Nintendo reveals Miitomo, its first smartphone game

Delays release until March 2016.

Nintendo has unveiled Miitomo, the company's first game designed specifically for smartphones, which will launch in March 2016.

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Miitomo is a game based around your Mii avatars, which will chat to your friends' Miis about information you choose to share.

It looks like a cross between 3DS life sim Tomodachi Life and a traditional messaging system - although you won't be the one doing the talking.

Nintendo had said it would launch its first smartphone game before the end of 2015. No reason was given for the delay.

Miitomo will be "free-to-start", suggesting that you will be able to buy all manner of extras - we're guessing Mii extras such as clothing, just like Microsoft's own Xbox Avatars.

Load up Miitomo and you will be asked to make a Mii (or, presumably, import an existing avatar saved to your Nintendo Network ID).

Miis look similar to their current design on 3DS and Wii U, although now dressed in proper clothes (which may be where the microtransactions come in).

Your Mii will then start a conversation with you, for example asking you about your hobbies. This information will then be nattered about by your friends' Mii characters, and any shared interests will be highlighted.

"Instead of the users proactively sending their own messages, Miitomo has a unique characteristic that can be called 'friendly communication starters' as your Mii will automatically dispatch the answers you gave to certain questions to your friends," Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima explained today in an investor briefing.

"These 'friendly communication starters' have an advantage that even the people who are less willing to send messages can easily participate.

"Another unique characteristic of Miitomo is that you may be able to find out unknown aspects about your friends or unexpected commonalities you share with your friend because Miitomo may pick up the topics that you usually do not discuss but would be willing to answer if asked.

"What we would like to realise is, through such communication, you will be able to deepen friendly relationships and have more people with whom you can play games."

Nintendo is planning four more smartphone games, all of which it expects to release before the end of March 2017.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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