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Can Nintendo's Wii U Win the Holiday?

November 19, 2012

It's a gaming device. It's a TV remote. It's a Netflix player.

In fact, Nintendo's Wii U, its second-generation motion-enabled video-game console with a second screen, is all of those things. The Wii U GamePad, a chunky tablet lookalike, controls game play with touch or a stylus and is also a universal remote for the TV and works as a standalone gaming device. It's compatible with the Wii remotes already out with the original console, but also acts as a central controller in some games to manage or help other players in what Nintendo calls "asymmetric game play."

Seems a little hard to explain? That's why Nintendo is trying to show consumers how to use the device. "The challenge is to have consumers understand and experience the product hands-on," said NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan, with events and in-store set-ups. A Nintendo "Mall Experience" begins Monday in 26 malls across the country for hands-on play on the Wii U, as well as with 3DS handhelds. More than 5,000 hands-on Wii U kiosks are already in retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Gamestop and Walmart.

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