Nintendo is on the cusp of taking its first big step into the world of mobile, and you're invited to sit in on the journey.
Registration for the company's first app, Miitomo, is now open. If you sign up, you'll be alerted as soon as Miitomo goes live next month for iOS and Android. You'll also receive My Nintendo points when Nintendo launches the My Nintendo rewards program, which is set to debut alongside Miitomo.
Signing up is quick and painless. I linked my Nintendo ID to the site in no time, and immediately received the confirmation code necessary to complete the process.
If you're still not perfectly clear on what Miitomo is all about, the new official site for the app should answer all your questions. Miitomo is a "social go-between" that offers you a chance to ask your friends questions that you'd "never think to ask yourself." Obviously, asking your pals weird questions about themselves is a little easier when you're hiding behind the pleasant, non-threatening face of a Mii.
The official Miitomo site also talks about how you can dress up and customize your Mii, which made me realize the app is already missing something vital -- something that can give it a significant edge in a market that's already stuffed to the seams with social networking apps.
Namely, there's no indication that you can dress up your Miitomo Miis as Nintendo characters.
Nintendo is being extremely strict about how its properties are presented on mobile platforms. That's absolutely for the best, since nobody wants to stagger through a Mario game using a virtual d-pad (though Nintendo's investors would probably like to see us try). But what's the harm in Miitomo offering us costumes based on the Super Mario franchise? Or the Zelda games? I know I wouldn't mind dressing up my Mii as Samus. And if a friend asked me a question while outfitted as a Pikmin, I might feel a bit more compelled to answer them.
Letting people dress their Miis up as their favorite Nintendo characters is also a good way to bolster the characters' presence, something Nintendo aims to do more of in 2016 anyway. This is one instance where Nintendo won't do itself any favors by over-guarding its brands.
To be fair, there's no indication that you won't be able to dress up your Miitomo avatars as Nintendo characters (the site makes a vague promise about "costumes"). But there's no indication that you will be able to, and at this stage, a little bit of territory overlap will help ease Nintendo and its fanbase into the world of mobile.
We're heading into a strange land together, and now is definitely a good time to see some familiar faces and costumes on the Miitomo webpage. Give us our Mario caps! Give us our Link swords!