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Nintendo’s First Mobile App, Miitomo, Launches At No 1

03/21/2016

Nintendo’s First Mobile App, Miitomo, Launches At No 1

We blogged about the impending launch of Miitomo back in February, and it would seem that Nintendo’s foray into the world of smartphone apps has hit the mark in the Kyoto giant’s home country. The free messaging-based application launched on Friday and immediately climbed to number 1 among social-networking apps in Apple’s App Store in Japan, knocking Line, the country’s (ex) most popular instant messenger into second place.

 

The app lets users generate a cartoon avatar from a photo, customising facial features, personality and voice, and then starts to ask questions ranging from “what did you do last weekend?” to “what’s your favourite kind of uniform?”. Answers are rewarded with virtual coins which can then be exchanged for clothes, accessories etc for the avatar. Users are encouraged to share their in-app selfies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Line and incentivised to connect with friends.

 

Miitomo, a play on “me” and “friend” in Japanese, is currently only available in Japan, but is to be launched in 15 more countries later this month, and plans have been outlined to roll out an additional 5 mobile apps by March 2017.

 

"We had a good start and have received very positive feedback," Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said, declining to disclose the number of downloads. "Miitomo will continue to evolve."

 

Atul Goya, an analyst at Jeffries Group LLC had this to say: "This should remove any doubts about the Nintendo brand's relevancy in the smartphone age. More than just a messaging tool, Miitomo can be a platform for distributing Nintendo content, and probably third-party content at a later stage."

 

Now THAT could be interesting, and open up a whole new market for Nintendo.

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