The Wii Street U app for the Wii U is being discontinued according to a blurb on the app page on Nintendo’s website.
The blurb on the US website is as follows:
Service for this software will be discontinued at 8:00 p.m. PT on 3/31/2016. Once service is discontinued, this software will not be usable. Thank you for your use and support of this software. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The UK version of the app page goes into a little more detail with its messaging, stating that Nintendo is going to be “focus[ing] our resources in other areas”.
The Wii Street U app is essentially a version of Google’s Street View tailored for use with the Wii U console as shown in the trailer for the app:
Rather than using a mouse, players could move the Wii U game pad to change their perspective in a similar fashion to how IR tracking and VR headsets work accompanied by an overhead map on the television. There was also integration with the Wii Balance Board that allowed people to shift their body weight in order to move around the virtual maps.
Aside from the game pad and balance board integration, the app offered users the ability to take virtual automated tours as well as bookmark their favorite spots throughout the world. Special characters were hidden throughout the world in a sort of “treasure hunt” minigame. Nintendo’s asking price of $4.99 for Google Maps Streetview with a few extra features added on might have been a bit too much for the average consumer.
It’s also possible that they are simply depreciating Wii U-specific services one-by-one as they get ready for their next console. Nintendo’s TVii service closed in August of last year. With only 5% of developers focusing on the Wii U, it’s likely that the shift towards Nintendo’s NX console is already underway.
Have you (or anyone you know) ever used the Wii Street U app? Do you think it got much use considering the ubiquity of smartphones with built-in GPSes? Let us know in the comments below!