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Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch or Wii U?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of Nintendo's most anticipated games in years, and it's coming to both the Wii U and the upcoming Switch.

While the game was originally only coming to the Wii U, it's been adapted for Nintendo's new system as a launch title, begging the question: which version is the one you should play?

No matter which one you end up buying, you'll still get the same game with the same content, according to a statement that Nintendo provided to IGN. You don't have to worry about missing crucial story beats if you buy the version for the older console.

The biggest difference is how the game looks on a TV. The Nintendo Switch version of the game renders in 900p and the Wii U version plays in 720p (both run at 30 frames per second). The Switch's mobile display is 720p, so it will look similar to the Wii U version if you play while on the go. Some of the on-screen icons will differ between the two versions, which is expected, as the buttons on the systems are different.

Additionally, the Switch will have better audio: "The sound of steps, water, grass, etc. are more realistic and enhance the game’s Open-Air feel," on the Switch, the company said.

MORE: Nintendo Switch: Here's What the Critics Are Saying

If you want the real-world goodies that come in the game's Special and Master Editions, you'll have no choice but to go for the Switch version, as the Wii U version won't come in any bundles. Due to the hybrid nature of Nintendo's new console, the Switch version is the only edition of the game that you can play on the go, which could be a big deal if you travel often.

Get Breath of the Wild for Wii UView Deal

If you want the best looking and sounding version of the game, Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch is the way to go. But that does come with a the added expense of buying a new console. If you decide to hold off on the Switch, you can still get the same game on the Wii U, even if it doesn't look as sharp and sound quite as real.

  • richbruiser
    Wii U has a second screen (gamepad)... What will it do? That's potentially the biggest difference in my opinion... Depending on what it adds.
    Reply
  • Jason_241
    I have been trying to find this info too. It sounds as if Nintendo removed the second screen stuff to match the switch. If the WiiU does offer the second screen functionality they demoed a year ago, that would mean more then barely noticeable visual/sound upgrade.
    Reply
  • Jason_241
    The demo-ed the second screen WiiU stuff a year ago. Did they remove that stuff to match Switch version?
    That would trump any barely noticeable visual/sound upgrade.
    Reply
  • richbruiser
    19370956 said:
    The demo-ed the second screen WiiU stuff a year ago. Did they remove that stuff to match Switch version?
    That would trump any barely noticeable visual/sound upgrade.

    From what I 've read, the Wii U version has been neutered to match the Switch version under the b.s. claim that the second-screen inventory/map management, which is only possible on the Wii U, takes away from the game. We all know the truth...that it would take away from Switch sales. The Wii U would arguably be the superior version of the game by including that functionality.

    I'll find out tomorrow how much this irks me when I get my Wii U copy. As of this time, I can't find any non-Switch reviews of the game by major sites.
    Reply
  • Jason_241
    Cool, Let us know. I'm leaning WiiU. No need for a portable and still have not used that pro controller yet. If the second screen inventory/map stuff has been scratched. :| Still have Horizon to dive into (loving it) plus feeling burned by last two console Zeldas.
    Reply
  • Jason_241
    Shows map/inventory and has admittedly lackluster accelerometer stuff. Link even carries a slate in the game to mimic a WiiU tablet! LOL!. I personally like this stuff displayed like on DS/3DS games. Also the only real knock on the game has been inventory management.

    Here is a demo less then a year ago.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwYnjKCyODI
    Reply
  • ceefax
    The answer is simple; for now at least, the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild is far superior. The Switch version requires a £280 investment for entry (not including the game price) and it runs with significant frame rate drops if played on the TV screen. That is because the Switch isn't significantly more powerful than the Wii U and when running Zelda on the big screen, it does so at 900p. Granted that problem vanishes when you Switch (annoying click sound) to the tablet - but the Wii U side-hops the issue by just pushing the game out at 720p regardless of whether you're on the gamepad or TV.

    That's before we've even taken into account the Switch's horrible teething problems; such as the de-syncing joycon (hmm 'con' I see what you did there Ninty) and the numerous glitches and bricked systems.

    Yes Nintendo might fix the Switch, but right now there's only one format worth playing it on. That said - even if Nintendo fix their dubious new hardware - there's a new contender in the arena; CEMU. In just a matter of days, the boys at CEMU have taken their emulator from a state in which it wouldn't run BotW at all, to booting into the menu screen - and now (using the latest version) you can actually run the game - albeit with choppy frame-rate, no sound and numerous glitches. But the future looks bright. CEMU will already run the Mario stable of Wii U titles at 60 fps and 4k (providing you PC has the grunt) so I know which format I'll be playing my second round of BotW on. Aint life a switch Nintendo!
    Reply
  • Jason_241
    You had me up until you made it clear that you just steal and play games illegally!! That you are willing to put up with many technical glitches and inconveniences to do so. What a freaking hypocrite!
    Reply
  • Graybush
    I just got the game for the WiiU. Yes, they did remove the second inventory menu for the U version, but it still matches the mobile functionality (although for short distances, it certainly helps when you gotta step away from the tv during a cut scene).

    Personally I think the game came out for both platforms as a way to bridge the generation gap between Nintendo players. I didn't have the budget to drop on the switch, and I already had a Nintendo console already so getting the game was a no-brainer for me. Visually speaking I only saw a minor difference between the two versions of the game.

    So regardless of console, I highly suggest people to get the game anyways.
    Reply