Take a virtual trip on your Wii U

This morning's Japanese Nintendo Direct revealed that Panorama View and Google Maps would both be coming to Wii U in Japan. Surely Nintendo wouldn't leave out North Americans and Europeans now, would it?

Well worry not westerners, as during this afternoon's North American and European Nintendo Direct presentations it was confirmed that both Panorama View and Google Maps will be made available to download from the Wii U eShop.

Panorama View is a simple application that was used to show off the Wii U concept way back in its infancy. The app allows you to move the GamePad 360 degrees to view scenes from any angle: you can take a London bus tour, fly with a flock of birds and more. It has since been found at various trade shows and events, but when the Wii U launched and the app wasn't included it looked like the novel little idea was just a tech demo. It's not the case though, as it'll be available to buy in the Wii U eShop in spring 2013. A free demo version will also be released. Until then, you can read our Panorama View first impressions from earlier this year.

Google Maps appears to operate in a similar way to the browser version, only with the Wii U you can use the GamePad to pan the camera about — something that looks to be incredibly useful on Street View. Since Wii U has two screens, Street View can be gazed at on the GamePad while the main bird's eye view map remains on your TV. Naturally, you can throw the Street View onto the big screen for all to see if you wish.

Both of these applications will be coming in early 2013. Will you be making good use of your Wii U by downloading either of them?