The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo on Wednesday announced the upcoming release of their much-anticipated first smartphone. The game is titled “Miitomo,” and will debut in Spring 2016.
The game will be a “Freemium” release, which will be free to download, but will include several “attractive add-ons” that players can buy via in-app purchases. Users will create their own avatars, (a “Mii”), that will allow them to communicate with other users.
Miis can communicate with other people’s Miis without a users knowledge, and Nintendo says the game will find ways “to encourage people who are hesitant to talk to share things about themselves” with other users.
While the game was initially targeted for a launch this year, the game has been delayed until March 2016. The company says one reason for the delay is Miitomo needs to be fully promoted and explained as to how the game works, and the Japanese game firm currently wants to concentrate on promoting other titles in the product pipeline.
The WSJ notes Nintendo’s development partner DeNA will focus on the operations of the games, indicating that Nintendo may be only designing the games.
Nintendo says although Miitomo is a free-to-play game, future titles will likely require a purchase to download. The company also announced a new “Nintendo Account” membership service, which will connect PC, Nintendo hardware, and smartphone users. The service will allow the transfer of game data between the platforms.