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Your Questions Answered

by Steven Rodriguez - December 31, 2006, 6:30 pm PST

It can't be a happy New Year without another mailbag update, now can it?

Hey NWR, I was just wondering how I am going to playback .mp3 files off of my SD card once I can hunt down a Wii. I have read that you use the Photo channel some how. Thanks in advance,

- BoSox

The only way the Wii can play back MP3 files is one at a time during a slideshow in the Photo Channel. There is currently no built-in MP3 player, so you'll be disappointed if you expected there to be some way to easily listen to your music via the console. Alternatively, you could get a copy of Excite Truck, as it can read and play back MP3 files just fine, though still not in a way that would make it easy to set it and forget it.

Hey there, 'Bag --

What do you think the likelihood is of Nintendo making their own version of the XBox's Gamertag? More specifically, the ability for friends to see what you've been playing and other such activity. It seems like kind of a no-brainer, especially since the Wii logs your play history everyday, anyway! Do you think Nintendo will wise up to this eventually? Thanks, yo.

- Alex

Not going to happen. Nintendo has gone on record saying that they setup their online system in a way where anyone could be named anything for any game, duplicates included. I can't find our article on that at the moment, but I believe their words were "if 100 people wanted to be named Mario, they can do that" or something to that effect. Although that statement actually pertained to DS Wi-fi games, I don't see why Nintendo won't hold true to that for the Wii.

The next best thing is for everyone to be able to attach a nickname to their Wii's console number/friend code. Assuming that there will only be one code for all online games (and if there's not, there will be hell to pay), you could theoretically use the same display name on every game. It's not quite Xbox Live where your name is your universal account, but for Nintendo online it'll be good enough for me. As long as I can see if my friends want to play a game, I'll be happy no matter how Nintendo approaches their online setup.

Help! What do these error codes mean. I got to support.nintendo.com, but I can't find a list of error codes and solutions. I have sinced fixed my Wii, but a friend of mine gets error code 220602, and we can't find what that means.

- duglab12

There appears to be an issue with your wireless router's firewall. Don't take my word for it, see Nintendo's error code 220602 page for yourself. If you or any of our other readers have recieve digits of despair from your Wii, you might want to enter them on this page.

Sup NWR! I know Nintendo's not big on graphics, but I realized many things once I got my Wii. The first thing I realized was that everybody and their momma wanted progressive scan cables for their Wii (so much so that Nintendo sold out of them about as fast as they sold out of Wiis), and personally these progressive cables have improved the picture of even my Gamecube games when playing them on my HDTV (so in a way, I kinda feel like my Wii HAS in fact updated my GC game graphics, in a way, sense I didn't have the cables for my Gamecube).

My question is, do you guys think that the public's clammoring for 480p resolution for their Wii's will act as a wakeup call for Nintendo that people care about SOME kind of high definition picture? And do you think it's technologically possible for Nintendo to update the Wii's firmware to allow for, at least, 720p resolution games in the future?

- Havraha

Technically, it is possible for Nintendo to bump up the maximum video output with a firmware update. Microsoft did just that with a recent Xbox 360 Dashboard update, giving the console the ability to output a 1080p signal. I don't know if Nintendo will do a firmware update of their own, because the Wii wasn't designed with high definition in mind. The original Xbox did have the ability to display games in 720p, but less than 10% of all Xbox games took advantage of it. The 360 was obviously designed for HDTVs, so all games on it output in 720p. Just because the console has it doesn't mean developers will automatically use it. We'll have to see if Nintendo eventually succumbs to the HD pressure, though.

The Wii is a much better console than the GameCube in terms of outputting a progressive signal, though. It was an afterthought on the GC, with the second cable and needing to hold down the B Button for the early 480p games to boot in progressive mode. The 480p switch is built into the Wii interface and will hopefully soon be a requirement for all Wii games. More importantly, Nintendo is making the cables more readily available than the GC set. I know that's hard to believe considering that they are still impossible to find, but that's probably due to Nintendo totally underestimating how many people wanted them. Hey Nintendo, maybe all of those people are trying to tell you something!

I've beenk wondering about the USB ports in the back of my Wii. What are they good for besides besides connecting to a router? Flash drives? Keyboards? Anything?


- xenoRick2049
Los Angeles

As of right now, the only thing the Wii USB ports are good for is connecting the USB LAN adapter...which is not even out yet. Officially, anyway. You can actually connect any generic USB device that takes power and it will run through the Wii, so if you want to plug in your iPod or Xbox 360 wireless controller into the back of the system, they will charge. Not very useful, but that's all we can do for now. Future firmware updates will eventually unlock additional functionality for the ports.

I was happy to download Castlevania IV when it was posted. However much Nintendo insists on representing the VC games in their original form, the slowdown in SNES games like Castlevania and Gradius III was purely a hardware issue. Konami even apologized for the Gradius III slowdown when they released Axelay, and in Japan a RAM pack was released to play games without the slowdown and sprite flicker. I fully support unaltered games on the VC - classics are classics, and emulating a distracting hardware limitation takes away from experiencing the game the way it was meant to be experienced. Nintendo, don't be lazy and please fix this.

- Arbeebs

So far, it looks like the emulation on Virtual Console is perfect. The games play exactly like they did on the original hardware...complete with the original slowdown. For the processor-heavy games like Gradius, Castlevania and Gunstar Heroes, three games which pushed their respective systems to the limit, the question needs to be asked: With the modern technology available, why don't those games play any better?

Well, emulation is a tricky beast. The modern solution to frame rate problems is faster clock speeds. That doesn't work in the emulation of classic systems, since increasing the clock of the virtual processor to combat the chugginess would cause the entire game to run faster. That's probably worse than needing to deal with the occasional framerate drop.

Although all VC games can be updated in one way or another, I don't know if the purpose of the feature is to fix problems like that. I think that, with the exception of one or two games, we should be happy that the emulation is true to the original systems. We lived with it back then, and by gum, we should be able to live with it now.

Hiya bag,

Every two years Nintendo releases an updated vesion of the Game Boy advance. Well, the GBA micro was released in 2005. IT looks like in 2007 we may be due. Will Nintendo release a new gameboy? If so will they upgrade the capabilities like when they jumped from Game Boy Color to Game Boy Advanced, or will they just redesign the casing for the zillionth time. The plus side for nintendo is that they can squeeze us for more money.

Now as many have observed the Game Boy seems dead. It has ceased to be. (except from third party developers). I think I recall a nintendo executive stating that the DS was actually an upgrade from a Game Boy Micro. Will Nintendo finish the "third pillar" off instead?

I'll shut up now :)

- the Mystery Man

I don't think Nintendo needs to release a new Game Boy system. The Nintendo DS is the next Game Boy. The DS is cleaning house all across the world, so the last thing Nintendo should do is release another new handheld. They'd cannibalize DS sales and/or get the new system off on a (relatively) weak foot. Normally, competing with yourself is a good thing, but I don't see a scenario where a new Game Boy would be a positive for Nintendo. There may be a new Game Boy system when the DS starts to slow down, but considering how things are going right now that probably won't be for a while.

2007 will be the last year the GBA will be a viable gaming system. It did sell 642,000 in November and a bunch more in December, so there are going to be a lot of people looking for new games. Currently, the only major North American release scheduled for it is Final Fantasy VI Advance. Rhythm Heaven and the bit Generations games should also come to the States sometime next year, so its not as if the GBA is totally finished. It's more alive than the GameCube is, that's for sure.

Love the redesign, good launch coverage, yadda yadda yadda...

Now that Square-Enix is finishing off their revival of the NES and SNES Final Fantasy titles with VI due to arrive soon, what are the odds on them showing some Dragon Quest love? Let's port those awesome US NES titles and get a crack translation team to handle the regionalization of the Super Famicom's V & VI. Does Sony have any rights to VII? If not, port that too.

Maybe I'm still bitter that the Enix remake of DQ4 never found it's way stateside, but I really think some handheld re-releases would be nice. Given that DQIX is destined for the DS, the huge install base of the DS, and that Square-Enix likes selling us the same game as much as Nintendo does... what are the odds?

- Silverwedge

Extremely likely. Square Enix is out of Final Fantasy games to port to the handheld space. They probably enjoy the easy money generated from those remakes and will want to see the income continue to come flowing in. Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to start seeing all the old Dragon Quest games get ported over to the DS? They're still going to need the income to finance FFXIII on the PS3, after all. I wouldn't be surprised to see an announcement out of Square Enix about this by the second half of 2007.

Hello Mailbag,

Ok you said Nintendo would have an S-Video cable at launch, but I still can't find it. Could you please point me in the right direction? Also is it true that you need to download an update to the Wii in order to copy game save files onto an SD Card?

- Magnum

After I finally got a set of component cables a few weeks ago, my next task was to find a set of S-Video cables. (They make home-made Wii screen captures look a lot better than composite.) I figured Nintendo's online store would have them, but much to my surprise, they weren't even listed! I wonder if Nintendo is so pre-occupied with the demand for component cables that they totally neglected on producing any S-Vids. Anyways, if the cable isn't listed for sale at Nintendo, then I have serious doubts you'll be able to find them anywhere else. Does anyone out there have S-Video cables? I'd like to know myself.

It turns out that yes, you need to connect your console to the Internet and get the 2.0 update to gain the ability to transfer items to an SD card. I had assumed that was in there from the start, but then I realized that I had updated my system from the start. So now you know!

That's a wrap on 2006. As the pointless countdown to 2007 approaches zero, I'd like to take this time to remind everyone that the entire New Year's Eve "holiday" is a big joke. What are we celebrating, anyway? Hooray, it's time to go buy a new calendar! It's just an excuse to go out and get drunk, I say.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go out and get drunk. I'll see you next week with another round of vodka. I mean, questions.

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