Nintendo’s first ever mobile app just launched. I’m still trying to find my words here. I don’t know what to make of Miitomo. I don’t know what to make of Nintendo’s strategy. I guess let’s start by looking at a video I took while playing this afternoon.

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You start by linking your Nintendo Network ID with your app, or signing up for a new account. I was able to link my same account that I’ve used for years, which is the same account on my Wii/WiiU and on the new My Nintendo.

Once you have your accounts created or linked you can import or design your new Mii. After that, you’re all set! You enter the world of Miitomo which, from what I can tell, is pretty much just your one room apartment. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I can’t figure out how to leave. I just walk around this room.

The main “gameplay” — a term I will use looser than I have ever used it before — is about answering questions and divulging all of your information to Nintendo’s marketing team your friends. The point? Um, to share? I guess?

My wife and I are “playing” Miitomo together. We’re friends. She will occasionally stop by my place and ask me questions. I’ll give her answers, I’ll ask her questions, etc. It’s just a swapping of information regarding the strangest topics. We enjoy the cuteness of answering questions for each other.

You earn coins for answering questions, and you spend them buying your Mii outfits. You can also buy your coins with real money, but I can’t imagine why you would. I’m reminded of the Xbox Live avatar stuff. You can also spend your coins or tickets on playing games that remind me of Pachinko. You’ll earn goodies and clothes by playing.

Being completely honest, it’s kinda dumb. I’m trying to figure out their play. This wreaks of ‘Weird Nintendo’ which might be a mixture of Japanese culture and tactics for hitting some demographic with which I can’t identify. I want to be prophetic here and say that I foresee this as being just a tech demo or a test of their tech to see if they can integrate My Nintendo with an app. We’re all part of some experiment that will eventually contribute to the world’s best social integration mechanics ever. But then again, it could simply be nothing more than Nintendo being weird.

I’m giving this a 5/10 because I think there’s a small chance I might have missed something. Otherwise, I’m not sure this can even be reviewed.

  • You’re fifteen, maybe twenty, years too old to be in the target demographic for this, I would estimate. In the current cultural climate that’s a generation gap of unbridgeable proportions. We haven’t seen ideological and philosophical separation between the generations on anything like this scale since the 1960s.

    It’s going to get more pronounced, too. A lot more. Prepare to be very confused very often. And to start feeling old.

  • This is the saddest bunch of shit I’ve ever seen. Does the game come up with the topics? So the target generation is so bad at eliciting values from others that they need to have their hand held?

    I have a 15, 12 and 3 year old, so I think I’ve dodged this bullet with the 15 and 12 year old (there is no way they would this entertaining…). Now I just have to strategize for the 3 year old to mitigate this eventuality.

  • No sorry. I’m old, but 12 year olds in the US are not going to like this either. It’s like some bad AI which just spits back at you what you what you just said. So, not really AI at all. My guess is that’s why they are doing this.

    I actually used to be a member of the “Japanese business group” (ok that sounds way more famous and important than it really was) a long time ago. Back when if they had a meeting, all the US women in the office were literally expected to drop everything and get them coffee. You can imagine they were all a little pissed. Years before they thought to sue, sadly.

    Anyway, this whole thing looks a little like that to me. Sadly out of touch, way behind IBM and Apple, and just sad.

  • Weirdly, my friends have been having fun with it and gotten me to pick it up. Honestly not sure I could tell you why. I think the voices reading my friends’ answers and our comments, combined with miifoto, has been fun. However, I really doubt it has much staying power, but we’ll see. We’re all mid to late 20 somethings, for reference.