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

Resolution is among the areas that differentiate the two versions.

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Now Playing: GS News Update: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch/Wii U 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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deactivated-591a658d5ed11

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I'm getting the Switch version, can't wait !

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DylanMcGrann

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One important fact has been left out of this conversation: the Switch is a fully portable device! That's a big plus in the Switch column.

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yienwae

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Edited By yienwae

Getting the Wii U version. Don't care if it's 900 p or 720 p or 1080 for that matter. The decision to get a Switch will wait until holiday 2017.

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timothyt

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I'm getting the Switch version, even though I have a Wii-U and there's not enough differences to make the Switch version THAT much better. I know I'm getting the Switch anyway and want to easily take it with me. I WANT to buy the digital version but I'm not sure how long it would take to download, plus Amazon Prime gives 20% off preorders so I preordered it there.

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ninboxstation

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with such minor differences, the Switch won't be bought by as many as it could. ..., unless Nintendo would release the Wii U version a few weeks later..

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juboner

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Audio is a big deal to me in games. If it has 3d like effects on the Switch, that would make the game more immersive for me.

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ninboxstation

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@juboner:

in a Zelda game the sfx hould not be a big deal... the soundtrack should be a big deal..., hope BOTW has a better soundtrack than Zelda SS (TP had an epic soundtrack)

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juboner

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Edited By juboner

@ninboxstation: I would say its still second to the sfx, but I assume every zelda has good soundtracks, or at least better than most. I am playing Majoras Mask and finished OoT recently, I have Dolby pro logic enabled with 4 speakers. Those games had great 3d sfx for back then, better than all the recent Dolby Digital games imo. The new games dont use any 3d effects. The sfx in OoT and MM is better than TwilightPrincess and Skyword Sword.

I always loved Aureal A3d 2.0 back in the day, I had a Vortex 2 soundcard that would produce 3d sound mapping in real time. It would virtually draw the environment or room you where in and then run the 3d effects through it in real time, so good with 4.1 speaker system. It added a big improvement to immersion and actually felt like the games where doing so much more with processing power. Now its not real time anymore, I wish they would go back to it.

If you never heard it, then you wont understand. Im getting BotW on Wii U anyways though.

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MrPuzzlez

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@juboner: Best. Soundcard. Ever! It REALLY broke my heart that they went bankrupt because they had the BEST MIDI players!

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juboner

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@MrPuzzlez: Yeah seemed like pc gaming was just going to get better and better, with 3d sound evolving right along the gfx cards. I want 3d effects in sound back, not just DD or DTS.

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MrPuzzlez

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@juboner: Speaking of which, I plan on buying a really good rig from NewEgg.com. Do you have any suggestions as far as soundcards? It would really set off the PC I have in mind...

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flatovercrest

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Edited By flatovercrest

@MrPuzzlez: just get a motherboard with solid inbuilt audio features. The market for add on sound cards has mostly died. One option is the external USB "soundcards" by soundblaster, but I don't know that they offer much improvement over built in audio since most games target builtin audio now.

I'd say the area to spend your money for audio is on the speakers and their proper placement. And if you play online much be sure to invest in a really good set of 3d sound headphones. I got an excellent lightweight 3d headset and it really sounds great. Not to mention if you ever add VR to the system you pretty much have to use a headset to maintain the effect (using external speakers kills the audio immersion in VR).

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juboner

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@MrPuzzlez: No I have not looked into then lately. The last thing I read about 3d audio was that AMD was going to put it into their gfx cards. I cant remember what they called it but it did sound really good, very easy to tell where sound was coming from.

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djwood84

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I'm considering picking up the Wii U title down the road just to see what the differences were (Also I'm pretty sure that Wii U version might be a collectors item one day, that could be dead wrong though)

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Heqteur

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quote "It's not explicitly stated, but the Switch version presumably runs at 720p when it's not connected to a TV"

Actually, it was explicitly tolod by Nintendo.

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twisted_outlaw

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I've had this preordered for Wii-U since it was announced. At one point there was some price drop or something so I'm getting it for like less than $40.

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dribblesbarbax

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I'm half deaf and sit far away enough from the screen not to notice the difference between 900p and 720p. WiiU version it is.

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Heqteur

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@dribblesbarbax: being half deaf doesn't have any impact on your sight. You probably meant half blind.

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dribblesbarbax

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@heqteur: Main differences between the 2 console versions are better audio and higher resolution. Being half deaf the audio difference doesnt come into play for me. I also sit far away from the screen meaning the resolution difference is not noticeable.

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Tomcat2007

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I'm fine with 900p. Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U looks gorgeous to me and performs very well at only 720p/30fps, so I'm optimistic hardware 3 or more times as powerful as the Wii U should be more than adequate for the types of games typically found on Nintendo consoles. Ask an average owner of a Nintendo console what resolution or framerate games are running he/she won't have a clue it's just not that important to Nintendo buyers. If the Switch is a failure, it will not be because it only runs games at 900p or 30fps. I won't even be due to not having extensive 3rd party support. More likely it would be due to not having a good enough lineup of core Nintendo games and not being able to entice Nintendo fans with something new and different to upgrade to a new console. The fact there is a brand new Zelda on day 1 is a good start and the fact the Switch offers a bit of novelty and uniqueness means the Switch has a much better chance than the Wii U.

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timothyt

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@Tomcat2007: It's ok, but it really is a shame that their flagship game can't even reach 1080p. It shows that they went with an underpowered CPU/GPU since the only time there would be a 900p/1080p difference would be while the device is docked, so the underclocking to save battery doesn't really hold water. I'm hoping this might be related to the game engine being a Wii-U port and that the NEXT Zelda game on the Switch will be full HD. Scaled graphics just never look as good (as we've all seen tons of times on PC games). I want native pixels and all my screens are 1080p.

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Princess_Rectum

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@timothyt: Interesting thing about that is that the PS3 could handle 1080p, but a majority of PS3-exclusive games were set at 720p. Of course nobody ever complained about that, but since this is Nintendo we're talking about, everything is under a microscope and subject to scrutiny.

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Richter17

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@Princess_Rectum: PS3 was released on 2006.....720p was more than enough at that time. Come on, is 2017 we have TVs with 4k Output.

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Princess_Rectum

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@richter17: All PS3 games were made in 2006? I didn't know that..

and it's nice you have a 4k TV, but not everyone has the money to get a $1200 4k TV just yet. Either that or like you, they're content with having something not-as-nice as the current standard. Funny how you contradicted yourself in your post, though.

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Richter17

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Edited By Richter17

@Princess_Rectum: Not all of them, that is not the point....720p was available in 2006...You would expect to have games with at least 1080p resolution today. (11 years later).

"Not everyone have the money for a 4K TV"... Some of us do have the money for that. That is the reason why Playstation and MS have different options....PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox one and eventually the Scorpio. "Different options for different budgets".

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Jeff66

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Edited By Jeff66

@Princess_Rectum: Maybe because PS3 it was not a toy like Nintendo consoles their games never gonna look like PS3 or 4 games

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BeantownSean

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Edited By BeantownSean

A Pre-Order rarity for me, just reserved a WiiU copy using Amazon Prime.

$10 off the game and I'll keep $300+ in the bank. There's simply not enough incentive to seriously consider the Switch at this time.

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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@beantownsean:
Agreed. The more I read about the Switch the more I don't want it. They already have Mario Kart for the WiiU and the new Zelda isn't an exclusive so where's the incentive to buy the Switch? Why waste 300+ dollars on what is essentially a tablet.

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Zironn1

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@69ingChimpmunks: No arena battle mode in wii u version of Mario kart, Don't worry man I'll be a risk taker and buy the switch day one so they will consider making a 2nd Zelda and Metroid on a home console, I'm not a big fan of 3ds.

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Gbullet

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900p @ 30 fps. What the ****?!

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deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

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@Gbullet: In 2017 Damn

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Heqteur

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@Eddie619: well, PS4 and X1 can't even render 1080P at decent FPS so, what's the problem?

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timothyt

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Edited By timothyt

@heqteur: Sure they can. It depends on the game of course but there are lots of 1080p/60fps games on PS4 and even a few on XB1. There's a lot to be said for not going crazy on CPU/GPU when you're going to use battery, but while plugged in the Switch does seem underpowered compared to competition, but then again so has every Nintendo system since the N64.

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master_49

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Edited By master_49

@timothyt: FYI, from GamingBolt.com - "...the PS4 and Xbox One versions employ a dynamic resolution buffer. The PS4 version runs in the range of 960 X 1080p to a full 1920 X 1080p resolution ... Xbox One runs from 960 X 1080p to 1390 X 1080p...performance wise, both versions target a 60 frames per second...PS4 version which runs pretty close to that standard."

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deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

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WII U pro has a 4 Year advantage over them with nothing to show for, that's the problem.

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Sindred

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@heqteur: because PS4 can display a game like Uncharted 4 regardless of this and Xbox One can put of visuals like Gears 4. Zelda's style is fantastic, but graphically-speaking it should be able to handle 1080p. Also check your sources because I've played games on Xbox and Ps4 that look amazing and run at 1080. Don't reach.

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Doctor_MG

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@Sindred:

Assassins Creed Black Flag ran at 900p at 30FPS on the Xbox One. Yes, well optimized games like Gears look great on the system, but this game still is a port and wasn't developed for the Switch explicitly.


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isildor

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@Gbullet: at least those textures ps2 like must look a bit gooder

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ferna1234

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@Gbullet: next gen bro. wanna buy some coke?

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Gbullet

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Edited By Gbullet

@ferna1234: And it's 900p when the thing is docked! 720 un-docked, so it will be 720p at 30 fps, that's just insane - wtf.

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master_49

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Edited By master_49

@Gbullet: 720p/30fps un-docked is nothing to sneeze at - most PS Vita games ran at 960x544 (link). I own Wipeout 2048, and it looks great at 960x544...imagine it in 1280x720p! I'm waiting to see how "Fast RMX" will look in portable mode (since another portable Wipeout game may never come).

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DVONvX

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is gamespot dying? A little while ago there would be new articles up throughout the day. Now the homepage will be stagnant for days at a time. I go to IGN now for the latest updates. What gives Gamespot?

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BradBurns

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Edited By BradBurns

@DVONvX: Yeah, sadly it is.

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Mickpunx

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@DVONvX: they've lost all the best staff like, johhny chiodini, Danny odwyer, Cam, Kevin van ord etc. It's just getting worse by the day

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master_49

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@mickpunx: I signed up 9+ years ago, and have been inactive for the last 5 (till I visited a few days ago). It is a very different place, as per @DVONvX.

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adrdeju

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Pre ordered a switch and breath of the wild. This game looks amazing.

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SythisTaru

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Breasts of the Wild looks good, but I don't know if I can buy a whole console for that; and it has too many jaggies.

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deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

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@SythisTaru: PS5 2018 http://www.avsforum.com/forum/142-playstation-area/2635633-ps5-date-features.html

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BradBurns

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@SythisTaru: lol, breasts. Wild ones.