Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Switch vs. Wii U: All the Zelda: Breath of the Wild Differences


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We've known for some time that the Wii U and Switch versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would essentially be the same game. Some changes do exist, however, and now we know what they are.

According to the list, which was provided to GameSpot by Nintendo, both versions "offer the same content" and have a framerate of 30 FPS. The Special edition and Master edition are both Switch exclusives, while the disc-based Wii U version requires a 3 GB installation, as recently reported.

Breath of the Wild renders at 900p on Switch when connected to a TV, while the Wii U version runs at 720p. It's not explicitly stated, but the Switch version presumably runs at 720p when it's not connected to a TV, as that's the integrated screen's maximum resolution.

Additionally, the Switch version has "higher-quality environmental sounds. As a result, the sound of steps, water, grass, etc. are more realistic and enhance the game's open-air feel."

This is presumably a comprehensive list, as it bothers to note the obvious fact that some icons and on-screen buttons may be different between the two versions.

Of course, how well each version maintains its framerate is one area that could still be a point of differentiation, but that isn't something we'll know for sure until we have the final code for each in our hands. You can see our impressions of the Switch version Nintendo demoed last week in the video above.


  • Both launch on the same day, March 3.
  • Both have a frame rate of 30 FPS.
  • Both versions of the game offer the same content.
  • On a TV, the Nintendo Switch version of the game renders in 900p while the Wii U version renders in 720p.
  • The Nintendo Switch version has higher-quality environmental sounds. As a result, the sound of steps, water, grass, etc. are more realistic and enhance the game's open-air feel.
  • The physical copy of the Wii U version will require 3 GB of available memory on the Wii U system or an external drive.
  • Some icons, such as on-screen buttons, differ between the two versions.
  • A Special Edition and Master Edition of the Wii U version are not available.


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