Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Wii U Vs Switch Graphics Comparison
(Last Updated On: March 4, 2017)

A comparison between the Nintendo Switch and Wii U version of The legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have popped up. The difference between the two versions when it comes to core specs are minimal, other than that the Switch runs at 900p and has slightly more improved bilinear texture filtering than the Wii U, and the Wii U runs at 720p. Both target 30fps.

What's surprising is that both versions of the game dip down into the 20s at odd times (though more odd for the Switch than the Wii U). The dip forces the game to hard-lock at specific intervals, so if the Wii U is struggling at a section it'll lock it at 20fps until it can stabilize at 30fps. And the same applies to the Switch.

The odd thing here is that the dips for the Wii U version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are actually sensible comparable to what's happening on screen, as described in the comparison video below via Digital Foundry.

So why is it odd? Because the scenes that caused the Wii U to dip down to 20fps were not the same for the Switch. However, the Switch did dip down into the 20fps range but not during hot and heavy or processor-straining scenarios. The dip came during standard walking and running up and down some hills while absolutely nothing was going on on-screen.

Digital Foundry points out that this could be due to the way Nintendo ported the game over to the Switch and how they make use of the RAM in order to stream in content. However, they don't exactly have an answer for this.

Users in the comment section do point out that the Wii U version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes a nasty dive in frame-rate during busier segments of the gameplay, and while moving around in town.

So far there haven't been major reports about the Switch dipping below 20fps like the Wii U version of the game, but Digital Foundry has plans on testing the more intensive areas of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at a later date. The game is available right now for both Wii U and the Nintendo Switch.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Disqusted

    For a moment, I thought this was going to be a censorship comparison of Link’s chest hair, or nipples, or something.

    • LurkerJK

      we need a micrometer to measure that bulge, STAT!

  • LurkerJK

    the “do not preorder” mantra goes for hardware too, the switch needs a day one patch

    Dead pixels, units getting bricked, weird sounds, the joycons getting desynched, the joycons coming off easily, the dock scratching the screen and connectivity issues if the unit is near any wireless electronics … you know …. like the tv its plugged into…

    Now a game specifically made for the switch is dropping frames like crazy and ppl report it works better in handheld mode than in the dock (some say its a ram problem but i would bet a heating problem is part of it too, there are SO MANY FUCKING LAYERS of things between the processor and the heat pipe that its probably not taking heat out in the production units as fast as it did in the perfectly made prototypes)

    Did they even test the thing ? they probably worked so hard to keep it hidden that they had nobody test it on a real life situation

  • Reven

    I have a feeling the dips on the switch are moreso the result of the porting process being only a year long thing. The dev team apparently got an email one day saying “we’re porting it to Switch as well,” At least on Switch, I could see a performance patch in the future to ease things. As for the Wii U, I have personally almost 20 hours in the game, and I’ve has only a few frame dips and only one 1.5 second pause. Otherwise for me performance has been fairly solid. The two places that seem to be most affected by the dips to me are the Great Plateau starting area (just some areas like heading down the road towards the Temple of Tme) and Kakariko Village has an area that dips too.

    Still on the Wii U at least, it’s quite amazing that it can handle an open world with this much detail, you can do things in this game that I haven’t seen in other open world games, at least not all of them at once. I also found it interesting the game basically does a 3GB install on the Wii U. On the game case it mentions it needs 3GB free, and where I have an external hd connected, it uses that instead, and the HD is used whenever the game goes to a loading screen when warping or going into shrines.

    • mikebrand83

      Port optimisation issues does seem like the most plausible culprit, given that the same hardware is also perfectly capable of handling 1080p@60fps (when docked, even with 4 player split screen) with Fast RMX, a game that was actually designed from the ground up for the Switch.

      • Disqusted

        In before the poor optimization issues are intentional for selling Switch Pro with 4k support.