Nintendo Announces First Smartphone Game — But It’s Not What You Expected

Yesterday the Inquisitr reported that, amidst a drop in sales, Nintendo would be unveiling its first original smartphone game on Thursday. That day has arrived, and news of the first Nintendo mobile device game is here — if you can even call it a game.

Despite promising tons of smartphone games featuring popular franchise characters like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, Nintendo’s first venture into the iOS and Android market is more of a social networking app. According to Fortune, the game is called Miitomo, and it allows Nintendo players to use their customized Mii characters to communicate with other gamers across the world.

The Nintendo app will be available on both Apple iPhone and Android devices.

There aren’t any specific details about how the Nintendo smartphone “game” will be used, but it’s designed to encourage people to play games with each other across a global network called My Nintendo, which will release alongside Miitomo. My Nintendo will allow players to connect their devices to their home computers and home Nintendo consoles, and save their game data to the cloud.

New Nintendo smartphone game.
Miitomo screenshot, photo courtesy of Nintendo.

Current Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed the first details about the game to a group of investors in Tokyo, claiming Miitomo is a “communication application that helps friends share fun personal facts and interests.”

Always concerned for the privacy of their users, Nintendo has also promised that the app will “enable friends to share information comfortably and securely.”

With the announcement came both bad news and good news. The bad? The Nintendo smartphone game has already been delayed. Miitomo is slated to come out in March 2016, which is three months later than Nintendo originally intended to release it.

The Nintendo President explained that the delay was necessary to “further improve the application and to optimize the overall smart device business.”

But the good news is the app is completely free to play — at least in part. Once the Nintendo game is on your phone or mobile device, there will be in-app purchases available to you.

According to the Verge, Miitomo is the first of five smartphone games that Nintendo will develop in collaboration with the independent development studio DeNA. It appears that this social networking app will be the only one of its kind in the bunch, with the subsequent Nintendo titles featuring more traditional gameplay and costing a bit of money to download.

Nintendo fans try out the Wii U at E3. The Wii U will have HD graphics, a controller with a 6.2 inch. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The announcement of Miitomo is unexpected in yet another way, because Nintendo has already tried their hand at creating a social networking app. The Miiverse feature of the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS essentially fill the role of what Miitomo is claiming to be.

Players are able to create a custom Nintendo Mii avatar, share it across the internet, communicate with other players, share friend codes, and play together. While Miitomo will be the first Nintendo app to bring these features to smartphones, it does have some people wondering why they didn’t simply continue the Miiverse app to mobile devices.

For those who are deeply disappointed in the announcement of Miitomo, there have already been a few other Nintendo smartphone games teased by the company. This includes the smartphone-exclusive sequel to the popular Nintendo 3DS game Fantasy Life, as well as the new augmented reality game Pokémon Go, which allows players to battle Pokémon in the real world.

What do you think about the first Nintendo smartphone game? Would you download it? Would you even call it a Nintendo game? Leave your thoughts below.

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images]