Wii U Panorama View, Google Maps detailed, both launching next year

Nintendo took a few moments of its Nintendo Direct today to showcase some non-gaming applications coming to the Wii U. The Panorama View and Google Maps applications both serve a similar purpose, letting the user view far-off areas from the comfort of their living room.

New functionality for Google Maps on Wii U will come in Q1 of 2013. It will let you use the GamePad to look around a street using Google's "Street View" photos.

The Panorama View is similar, but showcasees videos rather than still photos. Like the Google Map function, you can freely look around the environments with the GamePad. It's coming sometime in the spring, as a paid eShop download. Nintendo showed a demo of flying with geese at E3, but this time featured the app being used to look around a double-decker bus tour in merry old England or a rickshaw tour in Kyoto, Japan.