The Miitomo release date hasn’t arrived, but Nintendo is already laying the groundwork for the public release of its first experience on iPhone and Android. The company launched early sign ups for its Nintendo Accounts system this week, letting users earn points for its loyalty program and reserve their username ahead of the app’s launch.
Nintendo announced that it was letting users create Nintendo Accounts ahead of the Miitomo release yesterday. Nintendo is in the midst of a large-scale revamp of its online experience. Revealed last year, Nintendo Accounts will offer a single sign in point for all of Nintendo’s experiences going forward. Getting the system up and working is a core part of Nintendo’s attempt to revamp itself for a new generation.
Many suspect that Pokemon Go for Android and iPhone will use Nintendo Accounts. It’s a pretty safe bet that the rumored Nintendo NX handheld and Nintendo NX living room console will make use of Nintendo Accounts too.
Nintendo of America confirmed that the company is allowing Nintendo Account creation in a short press release sent to Gotta Be Mobile. Right now, the company is focusing the process squarely on getting the word out about Miitomo. When users sign up for a Nintendo Account on the Miitomo website they get Platinum Points applied to their My Nintendo Rewards, another new service launching from Nintendo soon.
Besides claiming their account and My Nintendo Points, those that sign up get a notification the moment Nintendo begins to rollout out Miitomo to the world. Nintendo confirmed last year that it’d be partnering with mobile game developer DeNA to deliver its characters and franchises to smartphones. Ironically, Miitomo isn’t a game. As described, it’s a mobile messaging app that uses Nintendo Accounts and Mii characters. It’s often compared to iMessages, with customizable characters. Miitomo users will be able to purchase new character add-ons and more.
“Miitomo is a free-to-start social experience that lets you spark conversations with your friends in a whole new way.” Mii characters first debuted with the Nintendo Wii and Wii Sports. Since then, they’ve spawned a few imitators. Microsoft lets users create Xbox Avatars to represent them on its Xbox Live service. The characters are available from within the Xbox Smartglass on most platforms.
Nintendo isn’t using the this occasion to reveal a final Miitomo release date, nor is it discussing any of the games it’s planning to launch after Miitomo arrives in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
The company does describe how the Miitomo experience will work. Once signed in, Miitomo users will be able to quickly create their Mii character using the app’s creation tools. Users that don’t want to do it the old-fashioned way can use the camera on their smartphone or tablet to take a picture of themselves and have the app create a Mii character for them. Mii characters already made on the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS are imported into the app using a GQ Code, Nintendo says.
Adding a new social media or messaging account gets daunting when you need to manually import friends and family. Thankfully, Nintendo and DeNA have thought about that already. The app that users download on Miitomo release day will include Facebook and Twitter connection options. Die-hards can import their contacts from those two social networks with a few button presses, instead of manually adding everyone they know. Oddly, Miitomo asks users for information, then quizzes friends on what they know and don’t know about each other. “part of the fun is discovering surprise facts about your friends that you never knew before,” Nintendo says.
Like free-to-play games, Miitomo has its own in-game currency. Currency is earned for participating in chats, or users can simply buy more in-game currency with real money. Called coins, the currency is used for outfits and character accessories.
We only know that the Miitomo release date is happening sometime this March.