Thursday, 29 October 2015

New Nintendo Detail Drops

We're Back! Again! Today might be a good day. Maybe its because of a poking to return form the US (woo a fan), maybe because its Nintendo dropped a load of info or perhaps its because a 2 year old called me Zod this morning. (its totally the Zod thing BTW)

Today was day two of Nintendo's financial results and whilst day one was all mind numbing numbers and corporate talk. (Short version: Profits, hardware and software are up.) However day two has dropped some important details about Nintendo's future. We also learned nothing about the NX and that Directs will be returning this year but in a different format.

Nintendo Account/My Nintendo

Today Nintendo finally revealed its Club Nintendo replacement "My Nintendo", the new service will spread across the Wii U, 3DS, NX, PC and Smartphones. Not only will My Nintendo operate a rewards program like its predecessor that will reward players for buying games but also playing them. Whilst this wasn't elaborated on I suspect that this will be an achievement system that would payout the new programs currency. My Nintendo will also "transfer game data between mobile games and console games via cloud bases data service" at the moment we don't know what game data means. Could it mean save data (cross-play) or actual games (cross-buy)?

The rewards covers digital content, original merchandise and discounts.

Not only will the be the new service but also a new account system. Hoping to make the process easier the new Nintendo Account can be set up using not only Nintendo Network ID but also, Facebook, twitter, Google+ and, "email and password". We don't know what this means for the NNID itself; if that means its being retired or as a separate tier much like Microsoft's email and Gamertag are linked but separate tiers . On that note its interesting that Microsoft's email service isn't mentioned directly in the list of services being able to setting up an Nintendo Account. It appears that Nintendo account will also handle your friends list, creating one uniform list for all your Nintendo gaming across devices.

The Nintendo Account will apparently track your purchases, Which hopefully means it'll act like a Microsoft account and let you download games to another system. (currently Wii U purchases are locked to the one physical device and have to be transferred manually.)

Ultimately this sounds like they are merging Club Nintendo, Nintendo Premium and bits of Miiverse into one system. My Nintendo and Nintendo Account will launch in March 2016

IP War
Okay so maybe war is a little 'dramatic' but according to Mr Miyamoto Nintendo is going to use their IP aggressively and "beyond licencing". Whilst they refuse to elaborate what this means its worth noting that the Nintendo Account is said to also link up with Theme parks, Movie theaters and, retail outlets. This all lines up with a lot of interviews with Nintendo executives where they have stated their intent to push their IP beyond their own games. (this spawned the now infamous "link should be played by a girl" comment.)

Nintendo on Mobile
Nintendo has finally unveiled its first mobile game and true to their word it wasn't what people expected. The internet was expecting some money squeezing Mario endless runner but what we got was Miitomo.

Miitomo appears to be a heavily modified multiplayer version of Tomodachi Life spliced with Miiverse. Its described as a free-to-start communication application and judging from the official overview below will be a hit in Japan and very odd in the west.

"The main character of Miitomo is you. First, you create your own Mii.

The Mii asks you a variety of questions and communicates your answers with your Friends’ Mii.

The people you will be able to communicate with are limited to your friends whom you have registered as Friends. We are designing this communication application to enable Friends to share information comfortably and securely.

In this way, instead of the users proactively sending their own messages, Miitomo has a unique characteristic that can be called “friendly communication starters” as your Mii will automatically dispatch the answers you gave to certain questions to your friends.

These “friendly communication starters” have an advantage that even the people who are less willing to send messages can easily participate. Another unique characteristic of Miitomo is that you may be able to find out unknown aspects about your friends or unexpected commonalities you share with your friend because Miitomo may pick up the topics that you usually do not discuss but would be willing to answer if asked.

What we would like to realize is, through such communication, you will be able to deepen friendly relationships and have more people with whom you can play games.

Both My Nintendo and Miitomo will be available in March 2016.

For reference, more than 200 million Mii characters have been created on our platforms, which means that many people around the world understand the appeal of Mii."

It dose sound like the sort of thing that will make millions in IAP's whilst the rest of the gaming community stands there confused that it's even making money.

Abe's Take
This all sounds rather promising and modern for Nintendo and sounds like a good foundation for the NX. I do like the sound of both My Nintendo and Nintendo Account. Admittedly I am a little down on Miitomo simply because its not a "game game" but I'm pretty sure Nintendo is entering the mobile market to make money, not to revolutionize it and Miitomo sounds like an IAP paradise.

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