The Virtual Console has now gone live on PAL Nintendo Wii systems before the system launches in Australia on December 7th, and in Europe on December 8th. And its retro downloads may not be what gamers expected compared to their NTSC counterparts in America & Japan.
On the positive side we can say that: Virtual Console games run at 50Hz, just as they used to for PAL gamers back on their original systems in the 80’s and 90’s. Playing them as they always were in Europe and Australia can be a fun and nostalgic experience.
On the negative side Prog discovered: Sega’s Mega Drive classic Sonic The Hedgehog shows the Virtual Console games on the Wii run noticeably slower than the NTSC version and features sizeable borders at the top and bottom of the screen. Even switching the console to 60Hz doesn’t change this.
Apparently in recent years PAL gamers are used to proper PAL conversions and 60Hz gameplay options [all PAL 50Hz TV's can handle that nowadays as well], and being forced to return to the 50Hz dark ages isn’t something Wii owners expected. While Sonic may have big borders, and F-Zero small borders, games like Super Star Soldier run in 480i full screen 60Hz. Pics via Lyris