Nintendo's first mobile app launches on March 31 in the US and UK

Miitomo has surpassed 1 million users just from its launch in Japan earlier this month, giving the idiosyncratic hybrid of virtual avatars and real-life friendships a strong base for westward expansion. The Miis will mobilize on iOS and Android devices in the US and UK on Thursday, March 31, Nintendo has confirmed.

Miitomo lets players create their own Miis in a process that will be familiar for anyone who's messed around on a Nintendo console since Wii - particularly with Tomodachi Life (opens in new tab). Rather than playing tennis or bowling, Miis will ask their users all manner of questions over time, then share their answers with the users' friends, prompting further conversation and emoji-style reactions. And since it's "free-to-start", you can totally spend real money to get your Miis new clothes.

Playing Miitomo will require an official My Nintendo account, which is Nintendo's new cross-platform networking and rewards service. Pre-registering (opens in new tab) for the app will get you bonus points to be used toward whatever new rewards exist in this post Club Nintendo world (opens in new tab).

Nintendo says it will release four more smartphone apps (opens in new tab) by the end of 2017. The next one will be much more game-ish and star "one of the company's best-known characters". C'mon, Elvin Gadd Adventures...

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I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.