Thursday, November 17, 2016

How Nintendo Should Implement "My Nintendo" to the Switch

Nintendo's new console that was revealed just a little bit ago has excited quite a lot of people, hardcore gamers and consumers alike. There are so many possibilities with the Switch, whether it is gameplay possibilities, online possibilities, portable possibilities, and so forth.

My Nintendo is a rewards service from Nintendo that is incorporated into Miitomo, the company's very first mobile app. My Nintendo has yet to get a lot of use as many players of Miitomo have moved on, though some are coming back thanks to the big November update. Regardless, there is so much potential in My Nintendo not just for Nintendo's mobile apps but for the Switch as well. It made me ponder how Nintendo could implement the service to its newest console.

Thinking about it, the approach could be very similar to how Nintendo has My Nintendo embedded into Miitomo.In Miitomo, you get My Nintendo platinum coins for completing static (one-time) and daily missions. These missions are just like achievements and trophies are on PlayStation and Xbox platforms. You get a one-time platinum coin reward for performing tasks like linking your Miitomo account to various social media platforms, and you get daily rewards by doing things like answering the daily question, posting your Mii's outfit to Miitomo's new Style Central, or sending a message to a friend.

A look at some of the various My Nintendo missions featured in Miitomo.
The fun about gaining platinum coins is that they're not just there to boost some score or to show off. Instead, these coins can be used to purchase items in-game like Mii outfit pieces and game tickets to be used to in Miitomo Drop for free tries to earn new items. You can also use said coins (in both platinum and the rarer gold variety, earned through digital eShop purchases) to purchase cheap downloadable games like those on the Virtual Console and gain monetary discounts on games.

Now, here's where the Switch comes in. If things continue the way they are and Nintendo opts to use My Nintendo with its new system, games like the new 3D Mario game, Mario Kart 8's Switch port, and more could give players coins for performing achievement-like tasks. These can be in the form of static achievements that only reward coins once or daily/weekly achievements like being in the top 20 percent of a best lap time leaderboard for Mario Kart 8, for instance. It would make going for achievements even more fun (well, depending on who you are) than they already are. It would even make going for more obnoxious challenges like ones that require grinding to actually seem more worthwhile than they'd otherwise be.

Of course, a current problem with My Nintendo, as of course it is still in its infancy and only is attached to Miitomo as of right now, is that the rewards that I previously went over are rather lame. Let's take earning a discount voucher for a game. You need gold coins to do that, and that requires you to buy content digitally from the Nintendo eShop on either Wii U or 3DS. The amount of gold coins you get from each purchase is so minuscule that you'll need to buy lots of games just to get the required amount of gold coins needed just to get some modest discount on a game.

Discounts aren't too appealing for most My Nintendo users, so the downloadable titles are more popular (pending My Nintendo users didn't already own them, which is usually the case).
Instead, I think Nintendo should offer better rewards like it did on Club Nintendo. Now, obviously My Nintendo is something that Nintendo doesn't even need to offer as we as consumers aren't entitled to getting free stuff for our purchases. However, better rewards would encourage more interaction with My Nintendo and make it a much more interesting place for both Nintendo fans and consumers. We could be talking about stuff as simple as new Mii costumes (assuming that Nintendo allows for greater customization with Miis on its new system, which would be great) or as big as digital downloads of Nintendo's own software or indie games.

It doesn't have to end there with My Nintendo. Like Club Nintendo, physical copies of Switch games could have vouchers inside them that reward you with coins upon entering a multi-digit code on the My Nintendo website, for example. If Nintendo wanted, it could give extra incentive to buy digitally to reward more coins while also giving physical buyers coins as well. The incentive here would be made by Nintendo because it gets more money from sales directly to the company through its own marketplace than through retail. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Regardless, Nintendo's Switch is a system that has excited lots of people, and I think if Nintendo plays its cards right, it could give My Nintendo a much needed shot in the arm to make it more appealing to consumers and even Nintendo fans who aren't too keen on the service as it stands now. Here's hoping that My Nintendo does evolve as a service for Nintendo's newest and quite interesting system!

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