Why Do My Wii Games Look Pixelated? Reasons and How to Fix

My Wii Games Look Pixelated

A while back, I took out my original white Wii console. It was almost obvious that it features in a retro gamer party I was planning for a few of my dad pals to stir up a bit of nostalgia.

But as soon as the first player began, we encountered an issue I had long forgotten about: The images looked super pixelated! 

The images appear pixelated because the Wii can only display at a maximum resolution of 480p, which is lower than the resolution of most modern TVs. To improve the visual output, use Wii component cables. If this doesn’t work, check your console and TV settings or opt for a Wii to HDMI converter.

Wondering what happened? Well, we didn’t put the Wii aside, nor did we have to look for an old computer with compatible low screen resolution. 

You see, I was in a room full of hardcore gamers and tech gurus. We resolved the issue in a matter of minutes. Here’s what I learned.

Why Do My Wii Games Look Pixelated?

The Wii displays graphics at 480p. The picture isn’t completely smooth when you play on a large screen. The result is the same as opening a picture on your laptop and magnifying it 2X. The image will appear grainy or blurred in some areas.

You also need to know that the Wii isn’t an HD console. So it doesn’t display a fully digital signal from the console to the TV. Thankfully, it’s possible to adapt the lower resolution content to higher resolution output.

How to Make Your Wii Games Look Less Pixelated?

Adjust Your Settings

Some Wii software supports 480p progressive output, which provides a higher quality display. To do this, change the TV resolution option from 50Hz or 60Hz to EDTV/HDTV (480p). 

But to watch 480p output, the television must be a high-definition TV (HDTV) or an enhanced-definition TV (EDTV).

Also, take advantage of Wii’s screen format options. It is possible to change the screen format of a Wii display by selecting Standard (4:3)  or Widescreen (16:9)  to match your TV’s configuration. 

Use Wii Component Cables

Wii component cables enable 480p output, which looks far superior to the native interlaced image on an HDTV – especially if connected to a TV with significant upscaling capability.

If you have an EDTV (Enhanced-definition television), component cables will undoubtedly make a difference. SDTVs (standard-definition televisions) cannot, of course, use component cables, but the Wii still looks good through composite.

Wii to HDMI Adapter 

Sometimes, the images still seem pixelated even though you’re using component cables on TV and have selected the 480p setting. 

Luckily, there’s still one trick in the bag: Using HDMI. A 1080p adapter would change the Wii’s original 480p image to 1080p and make it look better.

Unfortunately, the original Nintendo Wii does not have an HDMI port. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t play it on a TV using an HDMI cable. You have to find a suitable Wii to HDMI converter that can specifically handle your setup’s technical needs. 

To pick the best one, consider:

  • Build quality. Always go for a premium build.
  • Features. Opt for supported screen resolutions, display modes, and audio output.
  • Pricing. Steer away from knockoff brands and very cheap HDMI adapters as they are often susceptible to bizarre bugs and complications
  • Accessories. Some Wii to HDMI converters comes complete with an HDMI cable.

Compared to Wii’s analog cables, HDMI is superior because they carry sound and video. Running through an HDMI cable means you get the raw digital video signal.

Plug the converter into the video port on the Wii console and attach the HDMI cable. One of the best options in the market is the Wiistar Wii to HDMI converter. It’s a fantastic mini converter made explicitly for the Wii console.

How Can You Improve Wii Games to Look Better on Wii U?

The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics. Wii U displays original Wii games at resolutions of 720×480 or 720×576. This means you get a fully digital signal from the console to the TV.

The visual output will be sharper if you get the Wii U to display Wii games at different settings to 16:9, 480p widescreen. To achieve this, use an HDMI cable. Component cables aren’t compatible with the Wii U. 

HDMI upscales Wii games played on Wii U to 1080p or 720p. 

Why is My Wii Still Blurry With Component Cables?

Although component cables are your best option for correcting the image quality of your Wii games, the Wii still looks somewhat blurry. You’ll be amazed to know that this is a common issue. 

I know this doesn’t excuse the frustration, especially if you had to purchase the component cables online and wait for delivery. 

But before you toss them out, check out the potential causes below. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the cables!

Wii – TV Compatibility

Remember that retro gamer get-together I mentioned? Yes, the one that set me on the path to gaining all of this knowledge. The first thing we tried was connecting the component cables to an HDTV.

All original Wii consoles include composite cables with a single video plug and two audio ports. The hazy image results from splitting the video connection amongst the three connectors. 

But, we encountered problems improving the Wii’s graphics and pictures on our HDTV.

If your TV is blurry after using Wii component cables, try connecting to another TV. The problem might be with the first TV (probably the settings). 

If you don’t have another TV to test on, try using different component cables or connection processes to improve the visual output.

Wii Settings

Your Wii’s settings may be incompatible with your current setup. Check and tweak your Wii’s system settings to get the best picture possible when using component connections. Here’s how to modify the Wii’s visual quality settings:

  1. Find and click on the “System Settings” icon – You can find it on the bottom of the Wii main menu.
  2. Choose the “Screen” sub-menu.
  3. Scroll down to the “TV Resolution” menu and choose “EDTV or HDTV.”
  4. Click on the “Confirm” icon, then return to the Wii menu to see the upgraded picture.

Once you change the Wii settings to ‘component,’ everything should look crisp, clear, colorful, and all-around super less pixelated.

Device Connections

Suppose you’ve connected the component cables to a cable TV box and subsequently to the TV. The connections may become scrambled, resulting in a blurry picture. Typically, passing the component wires from the Wii through another device to reach the TV might be the pixelated image source.

Thus, connect the cords directly to the TV to avoid this. If this is not feasible, switch back to conventional composite cables and connect directly to the TV.

Cable Connection

Wiis come with three color-coded cables: gray, blue, and red. If you hook an incorrect port, the monitor may display distorted pictures. 

It can also happen if you don’t connect the ports correctly, as any loose wires might cause a hazy image.

As a result, double-check the cable connection to your device. Ascertain that all cables are appropriately matched to their respective ports and fixed securely. 

Examine the Wii’s connection connector on the back as well. Pull it out and set it back into place.


Gaming Section