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Why is Nintendo incapable of emulating their own games properly?

Feb 3, 2013
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A few days ago I decided to "upgrade" the Virtual Console version of Paper Mario 64 so I could play it in bed using my GamePad. I turn the game on and everything seems darker than I remember. I thought it may have been a placebo effect due to stories I heard from other GAF members, but then I decided to compare the two for myself. My apologies for not having direct feed screenshots, but this the best comparison I can come up with. You can also take a look at this video for additional footage. You'll immediately notice that the game looks darker than it should be. NES games experience a similar problem, as all of the games are not only darker, but have a weird "blur" filter slapped on. Nobody knows why, but given the prices they charge, I expect better.



Wii version on left, Wii U version on right. As you can see, all of the colors are darker and more washed out. So after waiting over two years for Nintendo 64 games to be added to the Virtual Console, this garbage is what they give us. Hilarious.

What people seem to be missing is that it's not as simple as "oh it works in homebrew". It does, sure, but then you have people saying it's at "near perfect" speed. Near perfect is not enough for Nintendo.

Nintendo want the games running as they did (if not better) than on the original consoles, and having it be "near perfect" is an issue. Then there's the Virtual Console features. Just throwing the GBA binaries on the handheld and selling them would be terrible, especially as they don't activate sleep mode when you close the 3DS.
:lol:
 

Wowfunhappy

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Jun 2, 2013
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Are you sure it isn't your TV or something? This doesn't make sense.

Completely ridiculous if true.

Edit: The blur filter in NES games might actually be emulating a CRT. Although do you have a source for that as well? It's not something I've noticed.
 

zroid

Banned
Nov 7, 2011
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isn't it obvious? Nintendo has been actively trying to sabotage their Virtual Console service for years. when they're not simply neglecting it, they're making customers hate it by releasing bad ports/emulations.

it's part of a larger plan to drive interest toward waggle and away from old fashioned fun
 

Hatchtag

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Mar 3, 2014
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Are you sure it isn't your TV or something? This doesn't make sense.

Completely ridiculous if true.
It's not the TV, at least not entirely. Have the Wii mode display on the gamepad, then play both the Wii mode and Wii U versions of the same game. The Wii U's is noticeably darker. But hey, at least they don't charge you to upgrade an emulator! Oh wait.
 

pinkurocket

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Jun 17, 2014
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Maybe Nintendo's TV has bad contrast settings and they're not aware it's too dark for everyone else. :]
 

radcliff

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Jun 10, 2004
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You can reduce the blur effect from NES games by going into system settings and changing the resolution from 1080p to 1080i. The games are still somewhat dark, though.
 

NamikazeBurst

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May 20, 2014
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Glad I am not the only one who noticed. It is extremely clear in those shots you posted. The thing is, there are other VC systems that are also darker. I believe Nintendo's excuse for the GBA games being darker is that they were artificially brightened on the original console. Yeah, right.

I turn overscan on when I play Paper Mario because it covers like none of the screen. Now I am thinking of turning the contrast up, too.
 

Balb

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Dec 14, 2007
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I paid the upgrade fee for Super Mario 64 a couple of weeks ago and was instantly turned off by the emulation quality (including input lag). Rest assured I won't be buying any other N64 games on this service.
 

stuminus3

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Nov 29, 2006
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The brightness issue is blatantly obvious with Paper Mario, especially on the gamepad. Very disappointed.

The filter on NES games is horrible too. If they're going to take the effort to make shaders to alter the image, you'd think they'd at least take the time to make an option to turn it off too.
 

TCKaos

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Aug 30, 2011
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There's nothing here, Alabama
Maybe I'm wrong, but I could have sworn it was darker.

Like, I haven't gotten my N64 out in years, so I don't remember, but I don't remember the colors being as washed out as they are on the left.

EDIT: I'm hooking up my N64 'cause now I'm curious.
 

HUELEN10

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Feb 29, 2008
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I paid the upgrade fee for Super Mario 64 a couple of weeks ago and was instantly turned off by the emulation quality (including input lag). Rest assured I won't be buying any other N64 games on this service.
Similar story. I bought DK64 just to say I owned a copy. Hopefully, one day, I can put it on a flash stick, extract the ROM, and play it proper.
 

Nanashrew

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Feb 16, 2014
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Glad I am not the only one who noticed. It is extremely clear in those shots you posted. The thing is, there are other VC systems that are also darker. I believe Nintendo's excuse for the GBA games being darker is that they were artificially brightened on the original console. Yeah, right.

I turn overscan on when I play Paper Mario because it covers like none of the screen. Now I am thinking of turning the contrast up, too.
That's actually true though for GBA where they used higher contrast colors or altered color pallets to counter the darker screen. Just look and DKC GBA and how bright it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vaphbPwi9g
 

WillyFive

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Sep 17, 2009
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That's actually true though for GBA where they used higher contrast colors or altered color pallets to counter the darker screen. Just look and DKC GBA and how bright it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vaphbPwi9g
Yeah, GBA games came with assets that were over-saturated and extremely bright so that they would look good under sunlight or low-light conditions due to the lack of a standardized backlit screen..
 

JazzmanZ

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Aug 18, 2010
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If you're so smart Gonzo why don't you ask for a job at Nintendo doing the VC work for them.
 

sonto340

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Sep 1, 2012
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Glad I am not the only one who noticed. It is extremely clear in those shots you posted. The thing is, there are other VC systems that are also darker. I believe Nintendo's excuse for the GBA games being darker is that they were artificially brightened on the original console. Yeah, right.

I turn overscan on when I play Paper Mario because it covers like none of the screen. Now I am thinking of turning the contrast up, too.
GBA games are darker though. The way they look on the Wii U is how they look in most PC emulators. It requires tinkering in the settings to make them look "right"
Nintendo should have done the tinkering though, I'll agree.
 

Vena

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Sep 2, 2014
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Glad I am not the only one who noticed. It is extremely clear in those shots you posted. The thing is, there are other VC systems that are also darker. I believe Nintendo's excuse for the GBA games being darker is that they were artificially brightened on the original console. Yeah, right.

I turn overscan on when I play Paper Mario because it covers like none of the screen. Now I am thinking of turning the contrast up, too.
Well, aside from the fact that GBA games were artificially brightened due to the lack of a backlight on the system...
 

Revven

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Jul 24, 2011
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I paid the upgrade fee for Super Mario 64 a couple of weeks ago and was instantly turned off by the emulation quality (including input lag). Rest assured I won't be buying any other N64 games on this service.
The good news is that PM64 has no input lag to speak of. Its only issue is how dark it looks, I guess (it doesn't really bother me that much, though).
 

entremet

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Dec 6, 2008
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The original Wii is still one of the best emulation set ups you can get.

Supports 240p, Gamecube discs, great selection of Genesis, Neo Geo, SMS games, and also homebrew.
 

impact

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Aug 14, 2011
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If you're so smart Gonzo why don't you ask for a job at Nintendo doing the VC work for them.
Quality post

OP: people keep giving them the absurd asking prices for these releases so they'll keep putting as little effort as they can and try to make some profits on the Wi U. $10 for fucked up colors/input lag N64 games, what a freakin steal!
 

megarockexe

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Aug 21, 2011
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Color interpolation. So it is still a bad emulation since the off white colors have to be raised to their correct white, I think.
 

TheAdmiester

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Jan 28, 2014
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Yeah, but these are offscreen shots.

Someone really needs to capture direct footage for comparison.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that pretty clearly looks like a comparison on the exact same screen. If the display device is exactly the same then I'd say an offscreen comparison is fine.
 

NamikazeBurst

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May 20, 2014
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This is almost certainly done so that pixels will be scaled evenly. Turning overscan on ruins that.
I know. But the game doesn't look as good as it originally did anyways, so at least give scaling options.

That's actually true though for GBA where they used higher contrast colors or altered color pallets to counter the darker screen. Just look and DKC GBA and how bright it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vaphbPwi9g
GBA games are darker though. The way they look on the Wii U is how they look in most PC emulators. It requires tinkering in the settings to make them look "right"
Nintendo should have done the tinkering though, I'll agree.
Well, aside from the fact that GBA games were artificially brightened due to the lack of a backlight on the system...
I know the games were actually darker, but they don't look right that way. Mario & Luigi looks way too dark, just like Paper Mario.
 

hatchx

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Jun 30, 2009
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I know it's ridiculous to have to do this, but you could solve this by raising the brightness of your TV/monitor and adjusting the hue.

Not saying it excuses this, but it's a solution.



EDIT - the fact they had it Day 1 on Wii and took 2.5 years on WiiU says something to me. There is something going on under-the-hood of the WiiU that gives them problems. Maybe it's the gamepad integration. The N64 games seem like rush-jobs, is the input lag really an issue? I havn't bought a single N64 game on the WiiU VC and I doubt that I will.
 

HappehLemons

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Jul 26, 2013
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The virtual console on the Wii-U looks like it's a mess. Bad colors on this and DK64 has pretty bag lag on the TV (Does this game lag too?)
 

TCKaos

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Aug 30, 2011
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There's nothing here, Alabama
I didn't drop the dosh on the Virtual Console release, but if the screenshots on the marketplace are anything to judge by then it's nearly identical to the N64 version. I just switched between the two and the colors are seemingly identical.
 

megarockexe

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Aug 21, 2011
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Probably should look more like the one on the right, but yeah. Getting it wrong when the Wii version was right is baffling.
 

mntorankusu

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Sep 6, 2011
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Almost every Virtual Console release, including the GBA Ambassador games, has had this same problem to a varying degree. I complained about it in every single Virtual Console related Club Nintendo survey.

It's the worst with GBA games. GBA games look significantly better on a Game Boy Player than they do on the Virtual Console. It's crazy. And it's distracting enough that I prefer not to play them.
 

EatinOlives

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Oct 23, 2011
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What's with all the snark in this thread? None of it negates the fact that Nintendo for some inexplicable reason ruined the color palette of their own games by screwing around with the color balance.

Some people truly take any and all critiques of Nintendo personally and respond with baseless derision.
 

Hugstable

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Aug 3, 2012
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Okay, here's a picture from Miiverse. It's safe to say that Bowser's shell was not gray in the original.
That gray part in that box looks more like the top shadowed part of the shell, not what it's pointing to. What it's pointing too looks white and much different shade then whats in that box.
 
Feb 3, 2013
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Holy shit it's that dark?

I guess you can raise TV brightness to fix, but still, wtf?
https://miiverse.nintendo.net/titles/14866558073651604142/14866558073651604149

Look at the screenshots and see for yourself.

I honestly don't know how they could screw something like this up. SNES games run flawlessly, but everything else is crap. GBA games are too dark for my liking as well, but at least the changes make sense.

That gray part in that box looks more like the top shadowed part of the shell, not what it's pointing to. What it's pointing too looks white and much different shade then whats in that box.
Go into Photoshop and be amazed. It's an optical illusion. Somebody already made "the dress" reference. :p
 

mntorankusu

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Sep 6, 2011
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That gray part in that box looks more like the top shadowed part of the shell, not what it's pointing to. What it's pointing too looks white and much different shade then whats in that box.
You're wrong, it's just an optical illusion. The gray in the box is the same as the gray on Bowser's shell. That's how bad this game looks on the Virtual Console.
 

Solid Samus

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Feb 26, 2010
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That gray part in that box looks more like the top shadowed part of the shell, not what it's pointing to. What it's pointing too looks white and much different shade then whats in that box.


Squares A and B are the exact same color but it's hard to tell because of what they're surrounded by.

 

MagnoSauce

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Jul 10, 2014
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Did Super Mario 64 have the same issue on Wii U? This is surprising to me because the Wii VC version of SM64 was notoriously dark.