After the step forward with 3DS Virtual Console – 60hz NES games! – it would seem baffling for Nintendo to return to releasing 50hz games on Wii U Virtual Console, right? But that’s exactly what they’ve done for European/Australian Wii U owners.
And it’s a pain, as many games before the last decade often featured poorly optimised 50hz conversions, featuring thick black borders at the top and bottom of the screen (a result of the change in resolution from 480i to 576i) and – even worse – up to 18% slower gameplay.
While it isn’t all that bad – few gamers may notice the differences, and Nintendo did have the courtesy to improve the 50hz versions of many NES, SNES and N64 games released on Wii’s virtual console (our VC copy of Super Mario 64 ran a lot faster and with minimal borders, so not like the image above) – it’s still a compromise with many games on the service.
When European/Australian gamers are paying similar amounts of money on Wii U Virtual Console as other regions, only to receive an inferior game in the process you can understand the anger.
Even if a title were optimised for 50hz, though, there’s still compromise. A 60fps game at 50hz would run at 50 frames per second, for example, and a 30fps game 25fps. Though admittedly some gamers do prefer the higher resolution output that 50hz brings to the table.
The issue still stands though: it’s a compromise, and one where the benefits are far outweighed by the costs. In an age where all Wii U owners likely have access to a 60hz television – plenty of CRT TVs supported 60hz too, after all – it’s a baffling decision to limit games solely to their 50hz variants.
So here’s what we need to do: sign this petition. And perhaps complain a bit on Miiverse (as some of us have already done) – Nintendo is listening.
Hopefully they’ll react to our wishes. Virtual Console is currently only in a “trial” phase after all, so there’s hope that things may be rectified in time for the true launch in Spring.
Thanks to Vyothric for the PAL/NTSC comparison image used in this banner.