Nintendo moves toward mobile app marketplace

Nintendo announced development plans at Japan’s Investors Meeting in October to release a smartphone application in spring 2016. It will merge traditional gaming with social media in an effort to move the company into next-generation technology.

Miitomo, the title of the new smartphone application, allows player-to-player communications through the use of customized Mii Avatars that were previously introduced to players on Nintendo’s Wii, WiiU and 3DS.

“(Miitomo) looks like it will be pretty fun,” said Caleb Hawkins, California Baptist University alumnus. “It would allow me to keep in touch with my gaming friends better. I hope (the game) has fun mini-games to play with people.”

The application will be free-to-play and include micro-transaction software that charges players for additional items. Accessories include  items such as blue-colored eyes or a thick black beard for Mii Avatars.

The game bears a resemblance to the game “Tomodachi Life” released in 2013 for Nintendo’s 3DS, which incorporated personal Mii Avatars created on the device and placed them on a deserted island to interact with an assortment of other avatars.

Some members of the Nintendo fanbase anticipate the smartphone application will continue the gaming legacy established in 1889.

“I remember playing Donkey Kong Jr. for the first time when I was about 8 years old,” said Jorge Torres-Ortega, 25, GameStop associate. “I still break out my (Nintendo) 64 from time to time.”

Nintendo fans were first exposed to Nintendo’s use of micro-transaction software for Android and iOS applications Aug. 24 in “Pokemon Shuffle.”

Pokémon Shuffle is a free downloadable game for Nintendo 3DS, Android and iOS.

“It is a puzzle game in which you defeat your Pokemon opponents by matching three or more tiles to attack,” Hawkins said. “Overall, it’s a cute little game to pass the time.”

The Pokemon spin-off had similarities to puzzle games such as Candy Crush or Bubble Mania, but Miitomo will be its own stand-alone mobile title, despite its roots on Nintendo’s console and handheld systems.

About Jessica Brown

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