The Nintendo Wii or the Wii is a 7th generation home video game console released back on November 19, 2006. It was hugely successful, selling more than the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 in terms of worldwide sales, even though the PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling home console and game console of all time. Regardless, it appeals to a broader demographic of people beyond that of so-called hardcore gamers. Children, adults, males, females, and ethnicities from all walks of life can pick up many a Wii controller and play their intuitive motion-based games.
With that said, we choose the VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Projector as our projector of choice for use with the Wii and its non-HDMI ports. This is mostly because VANKYO’s offering of a projector doesn’t require a special component-to-HDMI adapter to connect with the Wii. It’s also a high-quality projector in its own right.
Back in December 2009 or 3 years after its initial release, the Nintendo Wii broke the sales record for a single month in the U.S. Eventually, the Wii led its generation over the Xbox 360 and PS3 in worldwide sales in the first quarter of 2016. It was able to get 101 million units sold. It’s truly a best-seller of a game console, but it also came around at a time when projectors were shifting from merely being used in schools and offices to also being used in home cinemas. Particularly, the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Digital Light Processing (DLP), and Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) projectors were coming into prominence in the late 2000s.
- Wii Remote: The Wii Remote Controller was introduced to players by the Wii at its release. It’s a different kind of controller that’s used as a handheld pointing device capable of detecting motion in three dimensions. This is the “gimmick” that was able to make Wii a best-selling hit in 2006 despite its lower specs in every other aspect, from graphics to high-definition resolution pictures, that’s outdone by its competition. The console also runs games in optical discs exclusive for use by the console, which was a tradition picked up from the GameCube.
- WiiConnect24 Service: The Wii also has online capabilities through the WiiConnect24 (which has since been discontinued). It’s responsible for allowing the game console to get updates and messages through the Internet while on standby or idle mode. Like other 7th generation consoles, it has a Virtual Console service that downloaded emulated games from past Nintendo consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It also supports video streaming through the BBC iPlayer and similar players as well as online Nintendo exclusive services such as Wii Points.
- Discontinuation of Online Services: As Nintendo shifted its focus from the Wii to the Wii-U and eventually the Switch, the company gradually discontinued all its Internet services. Since January 31, 2019, the only services available to the Wii and Wii-U are the transfer of data between them, system software updates, and the re-download of games. This will eventually be withdrawn for the foreseeable but unspecified future. Wii Points cannot be purchased after March 2018. They were then permanently lost on January 31, 2019.
- Shovelware: However, despite its incredible sales and success, the Nintendo Wii did suffer eventually for having low high-quality third-party developer support and got inundated but what is known in the industry as “Shovelware” or games that are low quality and easily made for easy consumption of the masses. This is due to the game console’s lower specs compared to the more powerful PS3 and Xbox 360. It became infamous for its low-tier titles late in its lifespan, which is in contrast to the high-quality standards of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
What’s The Best Projector for The Wii?
There are many projectors to choose from when it comes to using the famous Nintendo Wii gaming console. Chief among them is the affordable VANKYO Leisure 470 and the entry-level BenQ MP512. The VANKYO projector is renowned for its Wii compatibility, it’s 4,000-lux or 4,000-lumen brightness. and Wi-Fi smartphone synchronization. Meanwhile, BenQ MP512 is fully compatible with use on the standard-definition Wii and other similar SD sources but it was discontinued back in 2009 so you’ll have to find the model in vintage stores or eBay resellers.
The MP512 is also a model that’s around the same age as the Wii give or take a year, thus ensuring compatibility. With that said, here are the things you should be on the lookout for when searching for a Nintendo Wii gaming projector that won’t affect the latency or the responsiveness of the motion control of the console versus what’s being displayed on the projection screen.
- Designed for the Nintendo Wii: The main caveat of the VANKYO Leisure 470 is that it was manufactured to be “backward compatible” to many standard-definition or SD media sources, from VHS players to the Nintendo Wii of 2006. If you want true compatibility from a projector that’s seemingly been designed for the game console for the get-go, the BenQ MP512ST and its component cable ports are just the ticket for you. It’s inexpensive, dependable, fully responsive, and accepts SD connections without anything “funky” happening to the resulting projection.
- Retro-Gaming with the Original Hardware: Many hardcore gamers of the 21st century might scoff or wave of the value of SD or standard-definition games as opposed to HD or high-definition games in 3D. However, this comes from their modern-day sensibilities and bias. There’s value to be had for retro-gaming, whether it’s for the NES generation, SNES generation, or the Nintendo 64 generation. Many retro-gamers are looking into playing retro-games the way they were meant to be played, like using a Wii to play Wii games along with a compatible projector like the BenQ MP512ST.
- A Decent Picture for SD Games: The BenQ MP512ST is a small unit that offers a decent picture that isn’t at the level found in more expensive HD projectors. Meanwhile, the cost-effective VANKYO Leisure 470 allows you to enjoy savings and next-generation quality projections at immense brightness that should allow you to play even in daylight or under the ambient lights of your room. The BenQ projector costs $600 to $700 but the VANKYO costs less than a fifth of that because it’s ultimately a budget product at this point with a lower price cap compared to 1080p HD and Ultra HD offerings.
- Compatibility and Connection Excellence: The VANKYO Leisure 470 outdoes the more expensive DLP projector in terms of cost-effective quality at around a hundred bucks or so (prices will vary) because it uses more advanced technology yet still offers backward-compatibility with the Wii and a host of SD appliances. This is because the portable projector with Wi-Fi capabilities can connect to any device with cables for USB, AV, TF, VGA, HDMI, and so forth. It can connect fine with Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick as well as PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, and Xbox game consoles as well.
- Assured Picture Quality without Hiccups: BenQ might be priced higher than VANKYO, but it’s still considered a bargain brand with excellent quality picture for its generation of projector since it’s a DLP projector that makes use of mirrors and a color wheel to produce high-fidelity images. It’s only outdone by more expensive projectors while VANKYO can only keep up with it as a lower price point due to it being released in the 2010s rather than the 2000s. VANKYO is like the Wii Mini version of the higher-tier BenQ when it comes to projecting the video and images of the Wii.
- Check the Specs: The BenQ MP512ST has also sorts of quality specs, such as an HDMI input with 1080p for your Wii-U needs, its brightness of 49 lumens, its cinema reference mode, its contrast of 7, its T3 color temperature, and it’s picture quality that’s best projected unto a Stewart Greyhawk screen of similar vintage to it. The settings can be adjusted in accordance to your room conditions, source, screen quality, and personal preferences. Meanwhile, due to later projector advancements, the VANKYO Leisure 470 offers brighter screens and more versatile modes to adjust your picture quality in accordance with your gaming requirements.
Why VANKYO Leisure 470 Is a Perfect Fit for The Wii
There are several traits and benefits to the VANKYO Leisure 470 that doesn’t necessarily help with its Wii projection capabilities but does allow you to make it more dependable and user-friendly as a display option. For example, it has a Wi-Fi Synchronize feature that allows you to connect it to any smartphone or mobile device with an iOS or Android system. By linking them to the projector through the Lightning or USB cable, you can mirror the display of the device unto the projector with ease. You can stream YouTube from there or get a bigger screen for your mobile games.
Take note that due to copyright protection, you’re banned from streaming Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix from your phone to the projector. You can only see them on your phone alone and not on your mirrored display. In regards to what it can do as a Wii projector, here’s the nitty-gritty.
- The Universal Compatibility Advantage: The VANKYO Leisure 470 is able to deliver a relatively higher-grade resolution, brightness, and clarity compared to the discontinued BenQ MP512ST DLP Projector because it’s a relatively modern 2010s projector with excellent backward compatibility with vintage and SD media sources. On top of being able to link up with the latest HD devices such as DVD and BD players, cable/satellite boxes, the PS4, the Wii-U, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch, it can also link up to vintage consoles such as the Wii, the Sega Dreamcast, the Nintendo 64/GameCube, the PS3/PS2/PS1, and the Xbox/Xbox 360. It’s via its USB, AV, TF, VGA, and HDMI ports. However, even though it’s as bright as a business projector, it’s not recommended for PowerPoint Presentations.
- Native Resolution That Can Go Up or Down: The native resolution of the VANKYO Leisure 470 is 1280 x 720p. It’s not quite 1080p Full HD but it supports 1920 x 1080p and there’s less detail lost from its 720p resolution in light of how high its native resolution is (which can go as low as 800 x 480). With that said, it can also handle SD resolutions with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (square) instead of 16:9 (widescreen). The Wii is mostly an SD resolution game console with a motion control gimmick to make it sell to most families through the party, sports, and casual games. This makes the Leisure 470 perfect for your widescreen resolution needs without turning off the lights to view your game.
- 4,000 Lux for Superior Watching Experience: It can be quite distracting trying to find buttons to push in the dark when playing Wii Sports on an ordinary projector from the 2000s like the BenQ MP512ST. The economy-class yet more state-of-the-art VANKYO Leisure 470 offers a more practical solution to your gaming needs by having the projector become so bright that it’s practically like watching a flatscreen TV in front of you. To be more specific, the Leisure 470 has 4,000 lux or lumens of brightness. That’s a presentation-tier level of projector brightness that won’t weaken even if you open the room lights or draw the curtains on your windows when it’s daytime.
- Image Quality and Gaming Projector Latency: On top of all that, the VANKYO projector can make your SD projection look slightly better. It can stretch or zoom and crop the screen to widescreen. It can make the polygonal graphics of the hardware look much cleaner and clearer than you would in even your older CRT TVs or component flatscreen TVs thanks to the projector’s vivid color and powerful image contrast of 3500:1. It also comes with the MStar Advanced Color Engine that ensures the brightness of the VANKYO translates to the smoothest video and movement possible. Latency is also lowered since this gaming projector can work with both the Wii and Wii-U as well as next-generation consoles like the Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
- Better Than a Flat Panel Display: Although some users might have issues with the projector’s requirement for mounting at the ceiling or at the back of your room, it’s still worthwhile to get one versus a flat panel display for a myriad of reasons, chief among them is larger-than-life gaming. Projector technology has advanced significantly since 2006 or beyond 2010. A projector allows you to get bigger screens at nominally more cost-effective prices compared to LCD HDTV flatscreens of the same size. They can be blown up as big as your home can allow even. What’s more, the VANKYO Leisure 470 provides viewing sizes from 39 to 250 inches with projection distances between 4.27 and 26.57 feet.
- The Wii Is Meant To Be Played with Large Screens: What’s the point of having a home console if you can’t play with it through the largest displays and screens you can afford. For a portable projector, the VANKYO Leisure 470 can fill in spaces as big as 8-foot-high rooms or even whole conference rooms. What’s more, the full capabilities of the Wii’s motion detector can be fully realized with a large screen that responds to your Wii-mote controls instantaneously, with low latency or lag. You can see the full smoothness of your player avatar’s motion with exquisite and realistic detail by having a screen that captures the maximum SD capabilities of the Wii even at 480p. Admittedly, at 1080p and 60Fps, the gaming projector is even more impressive.
- You Need More Room for More Motion: Instead of huddling around at a CRT with component cables on the table or a flatscreen TV mounted on the wall above you, you can immerse yourself in your Wii Sport or Smash Bros Brawl game by investing in a projector and screen. Why? You want more space when playing the Wii because of all the jumping around and waving of your hands and hands. People can also end up blocking the screen accidentally with all that movement. The Wii Fit game works because it encourages you to use your body’s whole gamut of motion. You can’t do that with a smaller display. A good, compatible projector like the VANKYO Leisure 470 is the way to go.
The VANKYO Leisure 470 Is the perfect fit for the Wii because of the latter’s component cable requirements and the former’s component cable ports that you won’t see in many 21st Century or 2010s projectors. Component cable ports are nearly phased out in most projectors that focus more on HDMI ports for 1080p HD or 4K Ultra HD games. We chose it over the BenQ MP512 because Leisure 470 is frankly more modern and less outdated.
It’s easier to get your hands on a Leisure 470 than checking shops for the vintage BenQ MP512 despite it being the entry-level projector of choice for the time when it comes to the standard-definition Nintendo Wii. What’s more, it makes more sense to get a non-discontinued portable projector with HD capabilities so that you can play games on Wii and Wii-U if you wish to have upgraded graphics and better motion control. Backward compatibility with vintage systems and connections is the way to go so that you won’t have to buy an “obsolete” projector that’s compatible with the Wii to give it the projector treatment.
- “VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Projector“, Amazon.com, Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- “Projectors and the Wii“, AVS Forum, October 20, 2007
- “Wii“, Wikipedia, Retrieved March 19, 2020