Nintendo delays first smartphone game

02/11/2015

Nintendo has announced its first smartphone 'game', but delayed its launch from the end of the year until next March.

As some predicted, it was not a Super Mario game, but "Miitomo", an app in which players create their own avatars to talk to each other.

The company's share price fell as much as 10 percent on the news.

But one analyst said it was a typically cautious and prudent first step into smartphone gaming from Nintendo.

Nintendo said that Miitomo would be a "free-to-start communication application". Players would create their own Mii avatars, which they could use to chat to other players, it said at a launch event in Tokyo on Thursday. It will also reportedly feature in-app purchases.

The features have more in common with a social network than a traditional Nintendo game.

Miitomo was designed as an introduction to Nintendo's other, yet to be announced, smartphone gaming efforts, the firm said, adding that it planned to have five apps ready by the end of March 2017.

"Miitomo is exactly in line with how Nintendo should be approaching mobile. It is the ideal toe-dip for the company and its fans," said mobile expert Steve Bailey, of IHS Analysis.

"The first thing people did on the Wii and 3DS was to create a personal, social presence. This is Nintendo replicating that for mobile.

"I don't expect it to be a rousing stand-alone success. This is an exploratory effort and one whose role will be complementary to a broader catalogue of games going forward," he added.
In a statement, Nintendo said it would "consider any and all Nintendo IP as candidates for future apps".

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