Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Confirmed 720p 30fps On Wii U
Legend of Zelda Wii U
(Last Updated On: January 18, 2017)

Nintendo has confirmed the final resolution and frame-rates specs for the Wii U version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Wii U. The game is only 720p at 30fps on Nintendo’s last gen console.

In a statement provided to IGN, Nintendo rolled out a list of differences between the Wii U and Nintendo Switch version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including that the Wii U’s physical copy will require 3GB of free hard drive space (or external drive space) and the Wii U will not receive the limited collector’s editions of the game.

The Nintendo Switch version will receive higher quality audio fidelity, but otherwise both versions will be the same.

For those of you wondering, the resolution difference between the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is gaped by 518,400 pixels. The Nintendo Switch runs the game at native 900p at 30fps docked and 720p at 30fps undocked due to the GPU downclocking by around 60% to save on battery usage.

For comparison purposes, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is running equivalent to what Frostbite 3.0 games run on the Xbox One, with the exception of Battlefield 1. For instance, Mass Effect: Andromeda runs at 900p and 30fps on the Xbox One, while Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst ran at 60fps on the Xbox One but had to settle for 720p, according to Digital Foundry’s benchmark.

So docked, the performance of the Nintendo Switch isn’t far off from the Xbox One. Undocked the system is closer in performance to the raw power of the Wii U; it’s interesting because undocked the Switch runs Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild equivalent to what Dead Rising 3 ran on the Xbox One, which was 720p at 30fps.

So if you don’t mind the power output of the Xbox One, then you’re going to be getting similar performance from the Nintendo Switch, especially given that games like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe will be running native 1080p at 60fps, not unlike Forza Motorport 6, which also runs at native 1080p at 60fps, as reported by WCCF Tech.

So just to recap: you’re getting more than 500,000 extra pixels per frame in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch while docked, compared to the Wii U version of the game. Undocked, the Nintendo Switch runs the game the same as the Wii U, only you’ll get better audio quality on the Switch.

Both versions of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on March 3rd alongside the release of 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.

  • Reven

    Oh no, one of the games the Switch is launching with only runs at 30FPS, meanwhile literally EVERYTHING else we were shown was done so at 60. Aside from Link Between Worlds and Triforce Heroes, no 3d Zelda game has been 60FPs, it would be nice, but based on the series history, I wasn’t expecting it.

    • FlamingoJet

      You don’t have an Action/Adventure title locked to 30, ESPECIALLY when you said you were targeting 60fps.

      The 900p is just a fucking insult, frankly.

      • Reven

        Fair enough of the ‘gimmicky shit’ comment, can’t really argue with that, but at least it seems it’s more there just to be there instead of being the main focus anymore. And it would have been a 1080p system, if they weren’t trying the hybrid thing. The big thing here is Nintendo is doing it for the Japanese crowd, the console market is shrinking over there and fast, handheld systems are what sell, and graphics are everything over there, the Vita has been outselling the 3DS, for instance. The Switch is Nintendo’s attempt to get that back but also keep that hold in the console market by making the system one and the same, and 900p is JUST for this Zelda title, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or whatever it’s called is 1080p.

        As for “You don’t have an Action/Adventure title locked at 30” again, NO 3D ZELDA GAME HAS EVER BEEN ABOVE THAT. Triforce Heroes and Link Between Worlds barely count since they’re top-down, and they’re the only two exceptions. I’ve NEVER seen Nintendo say they were targeting 60 for Zelda, so some proof of your claims on that would be nice.

        I don’t want to be the guy who says “If you want high res and high framerates, get a PC,” because I don’t feel that’s true. I do think Zelda should be 60, but it isn’t. I just tempered my expectations to the series history. Hell Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask on N64 ran at 25 FPS AT BEST and both were critically acclaimed and well loved by gamers. I don’t think you’ll ever see a console that every game released will be 60fps. 1080 sure with the PS4Pro, but we still haven’t seen any huge framerate increases with that. So maybe next gen… maybe.

        • FlamingoJet

          No, they could have had a 1080p hybrid system. They just half-assed like they always do.

          http://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/01/13/zelda-breath-of-the-wild-targeting-1080p-at-60fps-when-docked-for-launch-video/ there are other similar articles.

          They were targeting 60/1080 then realized their hybrid machine isn’t powerful enough, so they downgraded it.

          That is what MOST people are upset with, next to their weak online service, unconfirmed hardware specs, and their gimmicky crap.

          • Reven

            The video clarifies that they were told they were aiming for it by a rep. Believe it or not most reps at these events don’t have all the answers for that kind of thing. And it wasn’t half-assed, if they had more powerful tech in there, the system would have cost more, and people are already bitching about the price. And again, it’s only Zelda so far. We also don’t know what they’re planning with the new online service, beyond the (completely bullcrap) nes/snes monthly rental thing, so we have to wait to see what more they are planning there. And the motion shit, damn man that stuff is actually quite cheap to include now, even the PS4 has gimmicky shit in it’s controller. So that stuff isn’t just for Nintendo. However the thing here is Nintendo will never be able to successfully compete directly with Microsoft or Sony anymore, they lost too much of the hardcore playerbase during the gamecube/wii eras, and lost 3rd parties on the Wii U. So they could have made an uber powerful system that could run 1080p 60fps for every game imaginable, and it would be too expensive to anyone to reasonably buy on a whim because Nintendo couldn’t really afford to sell at a loss for each unit, especailly at that high amount.

            I’ll say this though, I fully agree Zelda should be 60FPS, resolution doesn’t bother me personally as much, but I’m also not going to condemn Nintendo because this one game doesn’t hit marks that a single rep said at an event they were targeting.

            Edit: Also an important thing to note is that the builds that were playable the other day were also the same one from E3, AKA months old builds as well, so they could still (though I don’t expect them to) hit the frame rate they want with more optimization.

          • FlamingoJet

            Does Witcher 3?

          • Wicther 3 is 900p, 30fps on Xbox One.

          • FlamingoJet

            Still on the hunt.

          • Is @reven really right? Is there no open world action adventure game on any console that run at 60? I can’t think of one, either.

            Sadly yes, reven is right. Even the PS4 and Xbox One versions of GTA 5 were only 1080p @ 30fps.

            Open-world games are extremely taxing, doubly so when they’re physics oriented like GTA IV and Breath of the Wild. Technically the Switch is literally on par in its output with the Xbone with Breath of the Wild. Given how well it runs the game at the capped rate, I would hazard a guess it’s using a Pascal architecture, but we’ll still have to wait and see.

            However, 900p @ 30fps for an open world launch title (and it’s basically stable frames) is not bad at all. Consider that Dead Rising 3 was 720p at 30fps (and it couldn’t hold frames) on the Xbox One. So if Nintendo really does open up the future devkits and give developers a little bit more room to play with when docked, it might be able to stabilize at 1080p @ 60fps with solid optimization for most non-open world games.

          • Reven

            Not on consoles no, at least it didn’t on launch. And on Xbox it can’t even keep a steady 900p, it actually dynamically changes resolution to try and keep 30.

          • FlamingoJet

            Not a fan of that technology, glad I’ve got a PC copy.

          • Reven

            Agreed, I’ve seen Doom on Xbox One, and it’s quite noticeable when it happens there. So glad the PC version supports Vulkan, even on my Geforce 960 4GB that vulkan update made my framerate at max settings completely solid 60FPS.

          • FlamingoJet

            Vulkan support for Doom is great.

          • Technically it could hit 60 but they’d have to unlock the clock speeds on the GPU. We still don’t know if it’s Pascal or not (we just know it’s based on a hybrid, custom X1 chip, some suspect it may be Pascal but we won’t know until they can benchmark it and take it apart).

            But if you look at the current devkit specs (which are always under par so launch window titles run the best way possible) they’ve downclocked the crap out of the GPU, which is designed to run some moderate games at up to 4K and 30fps. But like Reven mentioned, they took a serious cut back on draw power so they could extend the battery life in the portable mode.

            I don’t know if in the future they will allow devs to go above the GPU cap (or extend it a little further) or if they’re just going to keep it capped for the sake of portable battery life, but they had to make some concessions somewhere.

            Usually I would be ragging on them about not hitting 1080p, but then there would be portable gamers ragging on them for only offering half an hour of battery life.

          • Reven

            Actually the 900p argument is kinda something I can see on. Zelda runs, according to reports at 900p 30fps when docked (on the tv, charged by the dock) and 720p 30fps in portable mode. I think ragging on the resolution is a bit fair here since we’re talking about when it’s docked and not using the battery, unless they’re still cutting back power on the gpu when docked for power saving reasons or something…

          • Well… there’s a number of possibilities. The cap from docked to undocked isn’t that huge. So they could have over-compensated for the cap so that games — when docked — aren’t making a hugely drastic change when the Switch is put in portable mode.

            For instance, let’s say a game is running at 4K 30fps docked. When you undock it, there’s no way it can still run at 4K undocked. So how much will they need to scale back on to make it viable in portable mode to get good battery life out of it and so the game rendering doesn’t outright break?

            The system is already capped at like 60% in portable mode of what the standard X1 GPU is capable of. So if they scaled for higher output when docked then there would be an even bigger discrepancy for the game having to downscale when undocked. I’m sure they may find optimization workarounds further into the lifespan, but the 900p is likely for safety and optimization purposes.

            If the system gets popular enough we might see some devs getting more risky and experimental with pushing the Switch further.

          • Reven

            Ah ok, thanks for the information.

          • FlamingoJet

            This actually makes qutie a bit of sense.

  • FlamingoJet

    What a fucking joke.

    Welp, they just lost a lot of buyers and 3rd party support.

    If that’s all it’s capable of, might as just go with Xbone.

    • Eh, but Xbone isn’t portable and still doesn’t have a killer app.

  • Gozu Tennoh


  • God damn. I had no idea that the switch tablet undocked was stronger than the Wii U console. Man the Wii U is weak.

  • Mr Snow

    So it will play at the same fps as the Switch version? Hoo boy, just give us PC releases…