Google Maps and Panorama View coming to Wii U in Japan next year [Update: US Maps date]

Google Maps and Panorama View coming to Wii U in Japan early 2013
Google Maps and Panorama View are coming to the Japanese Wii U eShop next year, the former in January and the latter in Spring. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata showcased the apps during this morning's Nintendo Direct for Japan, including giving us a helmet-cam angle of Panorama View with the above very stylish setup.

Nintendo first unveiled Panorama View at this year's E3. As shown by the post-break vid by our Engadget pals, the app plays pre-recorded videos set in various environments, such as a London bus tour or a scuba dive. The added twist is you can view the environments in all 360 of their degrees, this done by pointing the GamePad around like a camera. Panorama View is scheduled for Spring 2013 in Japan, and is expected to head West too.

Iwata also unveiled Google Maps for Wii U, showing how its Street View functionality works with the GamePad in much the same way as Panorama View. The app is coming to Japan's eShop in late January, and will be free until the end of March.

Update: Google Maps will hit the US eShop in Q1 of 2013.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.