It is pretty clear that Nintendo has been waning for the past few years. With their Wii and Wii U console just not as advanced as their Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PS4) competitors, as well as the poor sales from the current gen Wii U, something big has to happen in order to get the company on the map again. That something big isn't coming in the form of a new game like The Legend of Zelda Wii U, but rather from a new mobile/social media service known as Miitomo. The release date for the game/service has been announced, and it could become a hit.
Phone Arena reports that Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo's president, has confirmed a March release date for the application Miitomo in a Japanese newspaper known as Mainichi Shimbun. There is no specific release date other than that, and there is also no word on a price, but it will probably be for free.
Miitomo isn't really a game per se, but it is a social media application that can utilize the Miis, the Avatar and animated emoji that has been in use since the birth of the Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii U took the Miis to the next level as it allowed the camera controller to be used to help create the face of the Mii based on the user, with some mixed results.
In short, Miitomo is made to be more of a social application where people will be talking using their Mii characters, but honestly, Facebook is really already doing something like this without the cute characters. It would appear that Nintendo wants to get a share in the mobile marketplace as well as the social media marketplace too. iDigitialTimes predicts that Nintendo will use its Miitomo as a starting point so they can soon bring some of their intellectual properties to the mobile market. One can easily imagine Mario and even Link from The Legend of Zelda going mobile as the phone suddenly becomes a new DS.
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 on this application, or presumably import one that they are already using on the Wii or Wii U, the user will answer a variety of questions that will lead to "communication starters" for real-world discussions. Isao Moriyasu, CEO of Nintendo's partner DeNA, stated that "communicating with friends who look like your friends in real life is a distinctly different feeling from text-based communication".
Getting people to talk is clearly part of Nintendo's plan to spread the word, and another part of Nintendo's plan is also to launch a new account service known as Nintendo Account. This will work on Nintendo's hardware devices as well as Mobile and PC platforms.
The March release date is actually a delay, and 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".