So, at some point in the Wii’s lifecycle, games stopped getting a 4:3 option and, instead, started letterboxing a 16:9 image in 4:3 screens. Examples of these games include Kirby games, Skyward Sword, and Xenoblade Chronicles.
When played on a large enough 1080p screen, obviously, this will introduce some very pronounced aliasing from scaling. I assume the effect at 4K is even more pronounced. And unless you play on a Wii U, your image is at the mercy of your HDTV’s scaling abilities - many of which are poor.
Although widescreen multisync monitors exist which can handle such resolution with pixel-perfection, I assume most of us don’t have one. And those of us that do… well, you are super lucky.
So, how do you handle these games?
Letterbox on a 4:3 screen at 480i or 480p?
Play on a widescreen multisync crt?
Play on a Wii and let your HDTV scale it?
Play on a Wii U and let the system scale the image?
Play on Wii and let an OSSC or Framemeister to do some magic?
Or do you just emulate and enjoy higher resolution rendering?
I’ve mentioned this before but I run with an OSSC doing 2x scaling with upsample2x on and light scanlines, with the output 1440x960 scaled (fullscreen 16:9) to 4K by my TV. The result is absolutely beautiful, it looks pretty similar to a native 480p TV:
16:9 Widescreen only
Another Code R
Arc Rise Fantasia
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Metroid: Other M
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Resident Evil 4
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Trauma Center: New Blood
Battalion Wars 2
Big Brain Academy (borders for tests)
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party
Dragon Quest Swords
FIFA Soccer 08
Godfather Blackhand Edition
Guitar Hero 3
Link’s Crossbow Training
Mario and Sonic Olympic Games
Mario Strikers Charged
Mercury Meltdown Revolution
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption
Nights Journey of Dreams
No More Heroes
Oneechanbara Revolution (JPN)
Resident Evil 4 (black bars on some TVs)
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
Scarface The World is Yours
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic Riders Zero Gravity
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz
Super Paper Mario
Super Smash Bros Brawl
Tomb Raider Anniversary (black bars on some TVs)
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
Trauma Center New Blood
Zack and Wiki
Zelda : Twilight Princess
Bleach Shattered Blade
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law
London Taxi Rush Hour
Mario Party 8 (borders fill in for widescreen)
MLB Power Pros
Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution
Puzzle Quest (the most pixelated crap I’ve ever seen, don’t buy!)
Rampage Total Destruction
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Samurai Warriors Katana
Sega Bass Fishing
Simple Series 5 : Block Kasuzhi (JPN)
Simple Series 6 : Wai Wai Combat (JPN)
Super Swing Golf
Trauma Center Second Opinion
Wario Ware Smooth Moves
Williams Pinball Hall of Fame
16:9 Widescreen only - 14
16:9 Widescreen - 45
4:3 only - 26
As I often complain, consoles never even consistently used all of standard definition (99% of PS2 games are sub-SD) before the jump straight to HD, which they didn’t use all of (all those 540p PS3 games), then ‘Full HD’, which to this day they don’t consistently use all of (Xbone and Switch full of 900p games), and now 4K which they mostly don’t use all of either (checkerboarding etc).
And in 2006 HD adoption was still very low. Wii was a bridge.
Unfortunately Nintendo held on too long. By 2010 they had to focus on widescreen as most people had started playing their games that way. But the Wii should have had more juice from the start, and a Wii HD should have launched in 2011 with Skyward Sword and Wii Sports 2.