True to Iwata-san's word, Google Maps with Street View is indeed making its way to the Nintendo Wii U this month. Word of the mapping service's impending arrival first came this past December, but at the time, no mention was made of availability outside of a vague January 2013 launch. As we learned later however, it was pushed back another month but Wii Street U Powered by Google is live in Japan, and will be free through the end of May. After that, there will be a fee for access to the service's Panorama View-like feature, which leverages the GamePad for 360-degree perspectives.
Of course, you can also peruse both plain and Street View maps from the TV, but that kind of diminishes the gimmicky point of the second screen controller. (Also, you could just use a laptop, tablet or phone for Google Maps -- just sayin'.) There's no word on US release plans or potential pricing, but it's worth noting the TVii app that's free here carries a nominal 100 yen charge in Japan. Hit the source link for an interview with the team behind bringing the app to the console.
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 8 GB
- Controller type Wireless
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic, Camera / optical
- Video outputs Component, HDMI (v1.4), RCA / composite, S-Video
- Backward compatible 1 generations
- Released 2012-11-18