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Nintendo’s first mobile app Miitomo launches on March 17 in Japan

It was nearly a year ago when Nintendo first announced its partnership with DeNA and its strategy to begin producing games and apps for mobile devices. Now we’re about to see the very first fruits of that partnership come to the public.

We’ve known for some time that Miitomo, Nintendo’s social messaging app, and game of sorts, would be launching in Japan sometime this month, but today the company finally announced a concrete release date, saying that the game will launch starting March 17. Pre-registration for the game — which promises Platinum Points for My Nintendo Rewards members — is still open, and will remain open until March 16.

Related: Nintendo’s first smartphone game, Miitomo, prods you into talking to people

Miitomo is described by Nintendo as “a free-to-start communication application that helps friends share fun personal facts and interests,” with free-to-start being what any other company would call free-to-play. Not exactly a game, Miitomo is somewhat closer to something like Second Life, but with “Miis” instead of more realistic-looking characters, and a “welcoming social environment,” which the latter never could claim to be.

This is supposed to be the first of five titles to result from the partnership between Nintendo and DeNA, though details remain scarce on what to expect next. Once the full launch is complete, Miitomo will be available in a total of 16 countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and select parts of Europe, supporting eight languages.

Related: Nintendo’s new cross-platform Nintendo Account system is now open for registration

Last month Nintendo opened up the ability to sign up for its new cross-platform Nintendo Account to users worldwide, after launching in Japan in December. Users who signed up for a new account or brought in their Nintendo Network ID were also able to pre-register for Miitomo. Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to wait two months until the game launches outside of Japan.

Nintendo hasn’t given exact release dates yet, but says that Miitomo will launch in the other nations mentioned above starting later this month.