Wii HD

Nintendo is showing off a bit more of the Wii on their new wii.com site.  And they’re showing some interesting stuff.

The Wii is not being touted as a high-definition gaming box, but News Channeltake a look at all of the screenshots and video clips they’re showing.  They’re in a 16:9 aspect ratio. 

And look at the specs for video connections: 

Output: an AV Multi-output port for component, composite or S-video

So the Wii is capable of component video output.  With S-video, for a non-HD picture, there is no reason to add component video:  An NTSC signal isn’t going to look any better over component than S-video.

And there wouldn’t be any reason to use a 16:9 aspect if you’re not outputting an HD mode – otherwise you’re just throwing away pixels.

The ATI chipset the Wii is using for video is most likely capable of generating an 1080i or 720p signal.  Most chipsets are – 720p is close to the number of pixels you get from 1280×1024, a resolution supported by every chipset made in the last 5 years.

I’m speculating that while the Wii may not use HD for gaming (due to bandwidth and memory requirements), it will use HD for menus, and web browsing.

That’s a tradeoff I’d be perfectly happy with.