How do you play forced-widescreen Wii games?

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?

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I can’t speak for the other games, but I have my Wii set to 4:3 in the settings, and this game looks normal on my SD CRT. No letterboxing.

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:

Anecdotal but I feel like HDTV/4KTV has gotten better in recent years than it used to be. Even 480p direct looks nicer than it did on my 2011 TV.

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Good to know. Editing OP.

That does look superb. Got any more pictures of a polygonal game like Xenoblade?

I can try to take some later.

@Peltz Gecko Cheat Codes (courtesy of the Dolphin wiki) can be used to remove letterbox/force 4:3 for some games.

Regular cheats codes can be downloaded through your game launcher. You may have to enter these dolphin wiki codes yourself.'s_Return_to_Dream_Land#Enhancements

…there may be more, I only spent a brief time searching the Dolphin wiki.

Some games can only be changed in Dolphin:'s_Epic_Yarn#Remove_4:3_Borders

Fortunately I have a 16:9 widescreen EDTV CRT…

But if I couldn’t use that I’d probably use the OSSC!

pics please :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I’ve only got this one of a widescreen GC game but I’ll make an excuse to get a few Wii games up and running this weekend :slight_smile:


Yeah it’s a pain. Even the games that had a 4:3 option were often mainly designed around 16:9 too, the framing is clearly better for the UI etc.

A widescreen CRT is a very rare animal in Australia, I had a second hand one for a while but it had all sorts of geometry and screen defects.

I think that OSSC option might genuinely be the best option.

Just use cheat codes to enable 4:3 surely?

Not if the games are designed for 16:9 with their framing. Resident Evil 4 was letterboxed for a reason, it was designed with that frame of view.

Similar issues with forcing 16:9 on Gamecube game etc, but at least in that case you see more in the frame than was designed, in a way that makes sense for humans (wider horizontal vision)

Ah, RE4 seems to be a bit of a special case.

Yea it’s a good theory, but I wouldn’t want to force a game to show less than intended, especially for a game like Xenoblade that has a ton of UI that is integral to the gameplay:

That’s not even a menu screen :confused:. Squishing all of that into a 4:3 play space would be too cramped I think.

Oh, all this time I misunderstood the thread title. I thought it asked “how can I play these games in 4:3” but now I see it’s more subtle a question than that.

If I were to play them I’d use either a 16:9 EDTV LCD or my projector that supports 16:9 480p. Maybe I’d use cheat codes on my 4:3 EDTV LCD.

I’d be interested to see how Xenoblade Chronicles looks in 4:3 just for kicks. Sadly I don’t own the game to try.

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
Pandora’s Tower
Rayman Origins
Resident Evil 4
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Trauma Center: New Blood
Trauma Team
Xenoblade Chronicles

16:9 Widescreen
Battalion Wars 2
Big Brain Academy (borders for tests)
Carnival Games
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party
Dewy’s Adventure
Dragon Quest Swords
EA Playground
Endless Ocean
Excite Truck
FIFA Soccer 08
Game Party
Godfather Blackhand Edition
Godzilla Unleashed
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
Ninja Reflex
No More Heroes
Oneechanbara Revolution (JPN)
Resident Evil 4 (black bars on some TVs)
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
Scarface The World is Yours
Smarty Pants
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic Riders Zero Gravity
SSX Blur
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
Wii Fit
Wii Play
Wii Sports
Zack and Wiki
Zelda : Twilight Princess

4:3 only
Ant Bully
Bleach Shattered Blade
Cooking Mama
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Fishing Master
Ghost Squad
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

Current Count
16:9 Widescreen only - 14
16:9 Widescreen - 45
4:3 only - 26

Those are heavy hitters for the system. Such a shame they didn’t include a 4:3 mode for them.

I wonder why? Had they already moved to the much-publicised unified development environment that forced them to 16:9?

Probably just wanted to reduce development expenses in an age where every new TV sold was widescreen. They dropped 4:3 as society dropped it.

Yep. Wii was always a transitionary system.

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.

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