Wii U Developers: Because HD is the New SD


Home / Wii U Developers: Because HD is the New SD

The Nintendo Wii U is cheaper on Amazon, but is it a real Black Friday Deal? Image courtesy of Amazon.com

According to an interview with Wii developer Genyo Takeda, the new Wii U was developed as a result of the move to HD televisions in Japan.

Previous Wii consoles supported only SD televisions – but what’s the difference, and why does it matter in gaming?

If you’ve got an HD TV, should you be scouring stores for Black Friday deals on the Wii U this year?

Wii U Sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, although not exactly holidays, are an opportunity for consumers to purchase big-ticket items with special deals, such as cash discounts, rebates and free shipping; the Wii U may be the exception.

A brand-new, long-awaited product, such as the Wii U, will sell quickly without discounts, so any Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals will be few and far between, and the supplies will be very limited.

At the time of writing, Amazon appeared to offer the lowest-priced Wii U, selling the unit for $100 less than Toys R Us.

Wii U: HD versus SD

In an interview with Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata, the Wii U’s software and hardware developers discussed the development of the gaming console and GamePad device.

During the interview, Genyo Takeda stated, “The Wii U development kicked off when we thought that we should adapt ourselves to the new HD standard for making everyone enjoy the benefits of home HD TV sets. Our philosophy is that we want to make something that everyone could enjoy the same way under the same circumstances in many different households of the greatest number.”

What is SDTV?

In SDTV, the ‘SD’ just stands for ‘standard definition’ – it means that your television is a pre-HDTV model. Before HDTV came out, an SD television was just called a television.

What is HDTV?

HD stands for high-definition, and refers to the higher quality of images that display on the television. Images are more defined due to a greater number of pixels an increase in scan lines, and a better aspect ratio. Pixels are tiny dots used to compose the image – the more dots there are, the better the final image looks. A television displays the image using ‘scan lines’ – the image appears in lines, moving from the top to the bottom of the screen, very quickly. The ‘aspect ratio’ refers to the proportion of the screen; a height-to-width comparison.

HDTV for Wii U: What Does it Mean for Gamers?

Nintendo’s decision to design the Wii U for HDTV means that games and video will display in brighter, crisper colors on your high-definition television set. Whether it’s due to the display or other features, even though Black Friday sales and discounts may be rare this year, the Wii U is selling out quickly in stores. For the patient, there’s always next year.


Nintendo. Iwata Asks: Wii U. (2012). Accessed November 23, 2012.

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