Nintendo Outlines 'My Nintendo' Program, Announces Pre-Registration For 'Miitomo'


My Nintendo online service is expected to be launched in mid-March in Japan and later in that month in other regions. Pre-registration of Miitomo, the company’s smartphone game, are expected to start from Feb. 17.
(Photo : Ian Muttoo | Flickr)

Nintendo has outlined details of the My Nintendo loyalty program to investors. The company has also announced pre-registration for Miitomo, Nintendo’s first mobile game, or entertainment app.

My Nintendo will be Nintendo’s new online service, which will replace the company’s Club Nintendo rewards program.

Nintendo’s new online service will start in mid-March only in Japan and then in other parts of the world later that month. My Nintendo will have a number of new features such as cloud data services, friend management and more. The video game company is estimating that about 100 million users will register for the service.

Nintendo announced that it will start prelaunch registration for Miitomo soon. According to a tweet by @Cheesemeister, pre-registration for Miitomo will start on Feb. 17.

Nintendo unveiled Miitomo in October 2015 but it failed to impress gamers and investors because it looked like a messaging or social networking app than a video game.

Tatsumi Kimishima, the CEO of Nintendo, says that Miitomo will include one of the company’s popular characters but did not specify which one.

Mobile games industry is growing at a very fast pace and Nintendo does not want to be left behind. On Tuesday, Nintendo announced its third quarter earnings call. The company revealed that its operating profit was boosted by improved downloadable games sales rather than traditional, packaged games.

The high popularity of smartphones that allow users to play games on them has affected Nintendo’s gaming devices. Competition from rivals such as Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 has also put a showdown on the company’s game devices.

Market analysts estimate that Miitomo will help Nintendo to increase its earning in the near term. Miitomo is built around communications features, which means that users will not have to spend a lot for add-on items.

Nintendo is developing the free to download game under project code name NX. Analysts are hoping that Nintendo will unveil NX in spring and possibly release it in October or November this year.

“Nintendo’s NX and smartphone games will be a test case for the videogame industry’s trend of trying to merge smart-device games and console-based games,” says Junko Yamamura, an analyst at Nomura Securities.

Analysts suggest that free to download games may attract users who do not want to pay to play games but it may get difficult for the game developer to generate revenue from such games unless they are ranked as one of the most downloaded titles.

Photo: Ian Muttoo | Flickr

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