"Wii HD" Device: Saviour Or Snake Oil?

Unless you're cheating and playing via an emulator on a PC, the Nintendo Wii can't do high definition. One company, however, claims that by using its new device, it can.

VDIGI reckons that its new VD-W3 upscaler can take a Wii game, perform a little magic on it then display it in full, 1080p fidelity (i.e. "true" high definition). For the record, in its native state, the Wii can only output in 480p.

This doesn't mean the Wii game itself will be in high definition. It's a "cheat", just like many TV sets and DVD players (including consoles) are able to perform, called "upscaling", where a standard definition signal is processed then output as a (hopefully) cleaner image.

How well your device is able to upscale is up to, well, the device. Expensive TVs do a great job. So does the PS3. Cheaper DVD players, not so much. Chances are, if you have a HDTV, your set is already trying to upscale your Wii's video signal.

For $US75, then, you'd want to hope VDIGI's converter is a damn good one. The screenshots on the company's site, taken using a camera rather than a proper screen capture device, don't look great (definitely not to the standard of the Dolphin emulator), but then for some people with crummy upscalers, it'll still be an improvement.

So, saviour or snake oil? I'd lean towards the latter, but until someone gets a proper look at the thing in action, it'd be a bit harsh to write it off completely.

VD-W3 Wii HDMI Upscaler Processor [VDIGI, via Go Nintendo]


    If its good enough upscaling... I definitely want one.

    It's not made by the same people doing OnLive is it?

    I hope to God people aren't going to buy this. The improvement you will get over your panel's internal scaler will be minimal at best and you're getting nothing near what you'd get with the Wii rendering natively at 720p or 1080p.

    I'm really hopeful that it works for when Nintendo announce the ThriiWii, a console that generates 3D effects without glasses, but still has the same graphical power as the Wii

    Its like it does nothing at all. Nothiiiiing at aaall.

    HAHA the fact that you're claiming this company to be SNAKE-OIL yet, the Wii is lacking so many things that its rivals contain and Nintendo will no doubt ADD to over time to make more money... is well, stupid of you?

    I don't care what anyone says - HD should be mandatory in this generation. The fact that Analogue TV will be phased out before the end of this generation (using Sony and Microsoft's own claims of their consoles life-spans) and Digital TV will be used and HDTV's use Digital output as its primary use, pretty much proves everything.

    Nintendo = Snake-oil

      Jay... I think you should look up the definition of snake-oil.
      The article is saying that this device won't deliver what its promising. The Wii never promised to be HD, or have online that doesn't suck.

    hey if it's good enough for the 360 and the PS3 why not. how does this differ from upscaling sub-hd games on these consoles like CoD and Halo. they still look pretty good.

    double standards much

    The only thing a device like this will do is add more latency between button & waggles and the on-screen image. The reason why most TV's have a 'game-mode' setting is to reduce this lag by the panels own video processing and scaling.

    Only AVR's with scalers or dedicated video processors have the ability to adjust audio sync over HDMI, but that can still affect the response time between controller response and the image you see.

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