Showing 1 to 5 of 5
1. Posted: Tue 13th Apr 2010 13:34 BST
I was wondering how the virtual console treats the presentation of retro games on modern widescreen TV's. Do you know if it stretches them out of shape? It's easy enough for me to switch my TV to 4:3 presentation if that would preserve older games in their natural proportions. Also does the Wii system's aspect ratio setting have any baring on this?
"I had to take the young general, I couldn't turn out the holy man, I couldn't stop the wind from blowing and the air from being as clear as crystal; and I couldn't hide the mountain."
2. Posted: Tue 13th Apr 2010 13:50 BST
Wii aspect setting has no effect. Almost without exception they're presented 4:3 so you'll need to change your tv display formatting. The exception is the Virtual Console arcade titles from Namco and Tecmo which pre-format for widescreen by pillarboxing the game display with either black/grey or a shifting greyscale pattern (Namco does the latter if I recall correctly). Sega for some reason chooses to do VCA 4:3 without pillarboxing, however Zaxxon doesn't do this thankfully (possibly because it's the first VCA game from them that was originally displayed on a vertical monitor and they realised it would be too small if they didn't).
Edited on Tue 13th April, 2010 @ 13:51 by Sean_Aaron
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3. Posted: Tue 13th Apr 2010 14:06 BST
Thanks for clearing that up Sean, I'll set my TV to 4:3 in the future.
4. Posted: Wed 14th Apr 2010 10:53 BST
Well, the pillarboxing is usually a matching shade of black whereas my tv does grey bars when I change format - basically I prefer not having to change my tv format if possible.
5. Posted: Fri 27th Sep 2013 04:44 BST
I just came across this thread and even though it's a bit out of date, I thought a correction was due. What Sean notices with some Virtual Console arcade releases (And his review of Namco Museum Remix which doesn't contain a single 4:3 arcade game) is pillarboxing to format 3:4 vertical aspect ratio games for a 4:3 horizontal ratio screen area.
No Virtual Console arcade releases pillarbox themselves for 16:9 displays. The user always has to handle that at the HDTV end by turning stretch mode on or off on their tv as appropriate. What Sean is noticing is the pillarboxing to frame a 3:4 picture in a 4:3 frame. It's not 16:9 formatting so you still have to turn off stretching on your HDTV with these games in order to enjoy the correct aspect ratio on a HDTV.
Games like Mappy from Namco, Commando from Capcom, and many of the other releases were 3:4 vertical arcade games. That's why Zaxxon has pillarboxing and why 4:3 Sega arcade games are filling his 16:9 picture. It's not that games like Zaxxon are automatically formatted for his 16:9 display, it's that they were 3:4 arcade games and can't take up the full 4:3 screen area of the Wii without distorting them by stretching so by default they had to have pillarboxing to format them for a 4:3 display. That's why Zaxxon has pillarboxing on his 16:9 display with his HDTV set to stretch and why a 4:3 game like the arcade version of Golden Axe fills his 16:9 screen. If he were to get a tape measure and calculator out, he'd quickly discover that the Zaxxon isn't maintaining a 3:4 AR under his settings.
Furthermore, if he were to set his Wii to 4:3 in his console settings to disable anamorphic widescreen mode for 16:9 Wii software, he'd find that his VC arcade games still take up just as much area on his HDTV as they did with the Wii set to 16:9. His 4:3 Sega arcade games would still fill his screen (Unless he turned off stretching on his HDTV) and games like Zaxxon would have the same amount of pillarboxing as they did when it was set to 16:9.
No widescreen formatting is happening here unlike what a handful of 4:3 games such as Super Mario All-Stars do in order that you don't have to turn off stretch mode on your tv in order to have the game look correct. However, Wii mode on a Wii U as of the latest firmware update in October 2013 will auto detect the correct aspect ratio and pillarbox or stretch Wii software accordingly. So 4:3 content including these pillarboxed 3:4 arcade games along with 16:9 content will all be displayed appropriately and automatically on a Wii U when the system is set to output in HD. Prior to this, the Wii U stretched everything during the upscaling process for Wii mode with no option to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio for non widescreen content.
Edited on Sat 5th October, 2013 @ 06:51 by Atariboy