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Wii U getting Google Maps and Street View with gyroscopic GamePad control

The Wii U (opens in new tab)'s Panorama View tech demo - which allowed users to move the GamePad around in order to freely view a 360 degree video scene as if it existed in the air around them - has evolved into a much cooler functional application.

Announced today during Nintendo's Japan-focused Nintendo Direct presentation, Google Maps will be coming to the Wii U with GamePad-enabled Street View functionality. While the console's resolutely non-portable status will make the system of dubious use when navigating an actual journey, it will bring the '80s dream of home VR slightly closer to fruition. And at the very least users will now be able to browse for awkwardly-timed Street View shots of people peeing by the side of the road via the comfort of their own sofas.

No word on a western launch for the service yet, but with a European Nintendo Direct scheduled for later in the day, hopefully some news will be forthcoming soon. The Japanese version launches in January, and will be free until March, after which point it will come with a charge.The original Panorama View demo is also heading to the Japanese eShop next year.

Thanks, Nintendo Gamer (opens in new tab).

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.