Wii U doesn't upscale Wii games or play GameCube games

The Wii U won't upscale original Wii games, or play GameCube games, according to Nintendo head of public relations Mark Franklin.

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We're still slowly getting more droplets of details on the Wii U, including its backwards compatibility options. It will support Wii games and can sync with the Wii remotes, but that support doesn't include upscaling. Giant Bomb reports that Nintendo head of public relations Mark Franklin confirmed it yesterday.

Franklin also confirmed that the Wii U won't play GameCube games. This seemed likely, since we'd seen no indication that the system even has the necessary controller ports, but it's nice to know for sure.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 9, 2011 1:30 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Wii U doesn't upscale Wii games or play GameCube games.

    The Wii U won't upscale original Wii games, or play GameCube games, according to Nintendo head of public relations Mark Franklin.

    • reply
      June 9, 2011 1:33 PM

      Aww shucks.

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      June 9, 2011 1:33 PM

      Why? Seriously, why? Who has seen Super Mario Galaxy 2 upscaled on Dolphin? Would that not be a system seller? God this is disappointing.

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        June 9, 2011 1:55 PM

        Yeah, I mean if the PS3 was up-scaling like 12 years ago then it can't cost more then a buck or two on modern hardware. Don't those 20 dollar walmart blu-ray players upscale?

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          June 9, 2011 3:19 PM

          Wow, so let's count the number of things wrong here.

          The ps3 is not twelve years old, it never upscaled ps2 games, and I don't think it upscales ps1 games either. Hell, ps2 emulation was so expensive they cut it out.

          The ps2 (which you might have meant) did some amount of work on ps1 games but not "upscaling" like you're thinking. Also it broke a number of games if it was turned on.

          There are no $20 Blu-Ray players. There are $20 DVD players but if they upscale it's a new development (used to be that started at at least $50). Also upscaling a DVD to 1080p has nothing to do with upscaling a video game. Also it sucks.

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            June 9, 2011 3:25 PM

            I stand by what I said.

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            June 9, 2011 3:34 PM

            The PS3 definitely upscaled PS2 games and output them in 720p or whatever, but upscaling basically blows the original picture up and smooths a few things like text and textures. The actual low definition and hard lines of geometry and aliasing is still there, but blurred a bit due to the way it upscales the entire image.

            It's not actually rendering the games in higher resolution, which is what people actually want and what they continually confuse with upscaling on gaming systems, as Toraz pointed out already.

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            June 12, 2011 5:13 PM

            well, if you look in your game settings menu you can see an option called "ps upscaler" on/off. who knows what that means since my console doesn't do ps 1 emulation. ps2 emulation was not expensive, they had hardware in there but later on started doing it in software (so no extra cost for hardware) but thought if they cut it they would actually force people to buy their shitty launch lineup.

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        June 9, 2011 1:56 PM

        be careful not to confuse upscaling with "rendering at a higher resolution", they aren't the same thing :)

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          June 9, 2011 2:16 PM

          WTF no one told me this.

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          June 9, 2011 3:29 PM

          No, they aren't the same. But the people who don't know better still refer to rendering in a higher resolution as upscaling even though that's not what they want. They want HD versions of those games like the games are when running in higher res on Dolphon, not blurry, upressed and still jaggy version, like the upscaling of PS2 games on older PS3s work.

      • Zek
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        June 9, 2011 2:14 PM

        It's not stable IIRC, emulators can't do it perfectly.

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          June 9, 2011 7:00 PM

          There's nothing "unstable" about it.

          I can play Pacman at 2560x1600 in MAME. You can play Metroid Prime from start to finish in Dolphin at 2560x1600.

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            June 10, 2011 9:41 AM

            Yes, and not every game gives you a perfect experience. Many games give you graphical artifacts and blurring from objects that weren't meant to be upscaled. It's easy to see why it would take way too much work to get every game working flawlessly when being upscaled, and Nintendo would not just add a feature that doesn't work 100% like it should.

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        June 10, 2011 9:39 AM

        It's most likely because not every single game plays well with being upscaled. Some games get graphical artifacts from things that weren't meant to be upscaled, and Nintendo probably doesn't want there to be a hit-or-miss experience with something like that.

        Wii and Gamecube games weren't "designed" to be later upscaled as some people think they were. Emulators just use Direct X as a brute force method of upcaling it, and the same thing works on any modern system emulator - even PSX and N64 could be upscaled.

        It is just as valid to ask Sony or MS to add upscaling in their backwards compatibility, and it's just as valid to assume they will not because it would take too much work to focus on every game and make sure each works well when being upscaled.

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      June 9, 2011 1:34 PM

      Ah, I thought I read that it played GC games. :-(

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        June 9, 2011 1:36 PM

        There was question as to how far back it would go, and none of the pictures we've see of it had controller ports so that makes sense. The non-upscaling though is quite the bummer.

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      June 9, 2011 1:42 PM

      Anybody else think Nintendo is kind of dropping the ball with the Ling Ling?

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      June 9, 2011 1:56 PM

      Excitement...dwindling

      I mean, I'm still excited, but it's a little disappointing to hear some of the things that's come out recently.

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      June 9, 2011 2:01 PM

      So the one good thing about having gamecube controller ports was that you could you plug in a wired controller and have zero input lag for fighters and shmups. I imagine Wii U won't have a way to plug in to USB, so this will be a downside for the VERY hardcore crowd.

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        June 9, 2011 2:09 PM

        Meh, classic controller on a Wiimote was good enough for me. Latency on those things really isn't an issue.

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        June 9, 2011 2:09 PM

        I would hope it has a USB charge cord so if you run out of battery, you can keep playing plugged in / plug in for wired latency.

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        June 9, 2011 2:12 PM

        It has 4 usb ports.

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      June 9, 2011 2:11 PM

      No Wii Upscaling.
      No GameCube Support.
      Oh... and at the moment, it only supports ONE new controller.

      Yeah... I'd say they missed the boat.

      Give it 2 years, and see what happens with 'Version 2', Black, Motion Plus, etc. etc.

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        June 9, 2011 2:16 PM

        Upscaling could, theoretically anyways, be added later with a firmware update, I'm really hoping on that + them giving support for at least two Nintablets.

    • Zek
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      June 9, 2011 2:15 PM

      Don't care about Gamecube games really. Bit of a bummer that there are no GCN controller ports for Smash though.

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      June 9, 2011 3:32 PM

      I was really hoping to see Windwaker at 810x1080 (yes, I don't force games into widescreen that weren't designed for it) without Dolphin when I first heard about it having Wii backwards compatibility, figuring the Wii was built on the same architecture as the GC... alas.

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      June 9, 2011 3:42 PM

      Does anyone else think Nintendo's gearing up for adding 'Cube games to a Virtual Console-type service? I also think the GBA port was discontinued on the DSi/XL and 3DS because they want to add those games to the portable VC.

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        June 9, 2011 3:54 PM

        Vendor lock-in and forcing customers to re-buy their game collection is THE FUTURE!! Watch Microsoft and Sony announce zero backwards-compatibility support when the PS4 and XBox 720 launch in 2 to 3 years.

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          June 9, 2011 7:00 PM

          It really is, actually. It is another move towards digital. Personally I'd rather have a digital library than lugging around these systems and games every time I move.

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            June 10, 2011 8:38 AM

            Well, if Steam and GOG showed me anything it's if you make it cheap enough, add compatibilities, and let me grab it any time, I'll repurchase my back catalog. I guess it wouldn't be terrible as long as you have permanent access to it and the digital copies work going forward (fat chance).

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          June 9, 2011 7:02 PM

          My positive spin on this is:

          The less compatible it is with the old shit, the more likely it is that there's actually some new, interesting hardware under the covers.

          The Wii had almost exactly the same hardware as the GC. Being stuck with 2001 hardware for that long is horrible.

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        June 9, 2011 7:03 PM

        Still though, I'm not gonna check my GC library but I imagine there will be titles missing due to licensing. :\

        I'm tempted to just go pick up a cheap GC and sell my Wii and wait on the new system.

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      June 9, 2011 4:22 PM

      WHAT THE FUCK NINTENDO AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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      June 9, 2011 4:49 PM

      Why do it for free when you can have a "Wii Classics" line at 20 dollars a game that will be upscaled.

      As much as i love Nintendo they will repackage the same games over and over.

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      June 9, 2011 5:04 PM

      Didn't they say all Wii accessories would work? Is a GameCube controller not a Wii accessory?

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        June 9, 2011 6:56 PM

        The controller might work. But not the games.

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          June 9, 2011 7:03 PM

          I am pretty sure if there is no GameCube support than there won't be any GameCube controller ports either. The Wii currently has four GameCube ports in a hidden side panel.

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        June 9, 2011 7:04 PM

        not really.

        and emulating this stuff isn't easy. Especially if you want 100% compatibility.

        Sure you can do some pretty shit with like Dolphin emulator and pcsx2, but the amount of individual toggles and settings and speedhacks you need to mess with for each individual title and there still is a high chance shit just breaks.

        life ain't easy ;)

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        June 9, 2011 7:32 PM

        Not really

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        June 9, 2011 9:25 PM

        A GCN controller is a GCN accessory

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      June 9, 2011 9:29 PM

      They should just put the Dolphin Emulator in there. I would seriously buy the Wii U for that reason alone.

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        June 10, 2011 5:41 AM

        ... still would look as good as on a beefy PC though :-)

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        June 11, 2011 8:42 PM

        There's no need for that... if the hardware is capable of running Wii titles there's exactly zero reason it can't run Gamecube titles as well, the Wii hardware is afterall just an overclocked Gamecube. (well, the same architecture at a higher clock, not strictly OC'd, but my point stands)

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      June 10, 2011 1:03 PM

      That's sucked news. :[ I will go for the Playstation Vita!