Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Wii's Graphics - What's All The Fuss About?

Discussion in 'Nintendo News & Rumors' started by Corey, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Corey

    Corey WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    [xFLOAT=left]http://www.wiichat.com/article-images/wiimpulse.jpg[/xFLOAT]"It's about as powerful as the original Xbox. The video hardware unfortunately is not as powerful. There's just a couple of key things that you can do on Xbox like shaders which you just cannot do on the Wii." - Tim Tschirner in a recent interview with Eurogamer for the Wii version of FIFA 08

    Of course, this fairly innocuous statement about Wii's visual capabilities caused half the internet to blow up.

    Wii's graphical ability is always going to be a bone of contention. That 'video' part of the term 'videogames' tends to be fairly important in the grand scheme of things, especially when we live in such a highly driven visual age. But really, are we not totally over the obsession with Wii's underachievement in this area yet? Must there truly be a massive explosion of verbal volleys launched every time a developer states something that suggests Wii is more/less powerful than the previous generation's hardware?

    We're all to blame. Let’s be honest about this. We as fans, the developers, hell, even Nintendo president Satoru "you will say wow" Iwata has to admit to some of the flak which precedes the constant and predictable flood of arguments that surround Wii's graphical punch/slap/tickle. Very few official technical stats have emerged about the console's hardware, which so often becomes the ammunition for fanboys everywhere on all sides before a machine gets released. So the lingering question marks about what is viable and not have yet to subside. Ubisoft didn’t help things much releasing some rather spurious 'projection screenshots' of Red Steel that didn’t quite match up to the reality (although to be fair, at its prettiest the game comes close). And after Iwata intoned we'd be impressed by Wii's graphics, it raised expectations for some expecting Xbox 360 levels of visual sheen, albeit sans High Definition. Which was slightly ironic, because it's easy to forget the reaction of the hardcore demographic when Microsoft unleashed its first batch of titles a few months prior 360's launch; a mixture of apathy, derision and disappointment.

    No matter how old we are, as gamers we can still be impressed by graphical gloss. But it's churlish to suggest we're as easily impressed as we used to be. Grand scale CGI is now commonplace in entertainment, and in terms of dimensions, videogames has long since exhausted the third one which has led to a rather limited jump in eye candy between the last generation and its contemporary; hence the comparatively muted reaction to many of the games we see, HD or no. The real progress has to be in geometry, physics and artificial intelligence -areas where 360 and PlayStation3 excel- but is obviously something screenshots can't project.

    It's a given Wii is nowhere near as powerful as its rivals. And it's also accepted that in terms of what we will literally see from Nintendo's little white wonder, will likely be more in the region of Xbox and PS2 standards. At the same time, it's still as powerful as its predecessor, GameCube, which was no slouch in the video hardware stakes.

    So what’s the problem?

    The problem is; why the hell have so many Wii titles come out looking worse than the examples from any of those machines?

    It's a more than valid question, and aside from the typical 'console wars' hyperbole, it's the main thing that has people scratching their heads over because from an outsider looking in, it just doesn’t make sense. The last generation lasted around six to seven years, with GameCube having a good run of that, but despite the leaps and bounds seen from that generations' conception to its twilight, many Wii games look worse than the bulk of that half decade-plus of gaming. Surely if Wii is pretty much a supercharged GameCube, developers would have got used to the hardware by now and be showing us stuff that exceeds the little purple box and its generational cohabitants?

    Right?

    Well, yes and no. Without any official stats it'll always be difficult to work out exactly why some companies are struggling so much with Wii's visuals. But there are many factors which have to be taken into account. The hardware architecture of Wii isn’t really just a simple matter of slotting in a video chip which is more powerful than the one boasted by GameCube. There's numerous other essentials, like its GPU, the CPU, the RAM and much more that can make a difference, and even if one part is substantially better than what we saw in the prior generation, another part could bring things down just as noticeably. Many programmers and designers may be familiar with GameCube, but it's not a basic case of shifting coding libraries and techniques from that to Wii. It's clear even more effort is needed; they may be both fruit, but it's still essentially apples and oranges. It's going to take time for some devs to make that change.

    The other issue to take in mind (which becomes particularly potent when combined with the above one) is that many companies initially just wanted to shovel anything on Nintendo's machine to show a modicum of support, and are now suffering for it. Very few expected Wii to be as dominant as it has been so far, and a number of third parties threw large amounts of cash into 360 and PS3 development, which stands to reason given the strength of the brands and the fact they need more money on a whole to make the most of their visual potential. When Wii started selling out everywhere, these off-loaded projects became spotlight examples and cautionary tales. The lack of time spent on them showed. And what's resulted from that is we're only now seeing the fruits of six to ten months of development come to light. Some are playing catch up and making sure they have enough software for Holiday/Christmas 2007, which will mean, yes, we probably won't see any massive graphical improvements between now and then.

    But as development money shuffles over to Wii, this time next year will be more telling in terms of seeing what the console is REALLY capable of. Because games take a lot of time to be created – and it's often a good year before we see market shifts and reflections, which is exactly why some have already claimed Wii the 'console war victor'; while we see the results of developers' work from last year and early 2007 on other formats now, at this moment they're are moving their resources over to Wii to show more force for the next 12 months, making the see-saw glut of software tip in the opposite direction. This will be especially true if Nintendo gets off its behind and lends more support to its partners. The games industry is, rather appropriately, very much like a playground in many respects.

    In the meantime, it takes first parties like Nintendo's in-house teams to show the way. Super Mario Galaxy still remains stunning, as does Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A few other third party efforts are certainly showing some clout too, like Konami's Dewy's Adventure, Capcom's Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, and some of Electronic Arts' titles (most notably, Boogie and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Arguably, none have the sheer potency that Factor 5 showed via its Star Wars: Rogue Squadron GameCube games, but very few have displayed the talent for graphics that developer has, full stop.

    Which makes the most under-appreciated element of visuals, art direction, all the more important. Games like Okami, Wind Waker, Rogue Squadron III, God of War II and other older titles still look stunning because the artists take a slightly more unconventional route and make sure their games possess a 'timeless' quality. They stand up today and (let's be honest) look better than 95% of Wii's current catalogue. A good team of artists can make all the difference, and if developers want to stop being ridiculed on a visual level over their efforts, then they should perhaps start focusing more on not what they use to draw their visuals, but HOW they draw them.


    We can shout about Wii 'not being about graphics' until we're blue in the face (it certainly doesn’t matter to the bulk of people buying, and my 360 satisfies the internal graphics whore inside me, so I'm happy), but the fact remains they still play an important part of the experience. I'm fairly sure it's not something that will affect future sales, because even though the gulf of difference between Wii and 360/PS3 is evident, it's also evident that the games buying public wants something a bit more gameplay oriented than a power bump can provide. And Wii offers that more than its rivals, so much to the point that in three years time when HD visuals are the norm and looking even more incredible, the audiences (and thus, developers) will be long settled in choosing which side of the fence they're on and it'll be largely academic.

    Wii's visuals will get better. The hardware ceiling may be lower than we expect and there may not be as great a distance to go before we see the best of what the machine can offer, but it's probably enough to get by with. And with some clever art direction and a bit more cash, it will be reached. However in the meantime, while we wait for that -and indeed the next generation where great visuals AND motion controls will be standard- it's worth noting that while the lack of visual fidelity may be a tad annoying, the subsequent focus on motion controls should be more than a worthy trade-off. Because ultimately, Wii is acting as a trailblazer for the next ten years of videogames. And if companies like EA are being forced to change the way they think in making games for the better, taking gameplay and innovation over visuals, then maybe we should close our eyes to optical infirmity just this once and get on with the joys of actually playing our games… instead of constantly arguing over what they look like.
     
  2. Warrior

    Warrior WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    9
    nice article, well done. And hopefully there will be some good graphics hitting the wii soon enough.
     
  3. WiiWrestle

    WiiWrestle Proud SSBB Owner

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    A Place
    Wii Friend Code: 3714-7039-4037-0069
    3714-7039-4037-0069
    That was one of the greatest endings to any article I've ever seen and one of the greatest aritcles ever!
     
  4. wii_cammy

    wii_cammy Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    In Scotland
    Wii Friend Code: 7340-2535-0641-6266
    7340-2535-0641-6266
    Come on
    Ok we get it there not good
    You dont care
    We don't care so no need to make an article about it
     
    #4 wii_cammy, Jun 17, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  5. CstylesX

    CstylesX Cstyles

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ontario
    Wii Friend Code: 7386-4503-0880-0194
    7386-4503-0880-0194
    Your article was one of the best wii related articles I have read to date. It was well thought out, well written and over all something you should have been paid to write. Well Done my wii / 360 friend...Well Done
     
  6. DazzeL

    DazzeL WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    3
    Grow up Cammy for goodness sake. I've never seen you post anything that touches the quality of this article.

    Awesome article, extremely well written and I think that should put the lid on the graphics debate.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Foxy

    Foxy Super Ninjarator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    6,689
    Likes Received:
    105
    Wii Friend Code: 3881-9484-9041-5848
    3881-9484-9041-5848
    We DO care, so why are you saying that we have the same opinion as you?

    Great article.

    I can't wait till the wii gets its very own Halo Or God Of War style Epic Game.
     
  8. Sovieto

    Sovieto Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,585
    Likes Received:
    91
    the fuss is that the graphics suck for next gen
    and anyone who claims they are a gamer and also claims they dont care about graphics is a lying fanboy, simple as that.
     
  9. Matt's_A_Bluebird

    Matt's_A_Bluebird Proud Owner Of A Wii

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    CARDIFF IN WALES!
    Wii Friend Code: 7591-7050-1749-1437
    7591-7050-1749-1437
    I thought Twilight Princess was pretty epic:sad:, that game was so porely advertised, it could have done so much better...
     
  10. 24forlife

    24forlife JOIN BRUTAL WARRIORS!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wii Friend Code: 8276-6549-9343-2149
    8276-6549-9343-2149
    the graphics really arent that bad!!!1
     
  11. Adamquest64

    Adamquest64 WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    8
    I think TP is the best game ever. I was also under the impression that it did pretty well in terms of sells.
     
  12. WII60

    WII60 WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    4
    wii is always saying we work on gamplay rather than graphics etc etc but still their games are shite
     
  13. Sovieto

    Sovieto Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,585
    Likes Received:
    91
    for next gen they are
     
  14. Rolex

    Rolex Moody Loner

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Norway
    Wii Friend Code: 6825-6610-9310-1313
    6825-6610-9310-1313
    Corey - A great way to fight some fires :yesnod: - although not all of them damped down i.e. Wii Cammy...

    I would like to touch on the above - and also I will stray off topic in a tenuous manner as well, to see if there is any reaction but for the moment I digress...

    We are seeing this in reviews for all the systems at the moment still. Reviewers still mentioning poor graphics and slow frame rates - hell even lots of loading times / screens; problems which are prevalent throughout the games industry!

    Wii is surely experiencing a lot of criticism because of it's currently higher profile in the market place. If this were a lesser machine then who would give a rats - probably not many. The tale of the tape; for me; concerns the ambiance of the title, does the look of what's being played portray the situation you're in?
    For example - Godfather, certainly crude graphically [on the whole, although there are some superb nuggets in there] but it does give the feeling of the era it's set in. Job done!
    WiiSports - Now this is a tricky one BUT for my money the graphics are pretty close to what is needed for a title such as this - to complain about them isn't really justified as they are fun and simple, same as the game. Job done!

    We can take: Rayman, SSX, LoZ, Sonic, Exite Truck etc etc etc most of the titles are fit for purpose - This early on!

    Let's be realistic about it all, Wii is below par, as Corey and countless others have commented but there are flickers of what the Wii can do littered throughout the current catalogue of titles, one's I have played anyway.
    Sure they may not be dazzling but on the whole they are sufficient for now.

    We can argue the toss about "Next-Gen" & "New-Gen" and what the Wii specs are and what Sony / MS have achieved but it's a moot point for now at least. If the games weren't playable at all then they wouldn't sell - if the machine wasn't functional as intended, then it wouldn't sell. The fact is that the outlay for Wii is small and as such we can forgive a little slackness in presentation whilst devs get their **** together on the graphics and sound. What isn't forgivable is slack or tacked on controls from games which are appearing from 4 -5 months in. I am playing fairly recent games and I can see major differences from RedSteel and COD to Godfather - I am satisfied that a lot of dev time has been appropriated in this direction over say, more realistic graphics.

    Now my deviation from topic slightly....

    I would like to raise the question of Wii's actual impact this far with the control system - do you think that it has actually progressed beyond a novelty and is rounding up to be a TRUE and QUANTIFIABLE revision to the gaming genre?

    Let me expand on my experience up to this point - I own a few titles and can say that in the beginning (Dec06)[except WiiSports but I will come to this] titles such as Loz:TP, NfSC, Kororinpa and similar launch titles took the control system and gave you an oooo & ahhhhhh but didn't actually add any real depth over standard control systems. You may agree or not.

    Coming into titles ranging from RedSteel / COD3, Rayman and SSX etc etc - these titles whilst not control perfect have given Wii players added depth and immersion; if you like; to their respective games but ableit on the whole nothing exceptionally miles apart from conventional controller imho.

    Now we come to WiiSports and Godfather - these two titles have given an experience which does not relate to conventional control systems and have added what I believe Nintendo actually intended for the system. Uniqueness!

    I was playing SSX the other night and stopped to think about what I was actually doing - using two arms, waving them about and controlling a videogame with some measure. I own all the SSX's and this was the first time I have taken stock of the experience of the controls!! It's not the best SSX game but the controls make you work that much harder to achieve. The result is certainly coolness [I'm sure that's what the kids are saying these days...it is 1959 right?! :sick: ]

    This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!

    If dev's get the ambiance and controls spot on then it doesn't matter if it looks photorealistic in HD or not etc.. they just need to match the physical experience of the control system - Godfather does it for me, LoZ:TP, which is a far better looking game didn't so much.

    Rayman looked good but WiiSports outshone it but didn't have the same standard of graphics...isn't it all objective.

    Oh and by the way, seeing as I am now a bonefide DS fanboy / man / distinguished gent - why doesn't anyone ever say the DS graphics are poor but always comment on the fantastic control system hmmm [reads this post back] ahhhhhh question answered :ciappa:

    Wii is certain to follow the well worn path of the DS...expect the same if not more.
     
    #14 Rolex, Jun 18, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  15. tommy

    tommy Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    3
    Wii Friend Code: 5781-1229-3280-1523
    5781-1229-3280-1523
    i thought tp was a good game in terms of graphics, i wonder if they bring a starfox game out for the wii
     
  16. G3n0cide

    G3n0cide WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Wii Friend Code: 3892-2269-1758-4620
    3892-2269-1758-4620
    I agree it was a good game also and while the controls were alright, they could've been alot better. I wonder if we will ever see a Zelda game or something in that genre where the sword play is done in real time (i think thats the right word.. maybe? lol) where instead of just a quick flick you do a full slash that the sword moves in sync with however far you move the wiimote - hope that makes sense.
     
  17. huzzellio

    huzzellio WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
    What a fantastic article!! This really needed to be said and will hopefully make some people understand that they have to be patient. It's the best article I've seen written on Wiichat so far.

    Well done.
     
  18. CyanRussel

    CyanRussel 2062-8990-6509 GET READY!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    In my SSBB kingdom waiting for a challenge
    Wii Friend Code: 3760-9059-7725-6846
    3760-9059-7725-6846
    TP, to me, was a very great game, have very good gameplay, and the graphics in my point of view, even though i played a 360............. were at pin-point accuracy!
     
  19. DazzeL

    DazzeL WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    3
    What's interesting though is that if the Wii really is comparable to the Xbox then we should be able to expect graphics of the quality of HL2 and Doom on Xbox. Pretty ok.
     
  20. Zap2

    Zap2 WiiChat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    The article said the Wii would be in the range of PS2/Xbox graphics...but was more powerful then the NGC.

    The NGC was more powerful then the PS2, so it makes little sense to say the graphics will be similar to system that was less powerful then a system which the article already said was more powerful.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
best wii graphics
,
graphics on wii
,
nintendo wii graphics
,
what are the wii's graphics
,
why do wii graphics suck
,
wii graphic
,

wii graphics

,
wii graphics quality
,
wii graphics suck
,
wii quality graphics