Wii U kiosks offer US sneak-peek from today

Nintendo's Wii U may not start shipping to eager gamers in the US until November 18, but there's the chance of an early preview of motion/tablet gameplay thanks to 5,000 Wii U kiosks across US retailers. The new booths will be revealed at select Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart, and Toys 'R' Us stores from today, either offering video information about the console or an actual chance to play with one of the launch titles.

Although many gamers are already familiar with the style of motion-play the Wii originally made popular, the Wii U throws some extra styles of interaction into the mixture. The GamePad controller, which resembles a large tablet, can be used for navigating through titles, playing independently from what's on the main TV screen, or even as a sub-controller for in-game accessories.

For instance, in Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, the GamePad's screen can be used to show a batarang-eye view of the superhero's weapon of choice, as it flies through areas of the game. Alternatively, other titles use the GamePad for private play, away from the eyes of other gamers.

Nintendo has a map showing participating locations with a Wii U kiosk, though unfortunately it doesn't specify whether the booth at that store has a setup you can actually play, or merely the info video on launch titles. Meanwhile, preordering has been open for some weeks now, with chatter that launch-day supplies of the console are going fast.