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Nintendo launching smartphone service with Mario Kart TV app

Nintendo will launch its smartphone service with its first mobile application tentatively titled Mario Kart TV to coincide with the release of Wii U title Mario Kart 8, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced during its financial results briefing today.

The application allows users to watch and share gameplay footage and screenshots, official and user-generated, as well as view rankings and official tips through the cross-platform interface. The service supports PC, mobile and tablet devices. It is not clear when or if the service will reach western markets.

"As I mentioned at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January, our policy is to establish consumer relationships based on accounts named Nintendo Network IDs, which are abbreviated as NNIDs," Iwata said. "This 'Mario Kart TV' (temp.) web service is available even for players without NNIDs, but by logging into the service with an NNID, they will be able to easily find their rankings, videos that their friends have shared, videos of tournaments in which they have participated, and it will be convenient to access this service through smart devices even when they are not at home."

Mario Kart 8 is slated to launch on May 30 for Wii U. The game features 16 new courses and 16 remixed classic courses, as well as 12-player online play and four-player local multiplayer.

During Nintendo's briefing for the fiscal year, where it posted a 46.4 billion yen operating loss ($456 million), the company revealed that it will release a line of Skylanders-style NFC action figurines and video games for Wii U and 3DS codenamed Nintendo Figurine Platform.