the users proactively sending their own messages, Miitomo has a unique characteristic that can be called "friendly communication starters" as each Mii will automatically dispatch the answers users gave to certain questions to their friends.
These "friendly communication starters" have an advantage that even the people who are less willing to send messages can easily participate.
Another characteristic of Miitomo is that users may be able to find out unknown aspects about their friends or unexpected commonalities they share with their friends because Miitomo may pick up the topics that users usually do not discuss but would be willing to answer if asked.
"What we would like to realize is, through such communication, you will be able to deepen friendly relationships and have more people with whom you can play games," said Kimishima.
Both My Nintendo and Miitomo will be available in March 2016.