Nintendo reveals Google Maps for Nintendo Wii U

It's been a month since Nintendo launched its next-gen console—the Wii U. According to Eurogamer, the company has now shown off a new Google Maps functionality for the console's touch-screen controller.

The Wii U's Google Maps allows users to control the StreetView mode by panning the GamePad. It is set to tie in with Wii U's Panorama View channel, which lets users scan around photos in 360 degrees. Panorama View is set to be a download-only software and will be released early next year. The company hasn't stated if Panorama View and Google Maps are separate softwares, or the same one.

The Wii U and its Controller

Now with Maps... for some reason


The Wii U faced a troubled launch last month when it was revealed that it requires a large firmware update to access its online features. Those who managed to shut down the console in the middle of the update had their consoles bricked.

Ben Fritz – a writer for the Los Angeles Times – had posted a warning on Twitter for other Wii U owners. “Warning: don’t unplug your Wii U during the 2 hour plus software update or the console stops working,” he tweeted. While almost every system warns you against shutting it down during a firmware update, most other systems have a backup in place in case of an accidental shut down, such as the PlayStation 3 attempting to redownload the update as soon as the console starts up again. This could be a major problem to those who are prone to suffering power outages.

It was earlier revealed that the Wii U has a limit on the number of user accounts that can be created on the system. The user accounts are tied to game saves, settings, browser bookmarks and play history. Along with this, Nintendo has revealed that eShop purchases can be played by any users on the same system, unlike on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 where you have to be signed in to the user account you used to purchase the game.

According to developers, the system also does not have a system-wide achievement system like the one present on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. This can come as quite a shock as achievements have become a standard on all platforms, with even PC games having achievements from Microsoft's Games for Windows Live and Valve's Steam.

Nintendo seems to be really focussing on the touchscreen on its controller for the console. Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo hopes that the Wii U’s innovative GamePad controller with the screen will help the console be different from what Microsoft or Sony would be doing, and hopes to change the way people think about a gaming console.

With the Wii U, Nintendo promises that it won’t miss out on multiplatform games, because the hardware will be much closer to what Sony and Microsoft will have to offer. "We have not successfully kept the momentum of the Wii for about the last two years because third-party publishers have released a smaller number of game titles and Nintendo has also decreased new games for the platform in preparation for the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U," said Iwata at an annual meeting with shareholders.