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Nintendo Miitomo Release Date and Reason for Delay; Can the Company Compete in a Mobile Game World?

( [email protected] ) Oct 29, 2015 11:05 PM EDT
After many years, video game superpower Nintendo announced that it was finally going to get into the mobile marketplace with Miitomo, a free-to-play title. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima originally said that this mobile application would be available for mobile users like iOS and Android by the end of this year, but then confirmed rumors of its delay, saying that it might not be out until March of 2016.  This is all the news of Nintendo's Miitomo Release Date and the reason for the delay, giving doubts on whether Nintendo can compete in a mobile-game dominated world.
Miitomo, coming in March 2016. Nintendo

After many years, video game superpower Nintendo announced that it was finally going to get into the mobile marketplace with Miitomo, a free-to-play title. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima originally said that this mobile application would be available for mobile users like iOS and Android by the end of this year, but then confirmed rumors of its delay, saying that it might not be out until March of 2016.  This is all the news of Nintendo's Miitomo Release Date and the reason for the delay, giving doubts on whether Nintendo can compete in a mobile-game dominated world.

Miitomo isn't a game from the big gaming company, but it is a social networking application made to get people playing more games with each other, according to CNBC.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Miitomo looks more like a communications app with Mii avatars that can be ported to games on Nintendo hardware.  If you are not familiar with Mii avatars, they are the first thing that has to be constructed for yourself if you want to play the Nintendo Wii or Wii U consoles.  These Miis can be used as player characters in games, and they are fully customizable. 

Nintendo is working with a company known as DeNA so that free-to-play subscribers can "share information comfortably and securely".  After users create a Mii in this application, they answer a variety of questions that will lead to "communication starters" for real-world discussions.

Part of Nintendo's plan is also to launch a new account service known as Nintendo Account, and this will work on Nintendo's hardware devices as well as Mobile and PC platforms.  Reports from CNN Money has shown that investors were not impressed with what Nintendo was planning as shares from Nintendo tanked 9 percent, with DeNA shares falling at 15 percent. 

The reason for the delay of Miitomo until next spring has to do with what Kimishima says "to further improve the application and to optimize the overall smart device business".  It is possible that Nintendo's delay has to do with really getting this move right to dominate social media and the smartphone world. 

Adam Zuckerman of Fosterly, a resource for entrepreneurs, has stated that Nintendo is falling behind Sony and Microsoft on the mobile front.  Many see Nintendo's delay of Miitomo as another sign that the company has fallen behind.  The company dominated the video game industry in the late eighties with the NES, and later the Super Nintendo in the 90's.  The problem was that Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox were what gamers were going for, and Nintendo never seemed to put itself in that category of games. 

Granted, the Wii was a huge hit when it came out about ten years ago, but the follow-up with the Wii U has not been as strong, trailing behind Sony and Microsoft.  These latter two companies have a lot at stake in the mobile market, but Nintendo, which could make their video games available to the mobile market, just isn't doing that.  Although it seems like an obvious business choice to bring Mario to the mobile world, the company seems to prefer Amiibos and Super Mario Maker