While Nintendo pioneered portable gaming with the GameBoy, it has struggled to keep up with the rise of the smartphone and always-connected mobile gaming. But today, the company announced it is bringing its first smartphone title to U.S. fans at the end of the month.
Miitomo launched in Japan just weeks ago and it is coming to the U.S. and other countries on Thursday. The new app lets users customize an avatar called a Mii, then use that avatar to chat with friends using both text and sound.
The app is also debuting in Canada, the U.K., France, Russia and a handful of other countries on the same day. It is one of five smartphone apps that Nintendo plans to release this year. Future Nintendo apps are likely to be more like traditional games, revolving around some of the company’s popular franchises—but we’re not sure which franchises yet.
Users can still preregister for a Miitomo account ahead of the Thursday launch. Preregistering will allow Nintendo to alert users to the app’s launch, and will give those users bonus My Nintendo “Platinum Points” as part of the company’s new rewards program. The app will be available on iOS and Android.