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Miitomo Is a Strong Start for Nintendo’s Mobile Strategy

Nadia Oxford, writing for US Gamer, shares some first impressions of Miitomo, Nintendo’s first iOS app that went live in Japan yesterday:

One of Tomodachi Life’s most appealing features made it into Miitomo, too: Outfit collection. Like its inspiration, Miitomo has tons of outfits and accessories for sale, and stock changes daily. You can also play a Pachinko-style game to win super-exclusive outfits. Which, by the way, is how I wound up blowing all my coins. I was trying to score a black cat ensemble. If Nintendo ever does get around to releasing Nintendo-themed costumes for the app’s Miis, I’m definitely going to live my life in perpetual Miitomo poverty.

Speaking of coins, there’s understandably been a lot of worry about how Nintendo will monetize Miitomo. From my angle, Miitomo is fair about in-app purchases. I was happy to see there’s no secondary “hard currency,” a staple of free-to-play games. Hard currency usually needs to be bought with real-world cash (though some games occasionally throw you a bone – or a diamond or gem, as the case may be), and often needs to be on-hand in order to acquire the game’s coolest accessories.

It sounds like Nintendo has thought this through – there are push notifications to keep you engaged a few minutes every day, there’s My Nintendo integration to unlock rewards, and you can even redeem DS games on the 3DS eShop by playing Miitomo on iOS. I still don’t know if this will catch on outside of Japan, but I’m curious to check it out.

See also: Jeff Benjamin’s video overview.