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Wii Confirmed at 480p 223

Posted by Zonk
from the good-but-not-that-good dept.
Eurogamer is reconfirming that the Wii only outputs at 480p, after the official Nintendo magazine mistakenly said otherwise. From the article: "Nintendo UK also recently said that it had every intention of releasing peripherals like the component cable — used to achieve the 480p resolution — at retail, despite suggestions that you'd have to buy the cables through online shops in the US. The interest in Wii's high-resolution options is of course spurred on by Microsoft and Sony's battling over the higher end. Both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generally offer games in 720p, with 1080p now possible for developers who want to go the extra mile (well, the extra 1,152,000 pixels, anyway)."
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Wii Confirmed at 480p

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  • by LehiNephi (695428) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @01:49PM (#16691215) Journal
    It would be interesting to know how much of the video game market consists of people with HDTVs that actually do 720p/1080whatever. This also leads me to ask: "Does resolution really matter?" For some games, I'm sure it makes a difference, but I'd be willing to bet that high resolution won't make any difference to a large majority of gamers in a large number of titles.

    Keeping to 480p seems like a good move by Nintendo. Many (I'd even go so far as to say most) of their games will be just as fun, you don't need a fancy TV just to enjoy it, and (perhaps most importantly) it keeps part cost, size, and power requirements down.

    I was watching my teenage brother-in-law play Zelda (I don't recall which) on his gamecube the other day. The graphical style of the game was very effective, and I think it would actually lose appeal going to higher resolution.

    Now all you experts can respond and tell me why I'm totally wrong.
    • Resolution itself isn't that important for me, but I do know that I get a lot more HD lag on my Samsung DLP when I'm running in interlaced mode than when I'm running in progressive.
    • by spinkham (56603)
      The market that is willing to spend $600 on a PS3 is the same market who probably has a HD TV. The market that would rather spend $250 on a game machine is the one that is likely to only have a standard def tv(mine can't even do 480p, 480i only)
      They really are pointing at different markets.
      • by AuMatar (183847)
        Not really. I'd consider 600 for a console, if there were enough must have launch games and if the console itself was innovative. But I play a lot of games. I wouldn't consider an HDTV- I watch about 2-3 hours of TV a week, and most of that is just background noise (I'm not really watching it). If my old TV broke and an HD was only about 10 bucks more, I might get an HD one, but that would be the limit of what I'd pay.

        A game console is always aimed at the gaming market, which is definitely not the same
    • by mgv (198488) *
      I was watching my teenage brother-in-law play Zelda (I don't recall which) on his gamecube the other day. The graphical style of the game was very effective, and I think it would actually lose appeal going to higher resolution.

      Now all you experts can respond and tell me why I'm totally wrong.


      No, gameplay can be quite independent of resolution quality. In fact the earlier games were often good because they had to make the gameplay good. The graphics were never going to impress anyone.

      All too often now a ga
      • by LoudMusic (199347)
        No, gameplay can be quite independent of resolution quality. In fact the earlier games were often good because they had to make the gameplay good. The graphics were never going to impress anyone.

        Here's an interesting approach - hire a team to design a game for the original Playstation and when they're done hire another team to reskin it for the PS3. Maybe the first team will make something that's actually fun instead of just making an interactive movie.
      • I was watching my teenage brother-in-law play Zelda (I don't recall which) on his gamecube the other day. The graphical style of the game was very effective, and I think it would actually lose appeal going to higher resolution.

        No, gameplay can be quite independent of resolution quality.

        The GPP said graphical style, not gameplay. He's probably talking about Wind Waker, which had a unique cartoony look to it. A higher resolution really wouldn't help it, because it's not meant to look realistic, and it mi

    • by joggle (594025)
      It's nice having the higher resolution when playing with friends on a split screen. It's nice to actually be able to see what's going on, especially in racing games. For single-player, if you really want high resolution then you're best off with PC gaming since even 1080p can't touch what high-end cards and PC monitors are capable of.
      • by LehiNephi (695428)
        You make a very good point. I don't own a console of any sort (blasphemy, I know), and I've only once played Halo with four players on one TV, but it was pretty tough for my used-to-higher-resolution eyes to see much.

        And since the Wii seems to be the only "next-gen" console that natively supports four players on one console, that extra resolution would come in handy.
        • Last time I looked PS3 and 360 both have support for 4 controllers. What are you talking about? The Wii isn't coming with 4 controllers if that's what "natively" means.
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            I think he's referring to the huge amount of games for Xbox 360 that are single player or online multiplayer only.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Well, you have to define 'make the difference'.

      Do you mean:

      A) Game is unplayable at 480, and playable at 720
      B) Game is boring at 480, fun at 720
      C) Game is visually horrid at 480, beautiful at 720
      D) Game is playable and fun at both, but 720 makes it crisp and clean, and more lifelike.

      Would I like to see Elebits at 1080? Absolutely. Would I pay 3x the price for the console to do that? Heck no.

      I still play PS2 games at 480. Why would I suddenly HAVE to have 1080 for all my gaming?

      I'll admit, some of th
      • I still play PS2 games at 480. Why would I suddenly HAVE to have 1080 for all my gaming?

        Real-time war simulations would benefit from more pixels. Each step from 320x200 to 640x480 to 1024x768 allowed PC RTS games to show much more information about the player's buildings and units on the screen at once. It also allows the camera to be pulled out farther to show more units at once or multiple views so that the player can see what's going on at each front.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cereal Box (4286)
      Well, ask yourself this: do you think 640x480 is still an acceptable PC gaming resolution or do you see benefit in higher resolutions?

      Another thing you should consider is that the Wii is going to stick around for what, five years or so? The 480p graphics will look absolutely primitive by then (I would argue they do right now), and the fact is that HDTV adoption is on the rise, and more and more households will have them in five year's time. Nintendo should've at least allowed the possibility of 720p/1080i
      • by 7Prime (871679)

        Well, ask yourself this: do you think 640x480 is still an acceptable PC gaming resolution or do you see benefit in higher resolutions?

        No, however, PC games are played by sitting right in front of your computer screen, so every pixel counts. Unless you're playing 3 feet away from your large-screen TV, NOONE plays console games with as big a field of view as with PC games, so NTSC/ED resolutions are fairly comperable to standard PC resolutions when you take into acount how large each pixel looks from the pl

      • by xeaxes (554292)

        Well, ask yourself this: do you think 640x480 is still an acceptable PC gaming resolution or do you see benefit in higher resolutions?

        Of course games benefit from higher resolutions. Where you are incorrect is that 480p is not 640x480. It is 852x480. DVD's are the same quality, and they look pretty good. Sure, 720p, 1080i, etc are better, but not mind blowingly better. I'd rather see perfectly lifelike graphics at 480p than cartoony graphics at 1080p at this point. 1080p wastes a lot of processing

    • by bazorg (911295)
      Resolution matters a lot for Microsoft vs. Sony pissing contest. Besides that, Sony gains from pushing Bravia screens, while MS gains from getting their DirectX toolkit to work nicely for companies developing for both console and PC games. Resolution matters less for Nintendo as they prefer to make money now with the Wii and live to fight another day when it is really convenient for them to make a HD console.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thatguywhoiam (524290)

      It would be interesting to know how much of the video game market consists of people with HDTVs that actually do 720p/1080whatever. This also leads me to ask: "Does resolution really matter?"

      Which leads me to answer: "Of course it fucking matters!"

      Look, I get the argument. A lot of people don't have HDTVs yet. But this is a resolution that has been with us since the 50s people. It is positively ancient.

      Not to mention, the inherent artifacts of NTSC (Never The Same Colour). 29.97 frames per second, not

      • 1) 480p's actually MUCH better than most people have EVER seen (QCIF is what most people are typically used to- ever TRY using WebTV or any other internet set-top of that era on anything less than the highest end TV's?? If it were more like what everyone CLAIMS NTSC is capable of, I'd not have went through the last 6 years worth of pain that I have up to this point...)

        2) HDTV's are not going to get mass adoption for at LEAST another year and a half to two.

        3) Can you convince me that all that higher resolut
    • "This also leads me to ask: "Does resolution really matter?" For some games, I'm sure it makes a difference, but I'd be willing to bet that high resolution won't make any difference to a large majority of gamers in a large number of titles."

      I'm personally a little disappointed that they're using this generation to push HD. I have a ton of DVDs with visual FX in them that far exceed what's possible on a console/PC even at standard definition. Now they have 6x the pixels to fill... and we're still not comin
    • by pyite69 (463042)
      The more accurate question is - how much is higher resolution worth?

      A wide-screen 480p format would probably be 75% as cool as 720p, but at a significantly lower cost.

      I think the coolness factor of the new controller is more important (or lameness if it turns out to not live up to the hype).

  • Great!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by phase_9 (909592)
    I was busting for one!!! ;)
  • I thought the Nintendo Wii was supposed to have similar capabilities as the original Xbox. There are many games that support 720p resolution on the old Xbox, with a few (simple) games supporting 1080i. So the new Nintendo isn't even up to the standard of the previous generation of game consoles?
    • Resolution wise, you are correct. In all other aspects, the Wii will tromp the original XBox.
    • Yeah man, I guess we just shouldn't buy it now. The Wii may be the most innovative system in a long time, but hell, if it can't do 720p, I guess we're just going to have to shell out more for one of the other consolso we can get better eye candy in our sequels.
      • by joggle (594025)
        Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to buy a Wii. I'm just disapointed that it won't even support a higher resolution. It really is nice to be able to use the higher resolution when playing with friends on a split-screen. And since the Wii won't have any service like Microsoft's Live initially (and I don't think there will even be any local network games at first), this will be the only way to play with friends for a while on the Wii unless it is a turn-based or overlayed game of course.
    • According to the Wii FAQ from IGN the Wii can technically do 720p and 1080i. Its only that due to the lack of CPU/GPU power using that resoluton wouldn't make much sense for real games.
    • I thought the Nintendo Wii was supposed to have similar capabilities as the original Xbox. There are many games that support 720p resolution on the old Xbox, with a few (simple) games supporting 1080i.

      Is that true? I've never heard this. Which games, if you don't mind me asking?

  • I won't be paying for resolution I can't see.
  • With an innovative motion controller and great gameplay, 480p is still really good.

    Remember that 480p is more aong the lines of current DVD quality, and still better than the interlaced TV display we are all used to. It should still look better than last generation consoles from a detail persepctive.
    • by Erwos (553607)
      All the last-gen consoles rendered at 480p. In fact, the Xbox often did 720p/1080i, and even the PS2 has a 1080i game (GT4). So, no, based on resolution alone, the Wii's not going to look better - it'll actually look worse in some cases.
      • It's true the XBox had pretty good 480p + support. But the PS2 only had a handful of games that supported progressive scan, much less higher resolutions. I don't think the Gamecube had 480P support (but I may be wrong).

        • The Gamecube had 480p support [hdtvarcade.com] for virtualy EVERY 1st party game (I have yet to come across a 1st party game that didn't), and many 3rd party even if it didn't have it labled on the back of the box. Even the Gameboy player supported progressive scan. What was increasingly scarce was 16:9 widescreen, but there were some Gems. Eternal Darkness, Starfox Adventures, and F-Zero GX were particularly nice (and supported both).

          The issue was that the Gamecube used a non-standard digital port for component cabl [nintendo.com]

          • Thanks, I had never heard that about the Gamecube. I hope that more people take advantage of this wtih the Wii, and will also explore some of teh Gamecube back library (which has always looked pretty interesting).
            • by trdrstv (986999)
              Eternal Darkness, RE4, and F-Zero GX all pwn, and you could get all 3 now for $40 or less (used) total. I would start with those. :)
  • by Echnin (607099)
    Oh well, at least it has progressive scan. What I'm wondering is whether progressive scan will work for Gamecube games, and also whether there will be a VGA adapter... poor college students without TVs need this kind of information! Geez.
    • by pjbass (144318)
      I own three Gamecube games (Zelda and both Metroids), and they both support progressive scan. Of course, you need to use the component video cables to a TV capable of 480p, but it currently exists on the Gamecube.
    • About 70% of all Gamecube games support 480p (if you have the component cables for it). Also if you've got a modchip in your Gamecube many of them allow you to force the non 480p games into displaying in 480p mode.

      The Gamecube also had a VGA cable (albeit 3rd party). Even if the Wii doesn't support VGA, it does support component and there are a plethora of Component to VGA converters on the market for around $50... which is probably about what you'd pay for an official VGA cable anyway.
      • by Echnin (607099)
        Well that's good news! I hope then that the Wii will also be able to force Gamecube games to output in 480p. I was investigating the possibilites of connecting consoles to my display a few weeks ago, and from what I could tell there were no adapters that would allow me to plug a console with an interlaced component output to a display that doesn't support it - and a cheap LCD monitor wouldn't support that. Hope this will work, then. :)
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      I'm a more college kid without a TV. A free OS (Linux/Fedora) + PVR (MythTV) + cheap tv car (Hauppauge WinTV FM - eBay) servers me just fine, a fraction of the cost.
  • It is basically my only real complaint about the Wii, but it is a huge one.

    Most people don't have HDTVs. But I do. And the idea of buying a console that will never talk to it, never show me the full picture, is irritating. Particularly because I like the Wii.

    If they had just managed to get it up to 720p, this whole discussion would be moot. 1080p is great and all, but as far as content is concerned (i.e. tv shows, films, games that can drive it) 1080p is basically science fiction right now. Won't be comm

    • by tji (74570)
      > Most people don't have HDTVs. But I do. And the idea of buying a console that will never talk to it, never show me the full picture, is irritating. Particularly because I like the Wii.

      That's overstating it a bit, isn't it? An HDTV will still be able to display a 480p game much better than a 480i game. Standard 480i is 4:3, and interlaced so it's half the resolution. 480p will give it a widescreen capability at 720x480 resolution @ 60fps.

      Which is not to say it's not disappointing.. I would also muc
  • Resolutions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by weasello (881450) <weasel@NosPam.greensheep.ca> on Thursday November 02, 2006 @03:13PM (#16692659) Homepage
    I'm a big geek and I'd love to say "1080P ROXXORZ! ALL!! 4TW!!" but sadly, it isn't the case. Yes, a big-screen high-definition teleivision playing HDTV definately looks better than Channel 2 on your old 13". But that isn't an accurate comparison for most of the market.

    I sold TVs for 8 years. I had big banks of them - Standard, ED, HD - even some exotic 1080p stuff that didn't run anything except a special demo disk in a special machine.

    One particular corner was a perfect test area. We had a 480P, 720P, and 1080I television of the same make and line (it was an LG set of televisions). Of the hundreds (if not thousands) of customers I showed these sets to, running HD PBS 1080 feed via Satellite (beautiful show, btw) - 8 out of 10 people pointed at the 480P set and said it was superior quality. When pressed for why they made that choice, they usually said "it was a hunch" and that they couldn't really tell between the three.

    All three TVs had v-high quality cables, and my "test subjects" were sitting approximately 8 feet away from these 42" sets, which were all hung in equal lighting at eye level.

    Then I'd move the test subjects up close - 2 feet away or so - and we could easily count the physical pixels on the 480 screen, wheras you'd have to move your head much closer to count the pixels on the 1080 screen. We could all see that, yes, upon inspection we *know* that 1080 is better...

    But then I pointed at the pricetags. $1000 for the 480, $1800 for the 720, and $2500 for the 1080. Guess which one I sold the most of. (most of my data culled from 1-2-3 years ago so pricing/details may vary).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aadain2001 (684036)
      I wish I had mod points to give you a "+1 Real World Info" rating. Too many people fail to see past the numbers and look at how the device will be used in the real world.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Swanktastic (109747)
      Yours is an interesting post. I would add one point though.

      I tend to sit much closer to my television when I'm playing games than when I'm watching TV- the whole lean forward vs. lean back interaction... I'd estimate maybe 5 feet vs. 10 feet, respectively. I'm not sure if this is common or not, but it could explain why folks care more about resolution when gaming.

      • by weasello (881450)
        I frequently sat v-close to the sets and I could make out the pixels if I looked hard, but I'm convinced I wouldn't be able to tell if I was in the midst of combat in some fast-paced game. It may not be true, but it's true in my mind, and that's good enough for me :) On a side note though.. 5 feet is pretty damned close (obv. depending on the size of the TV). I'm often 5 or 6 feet away from my 27" CRT (which has an effective resolution of 320x240, which I game on all the time), but sitting that close to a
    • Since Sony has slower loading than any other system, it's more important that those load screens are in 1080p!

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