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Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?


Roughly a month ago, my Wii started acting very odd. While popping in Resident Evil 4 for the first time in ages I was greeted with flickering green pixels bouning across my screen. It wasn't too widespread, just isolated to a single ares on the back of Leon's coat. I assumed that it probably wasn't a big deal, maybe a dirty laser lens. I'd have to remember to take a look at it.

When I did finally get around to searching for a fix, I found what turns out to be quite a widespread problem. One which is showing up on message boards all across the internet. It's apparently most noticeable in games with heavy 3D rendering like Resident Evil 4 and Call of Duty 3. What I've learned from all of these internet searches is that it seems to be a problem with the Graphics Processing Unit overheating. Perhaps Microsoft doesn't have a patent on widespread overheating consoles.

Image courtesy of skesslerster's post on Fixya.com.

In every thread I've come across, the blame seems to be placed on WiiConnect24 being turned on. The theory is that when the system is placed in standby mode, the console isn't completely off and is still generating heat. The problem is that the fan isn't running to help dissipate that heat, and can cook the GPU over time.

This seems to be a problem that has been going on since launch, with people giving instances of this problem as far back as early 2007. The strange thing is that it isn't just a few examples here or there. A google search of the following terms will bring up pages of results: Wii green pixels Resident Evil 4. They're all across the message boards, yet there's never been a story on a single gaming site. So, it's obviously not as widespread as the Red Rings of Death, nor gaining that level of notoriety, but still a significant problem..

Running a lot of tests on various tvs, with different cables, and using the same RE4 disc on different Wiis, I've determined that it is an issue that rests squarely on my Wii. On a high def display it is completely obvious. But on a standard def tv with composite cables, it's hardly noticeable. I wonder if that is the reason why this issue hasn't made news. Maybe it's that most people who are affected aren't realizing that there's even a problem.

There's even YouTube videos like this one about the issue.

Lucky for most of these people in these threads, their Wii's were under warranty. Mine wasn't so lucky. It's going to run me $85. Still, now that I'm liking my Wii again, I need to get it fixed. Yesterday, I called up customer support. I could tell the support person was annoyed with all of my questions. I wanted to know what the cause of the issue was and how I could prevent it from happening again myself, or for my little brother on his Wii. I got zero information aside from being told that sometimes electronics break down and need to be replaced. WiiConnect24 is perfectly safe, I was told.

To me it seems like an odd explanation. The system is only a couple years old. Some of the instances I've read about happened after just a couple months. Compare that to my GameCube that's been played like mad for 10 years. I guess I'm not at all satisfied with that answer.

I'm emailing Nintendo today to see if they can tell me more (the customer support person said that every one there has the same information when I asked if I could speak to anybody else, perhaps someone who does the repairs). I'm hoping that I'll have more information to give back to you before too long.

In the meantime, it might not be a bad idea to turn off WiiConnect24 just to be safe. You'll still get all of your messages once you turn your Wii on. Granted, I think I will miss that slow fading blue light that I get every so often.
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About Haxanone of us since 11:13 AM on 10.23.2007

Occasional contributer to Tomopop.com.

Random gaming facts about Haxan

Legitimately beat Mike Tyson and went through Another World Circuit undefeated.

Beat the original Contra without dying. Twice.

Can land the damn plane in Top Gun and can also refuel in midair.

Can't beat Ghost & Goblins without the level select code and has never lied about it.

Thinks Friday the 13th is a great game even if the physics, controls and weapons are garbage.

Mario Paint caused him to buy a Super Nintendo and largely leave his Sega Genesis behind. He has played it more than most video games and wore down the mouse pad so that the grid only shows around the corners.

Has beaten Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers on the SNES on the hardest difficulty without losing a single round. Multiple times.

Is still friends with the girl who worked at a local game store and sold him Street Fighter II nearly 17 years ago.

Beat Final Fantasy 2 in a weekend when he was a kid, yet can't get through a role-playing game these days if his life depended on it.

Has never beaten Final Fantasy VII.

Prefers pads to sticks.

Likes the N64 controller.

Prefers the Duke to the S-controller.

Doesn't think that Super Mario 64 is all that great.

Got an Xbox mostly for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. And thinks it's a damn good game. Really.

Swore he would never buy a Game Boy Advanced SP, but immediately broke down once the NES edition came out. (And regarding the NES Classics series, true in-store dialogue: "Dude, are you serious?! They seriously expect people to pay 20 dollars a piece for games they can just downlo...Ooh! Zelda!")

Really liked the first Halo. (Well, there goes my dtoid cred.)

Can rock out Dynamite Rave in Dance Dance Revolution like it's nobody's business.

Played the hell out of Animal Crossing: Wild World and hid that fact from nobody.

Stomped Brad Nicholson at Street Fighter IV, but had to resort to the cheapest of tactics in order to do so. ;)

Thinks you're really, really, really smart. And pretty.

Top ten favorite games (in no particular order):

•The Legend of Zelda (NES)
•Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES)
•The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
•Phantom 2040 (SNES)
•Street Fighter II (any version)
•Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
•Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES)
•Ico (PS2)
•Sin and Punishment (N64)
•Picross (DS)


I love drawing, though I realize that I'm not very good. I figured early on that drawing my own header art would help my blogs stand out. Thanks to Destructoid, and to the scanner that Carollelogram got me for my birthday last year, I feel like I've developed a unique style that's distinctly my own.

Outside of games I've got a DVD collection that is exploding out of a 5'x6' shelf (over 400 titles). So suffice it to say that I love movies. I'm a huge horror fan and I host an annual Dusk Till Dawn Horror Movie Marathon nearly every October. My top ten favorite films in order are as follows:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cativo, 1966)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
3. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)
4. The City of Lost Children (La Citι des enfants perdus, 1995)
5. The Apartment (1960)
6. Strings (2004)
7. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Music-wise, my top 3 bands are The Pixies, The Velvet Underground and Radiohead. I listen to damn near every genre of music (except modern country. I yearn for the days of Hank Williams, Sr. and Tammy Wynette). Hit random on my mp3 player and you'll get everything from darkwave to hip hop to 80's synthpop. I karaoke pretty regularly. I can't sing, but I surround myself with people who can. Still, you've not experienced all there is in life until you've seen me proper butcher True by Spandau Ballet.

Then, as for the literary interests, my love lies with pulp detective novels of the thirties and forties. Raymond Chandler is simply the greatest ever. And Dashiell Hammett is just fantastic. Lately, I've been reading through Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at Carollelogram's recommendation. Two books in and I have to say they're astonishing.

If you do the Twitter thing, Haxan1 is my handle should you want to follow me.

Feel free to friend me to your console of choice should you ever want to play a game of Street Fighter. Just be sure to let me know that you're from Destructoid and you'll get the royal treatment.

Blogs I writed:

•Virtual Console Review- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
•Review- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Front Page
•Other Worlds Than These: The citizens of the land of Termina
•Community spotlight: Haxan goes above and beyond for the community

Monthly Musings
•Instant Replay: Street Fighter II
•The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key

Editorials and assorted articles
•Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?
•Okay, Nintendo. I guess that we can be friends again.
•Niero, do you have any idea what in the lobster milkshake you have done?! (dtoid 3rd anniversary post)
•10 things you might not have known about Haxan (but really only 8)
•Why Destructoid is awesome: Nilcam is the greatest edition (I honestly can't give Nilcam enough props for this.)
•Christmas shopping: Non-gaming, priest dad-style
•Bad Dye Job: A Darius Pickman Story
•"Congraturation" RetroforceGO!
•Nintendon't what?! Now you tell me just what the %#@$ Nintendon't do!

Neat stuff I played a bit part in
•The Destructoid children's alphabet book


Xbox LIVE:haxan1
PSN ID:Haxan
Mii code:8490 3559 2301 7665


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