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Review: Wii Street U (Powered By Google)

February 16, 2013

So, around late last year, Nintendo announced they were working on an application with google that would let you use google maps with the Wii U system in order to look at different places in the world without having to leave your home. (Yes, Yes. Insert joke about being too lazy, you should really just go to that place here.) It has recently been released, and for a limited time would be free to own. Since I can’t turn down something free, I decided to download it and give it a try. Be aware though for those reading this at a later date: You will have to pay to download this.

The application is exactly what you would expect it to be, google maps for the Wii U. What does make it a little different is the interaction you have with the Wii U Gamepad. Using the Gamepad, you’ll be able to look at a 360 Degree image on certain points in a location you’re looking at. For example, when I first used the program, it loaded Kyoto, Japan. Holding your gamepad so it is in front of you and blocking your view of the TV, the image of the city appears, and as you move the gamepad around you, the image will move in real-time to give you a 360 image of the city that looks very nice. Obviously, nothing in the city is moving as it is just an image, but it looked pretty nice. You’ll also be able to move around on paths set by the google map teams to explore the city you’re looking at. I did this with New York City, and it was kind of cool, although I wish there was a bit more choices. However, since you are working with images, this is understandable.

The TV screen will have one of two things on it. By default, it shows a map of the city you’re in. You can also select an option to have the image you’re looking at with the gamepad to appear on the TV as well for others to see. However, since you can’t have your TV move around your head, obviously it won’t feel the same.

The locations you can look at are limited. I tried putting in my home address for chuckles and the application couldn’t load it. So I think those of you worried about stalkers can rest easy on that front. Looking at a world view option, it’s quite clear the application is limited to certain locations, but most major cities in the world should work.

It is a very neat idea for an application, and the ability to use the gamepad to simulate actually being in a spot of the city while still at your home (granted it’s an image, but still) was not a bad idea to try out for the Wii U. However, I don’t feel it will hold the interest of people for very long. Personally, I think this should stay a free download for people to try out, as I think charging for this isn’t a good idea. This feels like it should be a free application, as I doubt people are going to be using it for very long. It will be one of those things to say “Hey look what my Wii U can do!”, impress some people you know, and then forget about it later. Putting a price tag on something like this is just going to deterrent people from wanting to download it.

My recommendation is to download it now while it is free and give it a try. It’s a nice application to try out, just because the idea is a pretty cool one. If you don’t have a Wii U and aren’t able to get it until the time Nintendo starts charging for this application, just skip it. Honestly, it’s not worth paying money for. As a free download though, it’s a cool thing to try out and show your friends once or twice. But it’s not a must use application for the system.

Thanks for reading this review! If you have any critiques or questions about the program, comment below. Remember, anything stupid I do can only be fixed by speaking up about it. For more reviews and news about Wii U games and applications, be sure to check back here regularly.

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One Comment
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