By Khurram Aziz | Nov 16, 2012 09:13 AM EST
Nintendo is giving consumers in the US a chance to test drive its latest Wii U video games console at 5,000 retailers nationwide, before the official November 18 launch.
The console will be available in specially designed kiosks, according to a statement on Nintendo's website, where people can experience firsthand the new device.
This is the first significant console upgrade released by the Japanese company since its ground-breaking Wii console in 2006.
That console was the first to use motion-detection as an integral gaming experience, and the company has continued that trend of innovation with a new touch-screen Wii U GamePad controller.
The controller has a 6.2-inch 158ppi display, making it resemble a tablet computer in its own right. Like a tablet, the GamePad can be used as a standalone device for playing games as well.
For those looking to get a glimpse of the new machine, retailers such as Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, and Toys 'R' Us are among those selected to demo the Wii U to the public.
However, according to Nintendo, not all the Kiosks will have playable Wii U's.
"Visitors may be able to experience hands-on game play or enjoy specially created video content that highlights the console's wide variety of available games and features," said the company in a press release.
The machine itself will hit store shelves on November 18 and retail at $299.99 for a basic 8GB unit, going up to $349.99 for the "Deluxe" 32GB version.
The kiosks will feature games created especially for the new machine and include the company's own New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, as well as third-party titles such as ZombiU, SiNG PARTY and Rayman Legends. Not all games will be playable at the kiosks, however. For instance, at a Best Buy store in Newport, New Jersey, only Rayman Legends could be demoed.
Nonetheless, the console is designed to be fully backward compatible with the Wii, so gamers can continue playing their favorite Wii games as well as use Wii peripherals such as the Wii Remote Plus and the Nunchuck.
After the US launch, Nintendo plans to bring the console to Europe by the end of the month and Japan around December 8 - just in time for Christmas.
To find out where your nearest Wii U kiosk is located, visit Nintendo's US website.
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