The two versions of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” display surprisingly few differences

By Z. Galaxy

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When “Breath of the Wild” was first announced, it was only as a WiiU title. As information came in about the Switch, it became apparent that it would be released on the new console as well. The outcome of dual-generation releases often proved to be subpar and it was expected that “Breath of the Wild” would be no exception.

Internet commenters the world over have been arguing about the possible low quality that the WiiU would inflict upon the game based on its technical specifications. According to a Kotaku article by Ethan Gach, comparisons of the game’s framerates side-by-side shows that they lack a significant performance difference.

Having played both versions myself, there is a tendency for framerate drops to happen in areas that have a lot of visible particle effects. Between the Switch and WiiU versions, I have noticed this more from the WiiU. However, this does not exempt the Switch version, as it suffers the same low framerate during battles with creatures and areas with a lot of models onscreen.

The Switch also struggles to perform when docked, due to technical issues related to the HDMI connection to the television and the ingrained delay that comes with it. When un-docked, it performs much better, though the overall visual quality is lowered.

A gameplay video by Digital Foundry evaluates the two versions’ performance issues, addressing the game’s early areas.

“But Digital Foundry only looked at the first section of the game, so there could be more striking differences in some of Breath of the Wild’s later, more visually demanding sequences,” said Gach.

The two versions boast all the same features– even the same price tag– so the only real difference is whether you want to shell out for a Switch and get a better view of the world around Link, or carry on through Hyrule with less-than-1080p graphics and a lower draw distance for faraway structures.


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