Nintendo announces Google Maps support for the Wii U

first_imgNintendo has used its latest Nintendo Direct video update to announce plans to offer Google Maps support for the Wii U. The key feature of Maps on the console will be using the GamePad and TV displays for different visual experiences.In the demonstration provided by Nintendo, the GamePad will be used like an augmented reality controller for Google’s Street View mode. You can stand up and pan around with the GamePad and Street View will keep up with you on the screen. Meanwhile on the television you are provided with the familiar satellite view of an area, just like Google Maps normally displays. The combination allows you to quickly access an area and then explore it through Street View.Nintendo’s Google Maps integration is a more functional version of an interactive experience the company demonstrated at E3 called Panorama View. It allowed a user to pan around and explore a live video, as though they were there. Panorama View is neither gone nor forgotten, in fact Nintendo plans to roll it out in 2013.Panorama View offers the user the ability to use the GamePad as the camera in the (compatible) video being shown, with a wide angle shot of the video displayed on the television. This experience is more guided than Street View, typically with other people in view. The demo used was a tour through Kyoto and a ride on a double-decker bus in London. In each demonstration, the focus was placed on the ability to move around the video with the GamePad as though you were there.Finally, additional details regarding the release of Nintendo TVii were announced. Nintendo TVii is a work in progress, and one Nintendo looks to keep upgrading throughout the life of the Wii U. If the existing TVii app is to be believed, the service is set to launch on an unspecified date this month. Nintendo has announced a TV guide tool that will be accessible from the GamePad without interfering with the content currently being played on the television. However, there was no mention of whether or not this feature will be available outside if Japan immediately, or how the TV Guide will interact with TiVo integration.The Wii U has undoubtedly had a rough start, but Nintendo seems dedicated to making the console something everyone has an excuse to use. For many, things like Google Maps or Panorama View seem like unnecessary features for a console, but Nintendo wants you to use the Wii U for everything.The continued feature push for the Wii U is certainly a good thing, even if the initial experience with the console dealt some damage to Nintendo’s reputation.via Nintendo Directlast_img read more