Opinion: Miitomo is A-Okay

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Nintendo’s first-ever mobile app Miitomo is finally out in the wild. In less than a day, it’s taken Twitter and Facebook by storm and became the most downloaded app in North America. Miitomo is a social platform where users answer questions and share the answers with your friends under the anonymity of your Mii. For many, the fun will be in the Miifoto feature, which has already inspiring people to bring out the best and worst of their photo manipulating tendencies.

The truth is that Miitomo’s value lies in how Nintendo is tying in Nintendo consumers into their ecosystem. Miitomo being a social platform that ties into Facebook and Twitter is just the beginning. It’s really about the Nintendo Account and the My Nintendo services. Nintendo is using Miitomo as an incentive for users to buy and use Nintendo products. And surprisingly as a staunch long-time supporter of the company, I am OK with this.

Consider that Miitomo has a selection of Missions (aka achievements) that reward users with Platinum Coins. These can be rewarded for tasks as mundane as checking into Miitomo on a daily basis, for answering a select number of questions, getting hearts from your friends, and so on. There will be plenty of Miitomo users who may not already have a Nintendo system (despite them having a smart device). When those new users buy a Nintendo system, they’ll be able to generate Gold Points for purchasing games digitally straight from the eShop. This in turn opens a new tier of brand loyalty.

No doubt the hope from Nintendo is for new users to register for a Nintendo Account, then see that their newly minted Platinum Coins can earn full Nintendo releases. Then when they buy Nintendo games off of the eShop, they’ll earn Gold Points. Thus, they can redeem those points to earn more games. Miitomo proves to be a conduit for Nintendo to sell you more Nintendo products. The ability to earn free games as rewards to tapping into Nintendo’s vast eShop is an intriguing way to both hook in potential consumers and reinforce long-term loyalty in long-time fans.

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When Nintendo long ago said that their mobile applications would be the hook to encourage users to discover proper Nintendo hardware and software, they really meant it. I foresee the potential for Nintendo to grow their user base through Miitomo and My Nintendo. In an era where 3DS family sales aren’t as powerful as the DS had it in the late-2000s, and Wii U sales continue to fall off a cliff, anything to increase the number of Nintendo fans is a good idea. I’m already on board, but millions of people out there haven’t learned the full power of Nintendo.

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About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

When he's not writing about or playing all the great Nintendo games, Alex Irish works by day at a local book emporium, and the rest of the time, he illustrates and writes online. His favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. He also can tell you everything about animation history, from past to present.