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Difference Between PAL Wii and NTSC Wii

PAL Wii vs NTSC Wii

The Wii is another groundbreaking console for Nintendo with its out of the ordinary controller and totally new gameplay mechanics. If you are looking to join the millions who already own the Wii, there are basically two types that you have to choose from; the PAL version or the NTSC version. Basically, PAL and NTSC are TV standards which are not really compatible with each other. So the biggest difference between these two would be that PAL consoles would not work with NTSC TVs and vice versa.

The same incompatibility is also true when it comes to the games that you can play on either versions of the Wii console. PAL games would not play on NTSC consoles, and NTSC games would not play on PAL consoles because of the encoding used. When it comes to compatibility, PAL is a bit bitter as all PAL consoles can play all PAL games while not all NTSC consoles can play all NTSC games. The issue with NTSC is more on the region rather than the actual standard. Both Japan and the US use the NTSC standard but not all games in Japan are released in the US. So in general, US games are not playable in Japanese consoles and vice versa despite both consoles being under NTSC. The major advantage NTSC has over the PAL Wii is the huge number of games. If you are able to find a way to disregard the region information, you can play both JP and US games on your NTSC Wii without any trouble.

For most people, there is really very little reason to worry about whether you are getting an NTSC or PAL Wii as retailers in different countries only carry models that are compatible with the dominant standard in the country. If you are in a country that uses NTSC, only NTSC consoles would be sold there. The same is also true for games. Problems only arise when you import games from other countries. So you need to make sure that the country you are importing from uses the same standard as you.


1. PAL Wiis would not work with NTSC only TVs and NTSC Wiis would not work with PAL only TVs

2. PAL games don’t work on NTSC Wiis and Wii games don’t work on PAL Wiis

3. All PAL Wiis can play all PAL Wii games but not all NTSC Wiis can play all NTSC games

4. The NTSC Wii has a lot more games for it than the PAL Wii

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1 Comment

  1. There are a few more differences:

    1) PAL games generally come in more languages than NTSC games, (because they cater to the European market).

    2) Some Virtual Console games are not converted to PAL – this may be an issue for retrogamers.

    3) Thanks to the homebrew channel, Nintendo’s region lock can be broken, and so NTSC games can be played on a PAL Wii.

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