Nintendo has always danced to its own tune. While other tech giants like Sony or Microsoft have garnered experience to spare in the world of smartphones and tablets, with all sorts of official dashboard apps as well as in-house gaming apps, the fathers of Super Mario have remained on the sidelines of the latest mobile business models. Until now, that is. This Thursday the company publicly confirmed what the first official Nintendo app for smartphones will be like: its name is Miitomo, and it’s a sort of social network, chat, and news combo starring the Miis.

Tantumi Kimishima, CEO of Nintendo, together with other company heavyweights like Shigeru Miyamoto, gave a short presentation that placed special emphasis on the company’s plans. Miitomo, which comes out in March 2016, will be the first of five games developed by the DeNA studio, which specializes in social games, under Nintendo’s mentorship after the latter bought up some 10% of the studio’s shares.

miitomo-nintendo

The app will be free-to-play and offer in-app purchases to power interactions between users. It’s still not very clear what it will look like, but it seems like it might be some sort of extension of your Nintendo account (itself currently under transformation after the close of the veteran Club Nintendo and the launch of the My Nintendo points system), letting you interact with players while also functioning as an information source for the company’s products.

NX, the console currently under development at Nintendo, is still a mystery, but it seems that the company has finally left its bubble to dabble in other business models. This trend is exemplified by other companies like Konami, who’ve practically abandoned the traditional development model and release of console games to focus on other markets. Obviously not great news for the industry overall.

Source | Official Nintendo webpage | Wall Street Journal

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