Confirmed: The Wii U will not run Wii games in HD

This is quite an old story, but I somehow missed it completely when it first ran, and I know that I’m not the only one that did – there was some discussion on the forums about it earlier this week.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 HD

You won't be playing this or any other Wii games in HD on the Wii U.

It’s right up there in the title – the Wii U will be fully backwards-compatible with Wii games, but it won’t enhance their graphics in any way. No forcing them to run in HD, no anti-aliasing in games that didn’t use it, no improved texture filtering – not even simple upscaling. They’ll play exactly as they did on the Wii (except when a game offered the control option of a GameCube controller – that’s gone, too).

Nintendo may choose to re-release some of their bigger Wii hits like the two Super Mario Galaxy games or the Metroid Prime Trilogy as enhanced HD ports (possibly taking advantage of the Wii U’s new controller, like the New Play Control re-release of Pikmin did with the Wii Remote), but it’s certainly disappointing that we’ll have to pay the price of admission for these games a second time – if Nintendo even choose to re-release their games at all.

You may be aware of the emulator Dolphin, which is famous for its ability to run many Wii and GameCube games in HD. I took the above screenshot with it, and we have a thread on the forums dedicated to gathering more of them. Browse through it if you want to get a look at what could have been.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. Nia

    What a pity. The screenshot above looks so pretty.

    • shane12234

      looks the same as on my tv, how does it look better?

  2. Captain Falcon

    Why the hell not?

  3. lemon

    But…how could it improve the graphics of a game that’s already made? It would have to be made with those graphics. Come to think of it, how DOES dolphin do it?

  4. Joseph

    Curse you Nintendo.

  5. Captain Falcon

    I don’t understand.. All Wii games were made in HD.. I thought the U is full HD- 1080p.. D:

  6. Jikayaki

    This is simply to insure 100% backwards compatibility. If Nintendo wanted to render every Wii game in HD to insure 100% backwards compatibility they’d need to create a customized emulator for each game otherwise issues may occur making a game unplayable. It quite frankly isn’t worth the effort.

  7. Andodel

    While that’s not a good thing, if we have dolphin, then why even complain. Just set up dolphin on your computer and you can play Wii in HD without having to buy an entire console.

    • Jmaster720

      dolphin isn’t perfect textures are missing music stops playing and slowdowns even if you have a top notch computer so no -_-

  8. KUN

    this was confirmed at E3 like a age ago by reggie in the g4tv interview…. he also said the wii chip set was still there..

    i think the gpu is but maybe not the cpu as that would run wii code as its the same family of processors,,,if there still using hollywood gpu theres no way of rendering above 480p

    im sure a polished upscale mode cold have been offered

  9. Mariomaster1

    Oh well, there’ll probably be even better Mario games coming to the Wii U…..hopefully. And as stated above, they may just re-release their big-hit Wii titles for the Wii U……I know I would buy them again for the awesome upgrade.

  10. KUN...

    i think its a 3xcore cpu and gpu on chip and a hollywood gpu with 1t sram for backward compatability off chip linked with a system bus…

    wonder if it can act as a slave processor to the wiiu chip set…

  11. Jmaster720

    thats does it the wii u will Suck i was looking forward to playing gamecube games in hd now I can’t even play wii games in HD SCREW NINTEDO

  12. WiiU

    Ninty, you shi*s

  13. hawthorneluke

    Would you rather have 100% compatibility that lets you play the games perfectly as they were made to, or not 100% compatibility so that some games can be rendered in HD?
    Nintendo have always been about quality over things like graphics. While great graphics are …well great, quality comes first and that’s what they’re favouring in this case I’d guess.
    Nintendo wouldn’t throw quality away for eye candy.
    If you’re looking for business plans like that you’re looking at the wrong company.

  14. pants

    This doesn’t sound like a big deal honestly. Firstly, I don’t want the Wii U to be any more expensive than it’s going to be, and secondly, with all that 3rd party support and whatnot (plus brand new Nintendo games in HD) do you think I’ll have the time (or even make time) to look back at Wii games? Heck no! It’s not like I didn’t play through them in SD the first time and got used to it. Nintendo doesn’t owe us this, so I’m perfectly OK with it. If Nintendo includes something like that without altering costs then I’ll take it and try to use it. But I don’t really see myself going back to playing Wii games much on a system that will bring such a robust launch lineup (allegedly) and incredibly immersive controls.

  15. shane12234

    it only sharpens the image and thats it, it doesnt add anythig

  16. pokemonfaan

    Oh! C´mon! There´ll be more awesome Wii U games! JUST LOOK AT THE WII WITH THE GAMECUBE, SAME THING, GAMECUBE GAMES DO NOT HAVE THE GRAPHICS OF A WII GAME. Sorry for the caps, but I think it´s an important point.

    • Captain Falcon

      You don’t get the point, do you? Resolution (1080,720,480,360,240) and graphics are completely different. Besides, the Wii has *slightly* better graphics than the Gamecube.

  17. DigitalGreenTea

    People, isn’t it obvious that they’ll not run in HD? I mean, they weren’t programmed to be in HD, only 480p.

  18. Staryoshix

    This ant really a big deal, if you really want HDMi on normal wii games just get the VD-W3. boom!! problem solved.

  19. CHECKit095

    The Wii U will play Wii games on the highest resolution available for that game. Which is 480p or 480i.

  20. Volcano

    WHAT! I wanted 2 see Galaxy in HD!!

  21. Volcano

    But whatever. The wii u will be costly if that feature is enabled ‘sides i already kinda like d graphix on wii