News Article

Google Maps Finding Its Way Onto Wii U

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

See the world without going outside

After announcing the Spring arrival of Panorama View in today's Nintendo Direct broadcast from Japan, Satoru Iwata possibly surprised a few people by confirming that Google Maps is also on the way to Wii U.

A Google branded app — alongside the likes of YouTube — won't do Wii U any harm, especially as it'll incorporate the GamePad to allow a full 360 degree view of a Street View image. It seems to basically operate in the same way, or similar, to the browser based service, but the ability to pan the viewpoint by moving the controller is a nice touch, and Iwata-san demonstrated the app by looking at Nintendo of America's headquarters. Another example was an underwater scene, and all while wearing a rather snazzy piece of headgear.

This is due to arrive in Japan in January 2013, and will be free to download until the end of March. Considering that this is a Google download, a worldwide release seems inevitable. Are you looking forward to giving this a try?

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User Comments (20)




This is a perfect example of something taken for granted or other devices that will further enhance the Wii U's reputation! Looking forward to it!



NintyMan said:

I can see how Google Maps can be a lot more immersive with the GamePad. I might try it out; but I wouldn't need a helmet.



rjejr said:

I spend way to much time on Google Maps, this is really good news if it works right. It would be nice to use your fingers on the Gamepad while the image is manipulated on the screen, though if that resistive screen can't do multiouch I see myself getting quickly annoyed trying to zoom in and out.

Nintendo is also killing 2 birds with 1 stone with this one - Apple's well documented gaf of dropping Google Maps for their own, and I'm pretty sure this isn't on Sony's Vita (though I suppose it works on the browser.)

Big win for Nintendo for both getting the Google Map app and showing a willingness to allow 3rd party apps on their system.



Beta said:

Minute 1 download for sure! ^_^ Very nifty app if you ask me.



Kifa said:

If the Maps app is of the same crappy quality as youtube one, then I'm staying away from it and sticking to my Nexus 7 for route planning purposes. Seriously - Google already proved that they can't write stuff for WiiU properly...



Ren said:

oh, so if I"m ever lost I can just have a look and then instantly I'll know: "Oh yeah! I'm at home within 10 feet of the console!". Baby steps, I guess.



pntjr said:

Although it may be cool, it can be pointless, since it is a HOME CONSOLE and not a PORTABLE 3G HANDHELD. Vita anyone?



SMW said:

Only Iwata would strap on a helmet cam as part of a Nintendo Direct. I'm sold on this Google Maps channel. StreetView on the PC just doesn't control as well as it should. Looks like the GamePad will make it so easy to use. I can't wait to view Antarctica on my GamePad! (Google recently added streetview to Antarctica, my favorite continent!)



MAB said:

Iwata is just one step closer to stealing my idea... HEADGearZ 2020 VR



DarkNinja9 said:

i doubt i would use it often but i think its a nice app so i will download and try it at least

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