Demo Wii U Kiosks Hit Stores

The November 18th launch of Wii U is really happening, folks. Are you excited! Probably not, since, you know, Nintendo. The company that once owned the home gaming world like a colossus hasn’t had a system’s worth of decent games since the late 90s. Still, one hopes they might have learned their lesson from Wii. Yes, Wii sold ALL the units and for a few years ruled the console world. But then smartphones stole the casual gaming thing out from under them and suddenly it was obvious that the only thing you can do with your Wii is collect dust.

Still, I have many fond memories of the countless hours of fun NES and SNES gave me, and even some about the countable hours of fun I got from N64. I would really like to see Nintendo bounce back, and for Wii U to actually matter. So perhaps I’ll saunter down to my local retailer for some more hands-on with the system. You can do that now, btw, because Nintendo has started shipping demo units to stores in advance of the launch later this month. 5,000 units will be rolled out to Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us, guaranteeing that if you’re forced to purchase overpriced stereo equipment, second tier kitchenware, clothing made from slave labor, or you just have to look for a present for a child, you can see for yourself what Wii U is like.

Incidentally, I think once the initial price drops it might sell pretty well. By the time that happens, they might even have a decent slate of games. And now, the press release:

Nintendo News: Nintendo Rolls Out 5,000 Wii U Kiosks to Let Shoppers Play Before Launch Day

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Holiday shoppers from coast to coast will soon get a firsthand look and hands-on time with Nintendo’s groundbreaking new Wii U console. Starting now, more than 5,000 interactive Wii U kiosks will roll out at select retail stores across the United States, inviting families and consumers to discover the unique gaming and entertainment experiences made possible by Wii U and its touch-screen Wii U GamePad controller.

Participating retailers include Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us. Depending on which type of Wii U sampling station is available at a given store location, 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. Consumers will be able to get more information about launch games like Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U and SiNG PARTY, along with ZombiU and Rayman Legends from Ubisoft, among others. To find the nearest Wii U sampling station, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu/events.

Launching Nov. 18 in North America, Wii U and the integrated Wii U GamePad offer completely new experiences that change the way people play games, watch video programming and connect with family and friends. The Wii U Deluxe Set will be available at a suggested retail price of $349.99, and includes black hardware with 32 GB of memory, a black Wii U GamePad, Nintendo Land, a console stand, a GamePad stand and a GamePad charging cradle. Consumers who purchase the Deluxe Set will also be enrolled in the Deluxe Digital Promotion and earn 10 percent back in Points on all games and content downloaded at the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U. Points can be exchanged to receive Nintendo eShop credit that can be used toward a future Wii U or Nintendo 3DS game purchase. The promotion is currently planned through 2014.

The Wii U Basic Set includes white hardware with 8 GB of memory and a white Wii U GamePad, and will be available at a suggested retail price of $299.99.

For more information about Wii U, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu.

Thanks, Joystiq.

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