Wii U capture

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Console Information


Nintendo Wii
Resolution 480i/480p/720i/720p/1080i/1080p
Virtual Console Resolution 480i/480p/720i/720p/1080i/1080p
A/V Outputs HDMI, Composite, Component, S-video
Backwards Compatibility Wii, Wii Virtual Console

Nintendo Wii U

The Wii U features the largest variety of resolutions and A/V connectors yet to be seen on a Nintendo console. The Wii U has the same a multi-out A/V connector in the back that the Wii does and it is fully compatible with A/V cables used on the Wii. The A/V cables that come with the system include the standard red, white, and yellow (composite video) connectors and an HDMI cable. The system also contains an HDMI connector on the back.

Available resolutions for each cable connector

Composite 480i
S-Video 480i
Component 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

When recording footage from the Wii U, you'll need to decide whether or not you will be recording in the standard definition 480i or if you will attempt to record in higher definitions. Which resolution you choose will may a drastic effect on the recording equipment you will need.

Recording in 480i (Standard Definition)

The A/V cables that came with the system include the standard red white and yellow (composite video) connectors. The yellow cable is for composite video and will output a video signal at 480i. While the standard A/V cables that come with the Wii are composite video, the Wii U is also capable of outputting S-Video. Nintendo did not release an official S-Video connector for the Wii U, however you can purchase a third party set of cables that includes it. S-Video provides superior picture clarity and quality and it is strongly preferred over composite video when doing recording.
Third party A/V connectors with S-Video

You can also connect component cables to the Wii U and force the Wii U to output video at 480i over the component cables. You might want to do this if you are using a CRT television that has component inputs, but does not support 480p or higher resolutions. Make sure that your capture device has support for 480i resolutions if you try this. If you are not using a CRT and your capture device has component inputs, it is recommended that you record at a higher resolution.

Recording at higher resolutions

Recording at higher resolutions requires that you have a capture device that is capable of recording in high definition signal. Your capture device must have either component or HDMI inputs. Because the Wii U has a wide variety of A/V connectors and resolutions, you should be able to find a resolution that is supported by just about every capture card.

Usually you will need to get a powered splitter for the A/V connector you are using. The exception is that some high definition capture cards have a passthrough feature where they are able to both capture the signal and broadcast it to your television without introducing any lag. If your capture device doesn't support this feature then you will have to get a powered splitter.

If you are recording capture footage using an HDMI connector, you do not have to worry about HDCP (High Definition Content Protection). The Wii U's video signal does not contain HDCP and so this is not a concern when recording. The Playstation 3 uses HDCP with the HMDI connector.

Wii Virtual Console & Wii U Virtual Console

The Virtual Console emulates games from other systems allowing you to play them on the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. The Wii U has its own library of available titles and it also is capable of emulating the original Wii. This gives it access to all of the content from the Wii shop.

Wii Virtual Console Releases

The Wii U has a Wii channel. When you select this channel, the Wii U emulates the original Wii. When you do this, you can access the Wii shop channel and download any titles that were available for the Wii. There is also a Wii to Wii U transfer option to move any data over from the original Wii if desired.
Note: When you play a game from the Wii Virtual Console on the Wii U, the Wii will render old games at the system's native resolution. Ex: The game Super C is rendered at 240 lines of resolution when it is played on the Wii. If you go into Wii Mode on the Wii U and play Super C the game will be rendered at your system resolution setting instead of the games original 240 lines of resolution.

Wii U Virtual Console Releases

The Wii U's eshop gives you access to its own titles. The Wii U's virtual console does not contain many of the titles that are available for the Wii. There are some notable titles like Earthbound that are available on the Wii U Virtual Console, but not the Wii. Note: When playing a game from the Wii U e shop the game will be rendered at the Wii U's resolution instead of the games original resolution. Ex: Super Mario Bros. original resolution is 240, but when played on the Wii U it is rendered at the system's resolution setting. Differences between Wii U Virtual Console and Wii Virtual Console:

  • Full gamepad support (you can view titles
  • Options to create restore points (these work sort of like savestates on emulators, however you only get one)
  • Slighty better video quality (versus emulating the Wii Virtual Console on the Wii U)
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