The Wii U launch has been a bit of hit and mostly miss with native games that are barely taking advantage of the hardware, few effectively taking advantage of its tablet (a complaint that could be leveled at the DS when it launched) and ports of high-profile games from other platforms not performing as well and definitely rating low. So what does the Wii U have up its sleeve beyond more Mario-themed games? Why, it’s the best Panorama App you’ll ever ever use, probably, and it’s out this Spring.
I don’t know how they do it, but it’s pretty slick. One of the demos available at Nintendo’s booth at E3 was what will become the Panorama App. Using the tablet as a “window” you can interact with a roaming 360-degree spherical video (not unlike Google’s Streetview, except in motion) through a variety of crazy locales. Well, like in a flight of birds or on top of a bus or on a touring boat. At any point, and I can’t even remember how this happened so seamlessly, you can press a button to switch between day and night versions of the video. All of this happens without a hatch, even as you’re moving the tablet around. It was something that convinced me that the Wii U had some guts or the panorama demo was just super cheating about performance, either way, it left a good impression when many of the other games did not.
If you have a Wii U, you best be checking it out, even with its gimmicky presence. Those holding out? I’d still hold out.