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Try before you buy: Nintendo issues 5,000 Wii U kiosks

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The U.S. is less than two weeks away from a new console launch, and retailers are starting to get demo units that’ll help consumers decide if they need to get one on launch day.

Wii U demo kioskNintendo’s Wii U hardware, which replaces the Wii console, debuts Nov. 18 and starts at $299.99. The Japanese video game giant announced today that it is sending out 5,000 demo kiosks to retailers like Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, and Toys ‘R’ Us so that gamers can get their hands on the new Wii U and its GamePad controller. The GamePad is like a typical console joystick, only it has a 6.2-inch touchscreen embedded in its center.

To learn more about the Wii U and its capabilities, read our guide with all the important information.

The GamePad is the new marquee feature. Nintendo plans to introduce many new types of gameplay mechanics that involve using this unusual console-gaming device. The demo kiosks are part of convincing people that this works and that the Wii U is something that they should want.

Some of the retail stations will have fully playable hardware while others will have non-interactive video displays. The playable units feature games like New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, which the publisher designed for the GamePad. Nintendo includes a copy of Nintendo Land packed in with the $349.99 deluxe version of the Wii U console.

You can find the retailer nearest you with a playable station by using this tool on Nintendo.com.