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(Pocket-lint) - The Nintendo Wii U is the first in the next generation of games consoles to hit the market, with the Xbox 720 and PS4 widely expected to be launched in summer 2013. It went on sale in the US on 18 November and will hit the UK and the rest of Europe this Friday, 30 November.

But while there are plenty who herald this new stage in gaming technology, its release hasn't been welcomed by everyone. One particular industry luminary, Nolan Bushnell - a founding father of videogaming with his invention of Pong and creation of Atari - even thinks the Wii U represents the end of an era.

Read: Best Wii U deals UK

Speaking to the New York Times, Bushnell explained that he doesn't even see the need for a new games console, considering that the current generation is capable of stunning graphics as it is. And he referred to Nintendo's new machine specifically. "I actually am baffled by it," he said. "I don’t think it’s going to be a big success."

It's not just Nintendo that Bushnell is baffled by, however. He accepts that Microsoft and Sony are about to refresh their ranges too, but hinted that we've already gone as far as gaming can go - everything else is just a continuation on a theme.

"These things will continue to sputter along, but I really don’t think they’ll be of major import ever again," he told the New York Times. "It feels like the end of an era to me."

The Nintendo Wii U will be launched in the UK at HMV's flagship store at 150 Oxford Street, London, with doors opening at 11pm on 29 November. There will be free games, goody bags, characters and more.

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Writing by Rik Henderson.