By Matt Peckham
February 3, 2016

Nintendo just sharpened the focus slightly on plans for its first smartphone app, which was supposed to launch late last year, but delayed last October until March 2016.

The company just confirmed March is still on for Miitomo, a social interactivity app for iOS and Android phones and tablets that takes its name in part from the Mii digital avatars which currently populate Nintendo’s Wii, Wii U and 3DS game-verses.

That much we knew. And we still don’t have a firm date.

But if you preregister for Miitomo starting February 17 (with email, a social media account or your existing Nintendo Network ID), Nintendo’s saying you’ll get a “bonus” (though unspecified), as well as an early heads up on the app’s availability next month.

What’s Miitomo? It’s not crystal clear yet, but it looks like a mashup of a Mii avatar, chat app and Nintendo’s handheld StreetPass tech, which lets nearby 3DS systems exchange data. Imagine feeding a chat app (and your digital avatar) information about yourself, then that avatar going out and engaging other avatars and having “conversations,” which you can peruse at leisure. An adjunct Miifoto tool lets you share snaps of Mii, too. The phrase “topical icebreaker” comes to mind.

And the company adds that My Nintendo, Nintendo’s rewards program designed to both replace and scale far beyond its defunct Club Nintendo program, will launch in conjunction with Miitomo in March, as well as connect to the app.

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