Nintendo launched pre-registration for Miitomo, its first smartphone app, early Wednesday morning. The free-to-start application's website offers Nintendo fans a chance to sign up early for the forthcoming release, along with what to expect from it when it launches in March.
Miitomo starts off with users creating their own Mii character. This works similarly to how it does on Nintendo's home and handheld consoles — users select facial features and can even have the app conjure up a Mii for them based off a picture taken with a smart device's camera. Miitomo also gives players control over how their Mii speaks and what their personality is.
After having crafted an avatar, users can find friends either through Nintendo Account-enabled social media connectivity or "in-person," according to Nintendo. When meeting each other, Miis come prepared with questions. The crux of the gameplay is answering these inquiries, which friends can then respond to via text, pictures or simple heart icons.
There's also the Miifotos mode, allowing players to create pictures starring their own Miis alongside those of their friends. Backgrounds can be culled both from a pre-existing set within the app or from a Miitomo user's own photo gallery. After decorating these custom images, there's an option to feed them directly to Instagram and other connected social media platforms.
Nintendo has referred to Miitomo as a free-to-start app since it was first unveiled last fall, and the company has now revealed how microtransactions will factor into play. Players can amass Miitomo coins throughout their experience, which can be spent on a variety of clothes to further personalize Miis. Although it's not known yet at what rate or how, exactly, Miitomo coins are collected, users also have the option to purchase the in-game currency within the app.
A release date for the iOS and Android app hasn't been revealed yet. A Nintendo Account, which players can also register for now, will be required to fully access Miitomo when it does arrive. The company confirmed in spring 2015 that it would be partnering with developer DeNA to enter the mobile market.
Nintendo said it expects to launch a total of five mobile games by March 2017. Future releases will make use of existing IP.