The Club Nintendo replacement - My Nintendo - has now launched in the West alongside Miitomo. In the end Nintendo just hit its March deadline, launching the service and app on 31st March in various countries, with My Nintendo landing in more territories than the social app. For those in countries fortunate to have both the chase for Points (particularly of the Platinum type) will have gathered pace rather quickly.
We previously broke down the My Nintendo 'Loyalty Economy' when it arrived in Japan, and though there are many identical details and rewards in the West there are also notable tweaks. Some values for rewards and mission completions are adjusted, and from going 'hands on' - as such - with the service and Miitomo we're quickly gaining an appreciation for how it all shapes up.
First up, let's look again at a table which shows the 'missions' we must undertake to win Platinum Points (through activities) - like all of our screens, this is from this writer's UK account.
Next we have the Gold 'missions', which aren't missions as such rather than incentives to spend money on eShop games - these are the US dollar and UK pound values.
- $5 to $9.99 / £4.50 to £8.99 = 10 Gold Coins
- $10 to $19.99 / £9 to £17.99 = 20 Gold Coins
- $20 to $29.99 / £18 to £24.99 = 30 Gold Coins
- $30 to $39.99 / £25 to £29.99 = 40 Gold Coins
- $40 to $49.99 / £30 to £34.99 = 50 Gold Coins
- $50 to $59.99 / £35 to £39.99 = 60 Gold Coins
- $60 to $69.99 / £40 to £49.99 = 70 Gold Coins
- $70 or more / £50 or more = 80 Gold Coins
Strangely, these have actually been marked up in value, when our conversions of the Yen values in our original article prompted us to predict they'd be marked down. As eShop transactions are applied one at a time, as opposed to stacking products in a virtual basket, it's almost impossible to hit the 70 and 80 coin brackets right now; we can only imagine that downloads in the form of bundles, special editions and packs will bring these into play more prolifically in the future.
Moving on to the nitty gritty of Platinum points, these will evolve and change dynamically (in some cases) depending on applicable apps and services. So right now they're related to Nintendo Account setup and Miitomo, both of which are the first practical ways to accumulate these coins. What we have are easy-to-earn and hefty one-off awards combined with smaller bonuses for logging in and interacting with the eShop, Miiverse and Miitomo on a daily or weekly basis. For those looking for easy early wins then setting up and linking a Nintendo Account, Miitomo and Twitter / Facebook accounts can serve up a rapid 400 coins; a face-to-face friend add in Miitomo is another 100. Those that pre-registered for Miitomo, meanwhile, got 200 Platinum Points right off the bat when signing into My Nintendo for the first time. Even just starting to use My Nintendo earns you 50 Points (it's 100, but you buy a compulsory Point Box for 50).
Let's take those Platinum Points and assume, with relatively little effort, we have a quickfire 750 points. You can quickly add another 60 by signing into the eShop and Miiverse on your Wii U or 3DS; this is a weekly mission. Another 30 can be picked up if you link your Nintendo Account to Google+, Twitter and Facebook (10 each). Then there are little tricks, such as clicking the brick at the bottom right of the My Nintendo home page and then clicking your Mii holding a parcel, and also by clicking on any loose coins in that animated top area. Visiting Nintendo's official site from the My Nintendo menu and clicking through a few pages also earns points.
So, rather rapidly you can have around 850-950 Platinum Points, which then brings us to Miitomo. Completing all daily activities can earn you over 50 Points - we had accumulated over 1000 Points in under 24 hours through the various one-off activities, account linking and messing around in Miitomo; that means you can, in theory, pick any Platinum reward you want within a day.
Below are the Platinum Rewards currently in the UK - there are small variations per country and user.
- Mario Suit – 250 Platinum Points
- 1 game ticket – 85 Platinum Points
- 5 game tickets – 420 Platinum Points
- 10 game tickets – 250 Platinum Points
Discounts - Marked 'Just for You', so may vary per user
- 20% off Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 700 Platinum Points
- 20% off Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U) - 600 Platinum Points
- 20% off Pullblox World (Wii U) - 150 Platinum Points
- 20% off The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - 300 Platinum Points
- My Nintendo Picross – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS) – 1,000 Platinum Points
- WarioWare: Touched! (3DS) – 1,000 Platinum Points
- My Nintendo Theme 1: Mario – 200 Platinum Points
- My Nintendo Theme 2: Donkey Kong – 200 Platinum Points
As we've hopefully demonstrated, hitting 1000 points for a free copy of My Nintendo Picross – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or WarioWare: Touched! on 3DS can be achieved very quickly. What will take time is then picking up the remainder of potential goodies. Miitomo users can target 50+ points a day, and a combined 60 per week for logging into Miiverse and the eShop is easy for anyone. For those without Miitomo, however, either by choice or due to a lack of availability in their country, the problem is obvious. Only 130 points can be won in one-off 'Missions' without Miitomo, and 60 extras per week. Even with initial bonuses for setting up accounts etc, the path to 1000 points for those without Miitomo is onerous to say the least. Smaller rewards are available, of course, and plenty are due to stay on the service until late Summer or beyond, so Miitomo may roll out to more countries in good time for these users to jump in.
For those with Miitomo and access to everything, however, the Platinum Points have started relatively generously - as mentioned above, having a pick of the top rewards in less that 24 hours is rather nice. There are enough daily and weekly incentives for eager uses to move quickly and scoop up more extras, too.
Now, for Gold Rewards the picture is perhaps a little different - below are the Gold Rewards for this user in the UK, for reference, with regional variations a factor to consider.
Discounts - Marked 'Just for You', so may vary per user
- 40% off Splatoon (Wii U) - 100 Gold Points
- 40% off The Wonderful 101 (Wii U) - 120 Gold Points
- 50% off Metroid: Other M (Wii U) - 60 Gold Points
- 40% off Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - 110 Gold Points
- 40% off Tomodachi Life (3DS) - 100 Gold Points
- 50% off Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move - 30 Gold Points
- Super Mario 64 (Wii U) – 90 Gold Points
- New Super Luigi U (Wii U) – 90 Gold Points
- Pikmin 3 DLC: Battle Enemies! Stages 7-10 (Wii U) – 20 Gold Points
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS) – 35 Gold Points
- Metroid Fusion (Wii U) – 60 Gold Points
- Super Punch-Out!! (Wii U) – 70 Gold Points
Gold coins are all about discounted or full eShop games as a reward for spending a lot of money on the store, though the exclusion of DLC in this is a pity. In any case, the balance is largely similar to Japan, perhaps slightly more generous. If you buy a full price Wii U retail game, for example, that should net you 60 Gold Points, which is enough for Metroid Fusion, while there are less expensive rewards on the table that are affordable with a standard full price 3DS retail download. The discounts vary in terms of their legitimate value, and the fact that they're 'Just for You' but not optimised in any way is an early flaw - this writer owns every game in his list aside from the Metroid: Other M download, though has the original disc version of that title.
The Gold Points, ultimately, are far less generous and arguably a little flawed, especially in terms of the phoned-in 'Just for You' discounts. Nevertheless eager download fans may naturally accrue some Points and eventually grab a treat, which is the whole point of loyalty programmes.
The issue, though, is that Points expire six months after earning them - less of an issue with the regularly accumulated Platinum Points, but more bothersome for those that only indulge in occasional eShop spending sprees and fancy a Gold reward.
So, what to make of My Nintendo so far? For one thing, those that have voted in our polls seem mostly happy or on the fence, which is a positive start. Some praise is also due to Nintendo for how slick it is - utilising the new Nintendo Account system, activities are picked up and synchronised almost instantly, while the actual My Nintendo site is easy to use, clear and downright charming.
The Platinum currency is, just like it was with the Japanese launch, very generous. The fact we'd racked up over 1000 points with relatively little effort in the first 24 hours points to a lot of early generosity, and the regular gains to be found in Miitomo and by logging into the eShop / Miiverse should keep users interested. In terms of accumulating points and picking up most of the rewards, it seems like a benevolent loyalty service.
The Gold Points, on the flipside, are more like a typical loyalty programme. They demand consistent and relatively high-value spending, with the six month spend restriction on points when earned a potential sticking point for infrequent download buyers. For those all-in with downloading retail as well as 'Nindie' games it has something to offer, but as we've seen plenty aren't in that boat and still want points for physical retail purchases. The Gold side doesn't seem unfair, but it's less generous by a long way than the engagement-driven Platinum Points and Rewards.
Overall, we'd argue that My Nintendo is relatively accommodating and at times generous in its early days. Platinum offers lots of ways to make quick earnings, though much more so if Miitomo is available, and the Gold Points are less accessible but useful for download fans. The six month limit on spending points after they're earned is slightly irksome, but so far we'd argue that My Nintendo is rather good-willed and accessible, at least for those in supported countries with Miitomo.