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Wii Street U hands-on: Google Maps comes to Wii U with motion control

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wii street u
wii street u

Nintendo's delayed Google Maps app for Wii U is finally out in Japan. As demonstrated late last year, Wii Street U is based around Street View, and lets you use the GamePad controller to look around your environment while the mapping data is displayed on the TV screen. You can switch between satellite and basic imagery on your TV, and also use it to show Street View — the photography isn't exactly high resolution, but it looks fine.

More importantly, the GamePad motion control works great, and using it to "walk around" locations is pretty fun. Nintendo has provided a list of recommendations such as Shibuya in Tokyo or Stonehenge in England, but you can also perform a search to jump anywhere you like; I took a walk around my parents' block. Navigation is handled by the on-screen arrows, or you can switch to an overhead mode and drag a marker around the map like you would on a desktop browser.

Wii Street U is a free download, at least until the end of May, and it's definitely worth picking up at that price. It's obviously not the most convenient or feature-complete mapping solution out there, but it's a fun new way to use Google Maps and is a great demonstration of the potential for two-screen apps. There's no word on a US release date yet, but we'll keep you posted.