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Wii U: PAL backwards compatibility doesn’t upscale to HD

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 13:12 GMT By Dave Cook

Wii U backwards compatibility functions have been thoroughly tested by the boffins at Digital Foundry. While the site champions Nintendo’s handling of classic Wii games, it has found that while NTSC titles upscale to HD resolution, PAL games will not. Get their findings below.

As part of a detailed analysis into the matter on Eurogamer, Digital Foundry reports that when playing original Wii games, the Wii U console will revert to Wii mode, complete with classic menus and options.

However, the site explained, “Important AV options are omitted from the Wii menu, with the PAL console unable to upscale to HD resolutions or run in progressive scan over component – an issue that doesn’t seem to impact NTSC hardware.”

The report added, “The results are intriguing. On a PAL unit, where 480p and PAL60 were supported in the original games, Wii U automatically opts for this set-up on HDMI – whether the user wants it or not.

“While we think it’s a logical way to proceed, the fact is that some Wii gamers prefer to utilise 576i. PAL-optimised titles may take a hit to frame-rate, but they make up for it with around 17 per cent more resolution.

“What is clear is that the choices users had on their older hardware have been taken away from them on Wii U when there’s absolutely no reason that the software couldn’t have been designed to keep everyone happy.”

So it seems that PAL games are being locked into a particular resolution, regardless of options available within the original title. The report also discusses the long and drawn out process of transferring data over from your original Wii to Wii U.

“Other back-compat issues surface when dealing with the Virtual Console. For starters, transferring purchases across from the Wii to the Wii U is a bizarrely involved procedure.

“The process involves downloading the transfer tool on both your Wii U and the old Wii. You then have to prepare the SD card (with at least 512MB of space on it) on the Wii U and then insert it into the old console. The transfer tool then copies all of your data (Miis, purchase history, downloads, save games) to the SD card.

“You then have to put it back in the Wii U and copy all of the data back over. Weirdly, you need to have internet access in order to complete the process.

“One of our colleagues was hugely frustrated by always failing at the last stage of this drawn-out operation, with the Wii U itself offering no explanation whatsoever for what the issue may have been, and network issues turned out to be the problem.

“Also a little irritating is that despite shipping a console with 32GB of flash, onboard Wii storage limits are the same palty 512MB we had to put up with on the original hardware.”

Sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it? Have you dabbled in either of these issues? Let us know what you think below.

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27 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    Overpriced
    Old tech
    Gimmicky Pad
    Not multi touch
    Old launch games
    Bad multi platform launch games
    Big online first day patch
    Bricked machines
    No HD upscaling for Wii games
    No Game cube support

    Why is it still so fun to play on?! :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. zinc

    Because your a brainwashed Miyamoto acolyte, with a fetish for kids games?

    :-P

    #2 2 years ago
  3. scott_wright

    hmmm thats a bit crap really isnt it?

    I Thought we was getting away from all this PAL and NTSC stuff but nope still alive and well.

    I mean its things like this that keep the import scene alive and well.

    I thought the whole idea of the Wii U was to get back on the good side of so called Core gamers.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    So my (NA) system does upscale Wii games? Whats rez do they run in? My wife and I were playing NSMBWii a few days ago(we vow to finish the old one, w/o our kids help, before we spend on a newer one). And we noticed it the game looked very nice. But in just eye balling it, we couldn’t tell what it was running at.

    Our TV INFO button claimed 1080p. But it didn’t look 1080p. It also didn’t 480i/480p either. I guess so long as it is playing good and looking good it really doesn’t matter. But I styill wonder what res it is, and more so I still don’t understand why PAL systems can’t/don’t upscale? Is there a laymens terms someone could toss at me? And more importantly for our EU friends, can it be patched at a later date?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but a decent display can scale the image to stretch over the entire panel anyway – which is all inbuilt “up-scaling” does anyway, no?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 at the TV end yeah. But the point is that the Wii U will upscale itself with NTSC games, but not with PAL titles.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    That source article is incredibly confusingly written. For a start the quote you’ve picked out Dave is separated off in the article, but has actually been rewritten in the main text – as they’ve not actually tested it with a game.

    Upscaling is rarely that good with games and their hard pixel edges. It’s not the same as up-rezzing, which would be very nice. So the machine itself not upscaling is not a huge issue. The proper PAL resolutions not being available is a bit annoying, but massive.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @6
    Not sure they actually found that though. The core point was that PAL resolutions were not available as options. The other point was that it was only via component cables that there were other NTSC/PAL differences. HDMI was fine.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. stx

    Hugely misleading head-line. The EU Wii U does upscale Wii titles to HD.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 Why is it misleading? Saying it’s misleading suggests I’ve intentionally said something untrue, which I haven’t.

    Where’s your source on your claim? I’m only reporting what Digital Foundry has said. So if you want to accuse someone of being misleading, accuse them.

    FFS…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. polygem

    i played some of my wii pal games on the wiiu recently…looked crisp and clean, no complaints from me. i´d just prefer not to have too boot into a wii mode though. would love to see some games being playable on the touchpad only…that´s a missed opportunity imho.

    @2: no it´s fun to play…it just is. you should try it yourself. marketing washed your brain and made you believe playing mario is more childish than playing uncharted…truth is: it´s not.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. _LarZen_

    So let me get this right, it dont upscale to HD if you use component but it will if you use HDMI?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DrDamn

    @10
    This main quote – the one only present in the original article as a quote from the article but not very actually in the article …

    “Important AV options are omitted from the Wii menu, with the PAL console unable to upscale to HD resolutions or run in progressive scan over component – an issue that doesn’t seem to impact NTSC hardware.”

    Isn’t very clear. Does it mean PAL consoles are :-

    a) Unable to upscale to HD resolutions
    b) Unable to run in progressive scan over component

    Or

    a) Unable to upscale to HD resolutions over component
    b) Unable to run in progressive scan over component

    #13 2 years ago
  14. killersense

    @monkeygourmet
    didn’t you at one point before the wii u launch say that it will be the hottest item in town during the holidays and people will struggle to find it in stores ? if yes do you still think so lol?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. polygem

    WiiU haters………..i feel sorry for you.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    @10
    Also from the EG article …

    “As expected, there’s no magical native HD resolution rendering in HDMI mode, but the upscaling from 480p and conversion of 576i games is handled fairly well.”

    What upscaling is he talking about? If there is none on PAL and they have no NTSC games to test?

    Not blaming you Dave, but the source material. When I read it before the article here I thought it would be best for vg247 to just put “EG Digital Foundry analyses Wii-U B/C” and link it :D. Fair play for trying to pull out the important points, but it contradicts and confuses itself.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @16 I think part of the problem is that they have written the piece with a view to sounding intellectual. it doesn’t help anyone when it’s written that way ;)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. zinc

    @Polygem, Now I know, you know I’m joking…

    But Uncharted is obviously more adult! Drake has manly stubble, not a cartoon mustache!

    The platforming is set in adult locations, not fairytale lands.

    And Drake uses guns, not fire flowers!

    These 3 points easily separate the 2!

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    @17
    Yeah I’m not a huge fan of Leadbetter.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. polygem

    you just pointed out very well that there isn´t a big difference….and moustaches have always been MANLY, as well as fire flowers. fairytales they both are, every game is.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. bitsnark

    @19

    I like his work, but really, he could be a helluva lot less verbose.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dragon246

    Its an art to write something in a way that no one understands.
    Appreciate the art folks.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. bitsnark

    @22

    Haha! :)

    #23 2 years ago
  24. ManuOtaku

    I did stop reading at “there is not magical native HD”, nintendo is magical for christ sake, in everything ;)

    #24 2 years ago
  25. polygem

    lol

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Cobra951

    @5:

    Absolutely right. The perfect HDTV will scale whatever is fed into it to the panel’s native res using the best algorithms available at a blazingly fast speed to make lag negligible. How close your HDTV comes to this perfection is a very important question for a gamer.

    A good HDTV can make lower-res content look crisp. Ideally, it’s best to let competent sets do all of the scaling required, since otherwise the input source (e.g., your Nintendo console) will be scaling once, then the TV will be scaling a second time, adding to overall distortion, and possibly adding to overall lag. Even when your source outputs 1080p resolution to a set labeled “1080p”, chances are the TV hardware is doing some scaling, because of overscan or the actual hardware resolution of the panel, or both.

    Which looks best in practice, however, will vary with the combination of components and even personal taste. I would first have the WiiU output a progressive-scan signal at the game’s native res (if possible), and let the TV do the scaling. Play with that for a bit. Then I would allow the console to scale up the output to match the TV’s actual res as best as possible, and compare results.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. zinc

    @poly, I know theirs not much difference, I’m joking… Again ;-)

    #27 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege beta sign ups now open

    Ubisoft is letting everyone register for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege closed beta. Rainbow Six Siege is due for a closed beta sometime this year. Ubisoft has opened registration to everyone. All you need to do is enter your preferred platform and log in using your Uplay account. You will be entered into a waiting […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies map Infection is creepy

    The upcoming chapter in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies mode is called ‘Infection’ and Activision has been slowly revealing bits and pieces about it. A few teasers have been dropping ahead of Ascendance launch this month. The teasers are about the second episode in the Exo Zombie story, Infection. First off, the map. […]

  • This is the Bloodborne press kit in all its glory

    Bloodborne is a gorgeous game so it’s only fitting that the press kit it came in is a reflection of that. The pictures capture the many amazing bits of the Bloodborne press kit. A press kit is what’s usually sent to the reviewers alongside the review copy. They’re usually very ornate and almost all of […]

  • This Hearthstone turn is taking over 40 hours and you can watch it happen

    A very smart Hearthstone player has rigged his game to make one turn take over 40 hours, and it has been going for over 22 already. Hearthstone player Mamytwink set up a game against his friend to try and achieve the record for the longest turn in Hearthstone ever. Basically, Mamytwink set the game up […]

  • The Witcher 3: Geralt’s beard grows over time, but not Gandalf-long

    The beard of The Witcher 3 protagonist Geralt will grow over time, but you can trim it if you choose to. As part of a recently published impressions piece by German magazine Gamestar (translated by NeoGAF), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developers revealed that Geralt’s beard will in fact grow over time. Not content with […]

  • Sony mistakenly abandons Bloodborne trademark in the US

    The administration side of Sony Computer Entertainment has not been in the best of shapes recently. Sony has abandoned four game trademarks yesterday, one of which is for Bloodborne. The trademarks were all registered with US Patent and Trademark Office. All of the games trademarks pertain to unreleased games and Sony would’ve had to either […]

  • Payday 2 will be supported until 2017

    Payday 2 developer has announced that it will continue to support the game for the next two years. Payday 2 developer Overkill has revealed today that it’s planning to support the game until 2017. What this means is that more free content as well as paid DLC are in the works for release later. Payday […]

  • These are the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare weapons, according to the developer

    Based on their overall kill-to-death ratio, what are the best guns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Developer Sledgehammer reveals the top 5. Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey has revealed on Twitter the top 5 weapons in Advanced Warfare based on their overall kill-to-death ratio. Here’s the list: ARX-160 – Hole Puncher Ameli – Heavy HBRa3 – […]

  • H1Z1 has sold more than 1 million copies

    H1Z1 has already sold over 1 million copies on Steam. H1Z1 may still be in Early Access on Steam, but it has already sold more than 1 million copies. Daybreak president John Smedley announced on Twitter earlier. H1Z1 launched in January and instantly became a hit. The game has consistently been on Steam’s top 10 […]