Miitomo is now available to everyone. Today Nintendo released its first smartphone app — a quirky social network built in collaboration with Japanese mobile studio DeNA — globally, after it made its debut in Japan earlier in March. The app was downloaded more than one million times in its first three days of availability, causing Nintendo's stock to jump more than eight percent in Japan.
Miitomo was originally unveiled last October, as the first of a multi-game collaboration between Nintendo and DeNA. It doesn't star any of the company's biggest characters, but instead is a strange blend of the Miiverse social network on the Wii U and 3DS game Tomodachi Life. You can interact with friends by asking them questions, and dress-up your Mii avatar and pose them for pictures. There's also a pachinko mini-game to play. The app is free-to-play, so features like new clothes for your character can be purchased with real cash. Nintendo has promised that its later mobile releases will be more traditional games starring recognizable Nintendo characters.
The mobile initiative comes at an important time for Nintendo, as the company is in the midst of a massive shift. Not only is it moving into mobile gaming, an area it avoided for a long time, but the company also has a new president, as Tatsumi Kimishima took over last year for the late Satoru Iwata. Nintendo is also gearing up to officially announce its next piece of hardware, the mysterious NX portable / console hybrid. According to reports, Nintendo will cease production of the Wii U later this year as the NX becomes its focus. "I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U," Kimishima explained back in December.