What Will HD Visuals Do for Nintendo?

With all the talks around the Wii’s Successor, Project Cafe, Wii 2, whatever you want to call it, tons of information is flying around and no one is one-hundred percent sure what is true. Sure, a touch screen on the controller seems likely at this point, but there is really only one confirmed fact about Nintendo’s next system. It will support HD to some degree. Although that’s a fact we’ve known pretty much since the launch of the Wii. We can also assume that, while rumored to be stronger than a PS3, it will probably be at least the power of the Xbox 360. But what does this do for Nintendo?


When looking around, the most agreeable aspect I see people cheering for graphics are for third party support. The Wii is in a weird spot where it’s so different and underpowered compared to other systems, that most publishers just go out of their way to build a game ground up for the platform. That means you get some exclusives, but it comes at the heavy price of leaving out AAA third party franchises like Portal and Mass Effect on Nintendo’s platform. That’s about where the benefits end in my eyes. The question I ask is how does Nintendo’s software benefit from this. And honestly, I can’t imagine it improving all that much.




Do we really need to render each banana?


Looking at the 2010’s line-up with Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Super Mario Galaxy 2, all of these titles rely heavily on a specific style. The reason they still look great on the Wii is the fact they don’t need that extra horsepower to make them visually impressive. Adding in more polygons, effects, and a crisper display probably wouldn’t exactly launch their visuals into a whole new realm. That’s not to say they won’t look better. Of course they will look better, I just don’t know if it will really feel like anything has changed. Nintendo does have some titles that would benefit from it. I could imagine more realistic looking series like Metroid and Zelda would definitely have their visuals taken to the next level. But even on Wii, these series have adapted. Metroid’s sci-fi setting gives it some natural wiggle room, and Zelda took the route of mixing Wind Waker and Twilight Princess together, although some would argue the results of that.


Obviously I’m not saying Nintendo shouldn’t go HD with their system. At this point it’s almost impossible pushing forward from the Wii without doing so. And if they want to grab third party support, they need a platform that they can easily port software between. It’s just kind of weird that the last, like, three years people keep saying “if only this game was in HD,” when I honestly don’t think much will change. But I guess the grass is always greener on the other-side… Or browner in the case next generation visuals.



Sonic Generations might be a good indicator of what is to come from Nintendo


All that being said, I’m weird when it comes to graphics. I can play the visual mess that are 3D games of the mid-nineties and think nothing of it. So the idea of a next gen HD Nintendo system doesn’t really get me too excited. Hence why I come to you. I’m curious how pumped you are for a Mario HD, or a Zelda HD. Does the possibility of some heavy power under a Nintendo hood excite you? And if you are ready for a HD Nintendo platform, what franchise are you dying to see in HD?

16 thoughts on “What Will HD Visuals Do for Nintendo?”

  1. Eh, just like you said, the only Nintendo franchises I can see benefiting from HD are Metroid and Zelda. Honestly, HD doesn’t make that much of a difference to me. But at least it’ll be getting more 3rd party support (hopefully)

  2. I think Nintendo was trying to be more visually impressive with the enemies’ designs in Super Mario Sunshine and have gone with more solid colours for characters for newer games, and I like cartoony better. As long as there’s anti aliasing and some nice rendering power for a console then I’m happy, although like you said, for colourful environments HD just smooths things over a bit.

  3. I love the Wii, but I also love HD visuals, so I’m pretty excited about this whole thing. If anything, I wonder if maybe with Nintendo going this route we’ll get some hyper-realism with color.

    …or just super sharp looking stylized stuff. Ever see Wind Waker running on Dolphin?

    Just fair warning, ear rape ahoy.

  4. HD being exciting is so 2006. I really think that Nintendo needs to make a beast gaming console that’s way more powerful than current gen to be taken seriously. Otherwise it will just end up with no third party support again other than that I’ll be waiting for the Xbox 720 and PS4 or whatever there gonna be called for the REAL nex generation of graphics for a system. Nonetheless great read Oculin!

  5. The thing with HD is that you have much more screen room without sacrificing the crisp look of things. Also more processing power comes along with HD, which means more things you can do in a game. Also even if you think visuals look fine on the Wii, they still look horrible when output to a 50″ HDTV because of the stretching. Also whether some people like to admit it or not graphics are a big part of the game, for style, crispness, and play-ability. Better graphics will usually improve a game…Actual improved graphics, not that faded call of duty garbage. Think more Crysis.

  6. Also the Gamecube was a big jump from the N64 in terms of how much less pixellated it is, but there’s less of a jump from the Gamecube to the Wii, probably because at the Gamecube where there’ room for lots of expansion is making an HD console in my opinion.

  7. The franchise I look forward to being in hd would be an entirely new ip. Nintendo, I love my old classics, but you haven’t come out with a new major title since the first pikmi. D: Miyamoto, get that mojo going again 😀

  8. I’d really love to see an HD 3D Metroid game; Metroid Prime still looks extremely realistic almost a decade later and that was for the Gamecube. I can only imagine how good a Metroid game would look on an HD console! I just hope that if Retro ever made a new 3D Metroid, they’d make it look more like the first Prime than the other two; I’d rather see a realistic Metroid than a cartoony one.

    I bet Zelda would look awesome with HD graphics as well, but for some reason I got a feeling it won’t happen. As for Mario, I can see maybe giving more realistic textures to objects (like coins and blocks) and the environment, but Mario himself probably won’t be any more realistic-looking than CGI graphics.

  9. thing is the Wii2 going HD probably won’t make many of the Nintendo games any more fun except for a choice few. But it will do is open up Nintendo again to cross-platform games. thats what I’m most excited for.
    I can’t wait for the day i play Tekken on my Nintendo console, or maybe even Half Life 3!!!

Leave a Reply