Miitomo Question
A screenshot from the Miitomo app. Screenshot

Nintendo has announced that its Miitomo social networking mobile app and new My Nintendo loyalty service will launch on Thursday, 31 March. The news follows the launch of the app in Japan last week and marks the first major milestone in a very important year for the Kyoto firm.

The free-to-play app will launch in the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States and Canada. The My Nintendo service will launch in all of the above as well as Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and more.

A Nintendo press release describes the app as so:

"Getting started with Miitomo and being a part of this Nintendo milestone is easy. After downloading the app for free from the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, along with Android devices, users create a Mii character and customise facial features like eyes and hair, as well as voice and personality. Users can also use the camera on their smart devices to snap a photo of themselves, which can be used to create a Mii, or they can simply import their Mii from their Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system using a QR Code.

"Once their Mii is ready, users can add friends who already have the app in person, or by linking the app with their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. After that step is complete, it's time to answer some questions! Miitomo creates conversations and turns discussions into a form of play by prompting users to answer all kinds of fun questions. How would you define your fashion style? What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten? If you were given ten grand to spend in one day, what would you do? The answers get shared among friends, sparking interesting conversations – part of the fun is discovering unexpected facts about your friends. When users hear how their friends respond to questions, they can give answers, a 'heart', or a written or picture comment."

Here's how Nintendo describes the My Nintendo service:

"My Nintendo is much more than a rewards programme: it's a comprehensive service that also rewards users for interacting with Nintendo products and services in a variety of ways. Miitomo users who link the app to their Nintendo Account will be able to take advantage of My Nintendo to enhance their experience. Platinum Points can be earned by interacting with Nintendo apps and services, including Miitomo. Gold Points are earned when purchasing downloadable games from the official Nintendo website or Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Both Platinum and Gold Points can be redeemed for rewards like games, download content, in-app items and Nintendo eShop discounts."

Miitomo and My Nintendo are the first products of Nintendo's partnership with mobile developer DeNA. The former is the first of five apps, including games, which Nintendo plans to launch this year.

Users are still able to pre-register for Miitomo here before 31 March to receive an email when the app is available to download.

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