After recently purchasing a brand new Nintendo Wii, I was more than a little underwhelmed with how it looked on my fairly large HDTV. After using an XBOX 360 in true high definition for the last few years I may have been spoiled by its visual splendour but I still wasn't willing to accept that.
The composite video cable that comes packaged with the Wii and most other games consoles as well, is known to be the worst quality video cable available. The downside to this, beyond the obvious is that not everyone is aware of this and millions of people are unnecessarily using an inferior cable. This is a real shame for Wii owners but even worse for users of HD games machines like the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3.
The packaged composite cable renders a very unstable and washed out picture on my 37" Panasonic. It's completely usable but is quite ugly on larger displays.
Before buying my Wii I was prepared for this after experiments with the same cable with my Nintendo GameCube and had heard about the various benefits of a component video cable. Any small benefit would be welcome as i'd found that extended use of the Wii's web browser through the poorer composite cable had given me eye strain because of how blurry the text was on screen.
After acquiring the new component cable, I was delighted with how big the improvement was. The new five prong cable smoothed all of the shimmering edges and opened my eyes to a new world of colour. The contrast was amazing between the before and after. The island hub of Wii Sports Resort went from being a drab and colourless place to an exotic playground. It was a real eye opener that made me discover how the Wii was selling itself short in terms of its graphical power because if it had been packaged with this cable it wouldn't get nearly as much flak from gamers.
I purchased the cable from Amazon for £17.99 after a high street hunt failed to turn up any results. Delivered promptly as always from Amazon, I was very impressed with how easy it was to make the cable work with my Wii. I basically told the Wii (after swapping the cables around) to output at 480p which is the highest video quality available through this lead. It's very important to alter this resolution setting as just changing the cable is not enough with the lead defaulting to the lowest and most disappointing setting!
Finally, it's important to point out that this lead is designed to work with HDTVs that have a component video input. This is the green, red and blue phono inputs for picture as well as a red and white phonos for sound. Nearly every HDTV i've seen has this input but it's worth checking before splasing the cash. I couldn't be more impressed with this product!
Having previously played my Wii on a regular old television I was more than happy with the graphics in game. However upon moving house and purchasing a Samsung LCD TV which is HD compatible, I figured buying a component cable couldn't hurt and I had heard good things about its effect upon games. I did not have the money at the time to purchase the official Nintendo one, and when talking about it with the kind and helpful assistants in GAME, they assured me theirs was just as good and a fraction of the price. I had never been let down by them before so I bought it and went home straight away to see the effect it would have, especially on games with already spectacular graphics like Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy.
~Note - this is the GAMEware component cable~
Difference in Picture Quality
Being unsure of the effect it would have, I performed a blind test with a friend, asking him to guess whether the picture he was looking at was with the component cable or the regular cable. I repeated this test three times to see if there was a major difference, he guessed correct in time and there is an obvious difference when it is used. I have heard from some that the component cable has no effect on screens under a certain size (30inch or less), this is crazy talk! With games with mediocre graphics it made them look sharper and more colourful, however where it really improved things was with already great looking games, such as Super Mario Galaxy. The already amazing and clear graphics were notched insignificantly, everything looks more colourful and crystal clear and for lack of a better way to describe it, it looks like more information is being shown on screen. I am no graphics junkie, but even I could fully appreciate the increase in graphical quality when the component cable is used. Top notch!
Look and Feel
It feels as you would expect really, though it does strike me as being heavy for a cable. One end slots into the Wii and the other has 5 plugs to go into the 5 sockets available on the pack of newer TVs. It is identical in colour to the rest of the Wii cables, being a medium matt grey colour. If being plugged into the back of a TV, it needs to be 3-4 inches away from the wall at least, as the wires come back quite a bit from the TV and it would be unwise to bend them too much. There isn't really much to see or feel, tough it is a shame it sticks out from the TV so much, more so than some other cables, meaning your TV has to be pushed away from the wall quite a bit.
Robust and Durable
Normally not required for a cable, but an incident I had proved its durability. Whilst unpacking more of my stuff, I left the cable on the floor, and accidentally dropped a heavy metal DVD storage case on it. Whilst the cable had no marks or damage at all (despite it landing on the connector pins) the floor was dented. During normal (and abnormal) usage it is certainly robust enough to withstand most things you can put it through (not that it should need to, it should be sitting in your TV out of the way) Unlike some GAMEware items I have used, this is made of top quality plastic and feels as robust as it is.
Value for Money
The increase in sharpness and quality of graphics does give Wii games that extra graphical power and for £10 it is very good value for money. Personally I think the Wii is graphically good enough anyway, but even I would (and did) pay £10 for better graphics on the games I love. It notably made Metroid Prime 3 look even more amazing than it already did as did Battalion Wars 2. For £10, it is surely a must buy for anyone who owns both a Wii and a HD compatible TV.
Unusually for a GAMEware accessory, you don't have a hefty book to tell you how to use it. However everything that is necessary is given to you clearly in the instructions. Naturally after buying and fitting the cable, you need to go to the Wii settings and change the Wii from 50/60 Hz to EDTV/HDTV. After this you will notice a sizeable increase in the graphical quality of games. The manual describes everything that has to be done and is very clear and concise.
The GAMEware component cable performs the same job as the official one, but at a fraction of the cost. For some games on the Wii, the graphics will make a moderate jump in sharpness and become more colourful. For those with already great graphics, they will experience a very noticeable difference in crispness and smoothness of gameplay. I very highly recommend this for anyone with a Wii and HD compatible TV, you will notice the difference in graphical quality and the GAMEware cable works perfectly, at a fraction of the cost of the official one.
Thanks for reading, any comments you have will be gratefully received. Also on Ciao.
The Wii Component Cable is a Cable which delivers a 480P Picture. (The Wii is not a HD Console but the cable just offers a Higher Picture Quality) The Cable retails from £19.99 - £29.99 and There is still a shortage as loads of people are after the cable.
If you have a HDTV I would advise you to get as the Picture Quality Improves very well. When using the Component Cable the Picture is a lot more enhanced.
The Cable will support all Wii Games and you can see quite a Difference when using this cable compared to the standard cable. But if you see a game with EDTV/HDTV you know you will use the full use of the component cable.
After Plugging in the Cable I had to go into the menu and choose the 480P setting after the Wii restarted I notice the Wii Menu was a little more clearer. I Notice a Large amount of difference when playing Medal of Honour heroes 2 the picture was more clearer and had more of a texture.
The Only problem I have with this cable is that I can't play the Virtual games which you buy off the Wii shop Channel. Every time I start one of theses games the screen goes black and my TV says YPBPR not in range. I don't know if this is me or if it is a common problem with this cable.
I Hope I have helped you to decide to buy this product