NIS America takes to iOS to promote new PlayStation 3 game

NIS America, the Western arm of Japanese software developer-publisher Nippon Ichi Software, has released a new iOS app to promote its upcoming PlayStation 3 game Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory. The new app is available now as a free download from the App Store, with additional in-app purchases to unlock additional functionality. The app is also available in its original Japanese format — this is the same app with Japanese voices, though the in-app purchases are slightly more expensive.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: The App, as it is called, is a simple promotional app that allows its users to interact with two of the characters from the game — protagonist Neptune and her friend Noire, both of whom are, as series lore goes, personifications of console gaming hardware. Basic functionality allows users to tap on a button in the corner of the screen to make Neptune or Noire say something vaguely appropriate to the time of day, or shake their device to react in a different manner. The girls will also greet the user with special messages on particular days such as holidays and their birthday, which can be set within the app. Checking in on the app daily adds to “like meters” for the two girls, and they will say different things to the user according to the level of the meter — though ignoring the app for a day causes them to reset completely.

Tapping and holding on the screen causes Neptune or Noire to look in that direction, while tilting the device causes them to twist their body from side to side. The character models make use of a combination of 2D and 3D art to create some surprisingly convincing, smooth animations.

The app also features an alarm function which causes either Neptune or Noire to shout at the user to get up, even if the app is closed, and this also features an automatic “snooze” function to repeat the alarm at intervals between one and 20 minutes. The app also has access to the user’s calendar and is able to show them their upcoming events and add new ones, though it doesn’t seem to be possible to ask the girls to remind the user of a specific event.

The app also features an augmented-reality camera function, whereby the user is able to take Neptune or Noire and incorporate them into a photograph using either the front or back camera of their iOS device. In all parts of the app, the user is able to pinch and scroll using two fingers to frame the girl in the shot as they see fit, and when taking a photograph both Neptune and Noire will generally look towards the middle of the screen, which makes it look as if they are looking fondly at the user if taking a self-portrait. Photographs can be either saved to the device’s Camera Roll or posted to Twitter — in both cases, a Hyperdimension Neptunia logo and copyright information is overlaid on them.

The app has somewhat limited functionality in its free form — the user may only interact with Neptune, only a limited number of voice phrases are used and the camera function is inaccessible — but can be unlocked with various in-app purchases. Both Neptune and Noire can be fully unlocked using a $4.99 in-app purchase for each, and this may optionally be supplemented with additional costumes and seasonal voice packs for each.

Ultimately, the Hyperdimension Neptunia app is little more than a software toy with not much in the way of practical value, though the alarm clock function works well. It is a good marketing move for NIS America, however, as the game series on which the app is based has struggled with somewhat “niche” status in the past and the simple existence of this app will help make it more visible. Existing fans of the series, meanwhile, may enjoy interacting with two of its most well-known characters for at least a few minutes — though whether the in-app purchases are worth the money is somewhat debatable, since the app is effectively an interactive advert.

You can follow Hyperdimension Neptunia: The App’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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