The comparison of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U and Nintendo Switch has been rather interesting. We had our initial say (with a more detailed / final write-up coming later this week, not today as initially promised) and our colleagues at Digital Foundry have been putting their benchmarking tools to work in order to assess the two iterations on a technical level.
In a previous video differences in resolution and other more minor visual differences were addressed, but framerate tests in the open world showed the dips across both versions and at different points. Our initial sense was that the Switch version was more consistent in holding its target of 30fps, but ultimately both titles have moments where they dip and struggle.
Those problems could be linked to CPU bottlenecks and challenges, so this time the GPU (graphical processing) is the focus on DF's testing. This time around the results point to a clearer advantage for Nintendo's newer machine (which should be the case, of course).
Ultimately, though, the Wii U version is offering a thoroughly playable version of an extraordinary game, even if there are specific problem areas as shown in the video above.
Let us know which version of the game you have and what you think so far.
All I know from playing this myself on Wii U is that frame drops are rather frequent, sometimes going below 20 FPS. Really hope they patch this game again as it's a great game. It just runs like magikarp...
Both versions are fantastic and easily enjoyable games. The frame drops aren't that bad, and when they do happen it's only momentarily. I'm more than happy exploring this huge, and beautiful, game.
Lol. This framerate discussion is totally boring now.... 10/10 GOTY.
I'm still waiting on delivery of this game for Wii U so can't give my own personal opinion yet. But it seems alright from looking at videos and other people's opinions.
Was playing in the Death Mountain area, in a certain sequence of the game you can get an fps below 5. However this is really the only instance I've seen so far, otherwise casual stutters here and there.
I knew it was the CPU, its all the logic being computed in the game. I have some faith they will patch it since they are still working on DLC. This makes me excited for games tailor made for Switch.
50+ hours into the switch version, 100% of that time in docked mode, game performance is simply not good enough
I got this for my Switch. Framerate drops are there, but they don't bother me too much. I'm having a lot of fun exploring this massive world.
@Dakt Because they chose to use double buffer. That means whenever the engine is under load it will drop to a straight 20 rather than a few frames. The benefit is a consistent refresh with no frame pacing issues or stuttering and no tearing. They likely chose to use double for less input lag compared to triple buffering. Though this performance makes it debatable whether Nintendo should have gone this route for BotW.
@Dakt I believe enforcing Vsync means that there is no screen tear. I've not really noticed the frame rate drops, so to me they made the right choice.
The wii u version even tho it's on a disc has faster loading time. Strange
@UK-Nintendo There is a mandatory install to the internal memory/external drive though. Does the Wii U stream from that and the disc simultaneously to improve load times?
Well, even knowing this, I wouldn't mind to own the Wii U version. Soon it's my birthday and I'll be happy whether someone gives me this version or a brand new Switch and the game (don't expect either, but it's wishful thinking). As times go by, however, the need of the new console will be bigger and thus I'll want the game in Switch.
Wii u and switch
I don't normally notice too much with these issues anyway. Got the Wii U version for now.
Am hoping the Mario Kart 8 Wii U community will still be going for a while as don't plan on getting a Switch just yet.
The slowdown you get on the switch in towns or when lots of enemies are on screeen is unbearable! Still very enjoyed game though. I do feel like Zelda has maxed out the potential of the switch already which is very worrying for future prospects
@Skunkfish you could be right
I don't mind playing at a somewhat low frame rate given how much this is pushing the Wii U. But there are times in combat where the game dips so low it's jarring and makes me worry the game has frozen (which actually hasn't happened at all so far for me). Playing on Wii U, but video reviews of the Switch version have shown this to be a problem too.
@UK-Nintendo Nice comparison video! But maybe the 'loading from main menu' test isn't exactly fair as they were both saved to a different location.
For the other tests, it's worth noting that the world is kind of dynamic with weather and day/night, so that may affect loading times a bit too.
Overall, it's safe to say the Wii U and Switch versions have closer load times than tests could reveal.
The Frame Rate only drops in ocasional combat situations and where there's loads of grass. But I think this could be easily fixed with a patch.
I didn't think Switch had any First Person Shooters yet, let alone 30. Wait what?
The real story here is the fact that the Switch version has ANY slowdown whatsoever.
Anyways, having a perfectly fine time playing through BotW on my Wii U. #wedontneednoswitch
Playing it on wiiu and it looks and plays great. My complaint is the lack of a second screen for map/inventory. I guess they wanted parity. It's a lonely world for us wiiu fans (not many of us left). I will pick up a Switch sometime in 2017 (Splatoon 2 will push me over the edge, likely). But feel it should be released on wiiu as well. Why not? It's the franchise wiiu will likely be remembered by.
@SLIGEACH_EIRE still waiting for delivery? That sucks man, you must be anxious! Hope you get it soon, it is really everything that you've read about 😆
I do hope they can patch it for the Switch. It really does take me out of the game sometimes.
I have the Wii U version and the occasional dip hasn't bothered me that much. Mainly because of the scale. If the world was smaller I wouldn't be as forgiving.
That said, the performance inside the dungeons (not shrines) is borderline unacceptable. They are smaller than your average Zelda dungeon. The framerate shouldn't be that unstable.
I love the game to bits, though. Fantastic entry in the series.
My god the industry is changing, when did frame rates become such a big issue that creates multiple articles.
@UK-Nintendo Thanks for that, I've been looking for comparisons in load times. Very impressed with the Wii U load times...but I'm still playing on my Switch!
@SLIGEACH_EIRE I've just got it it's fine on wiiu
Why are the Switch's colours so off? The Wii U version looks way more colourful (and therefore more beautiful in my opinion) whereas the Switch version looks pale in comparison.
Compare at 1:05 in the video: https://youtu.be/NhoiGxl6bnE?t=65
Don't let them fool you! The Wii u version is great! The framerate-drops, they are acceptable. Its the best looking Wii u game, and the most ambitious one too!
"Why are the Switch's colours so off? The Wii U version looks way more colourful (and therefore more beautiful in my opinion)"
Agreed. The Switch-version looks a bit darker.
@AVahne I haven't noticed any issues on my WiiU. Of course, I downloaded it, not sure if that helps. (no optical drive reading necessary)
@Blastcorp64 Nintendo really shafted us WiiU users. We didn't deserve to have ALL wiiu features stripped out. Gimping our version just so Switch users didn't feel slighted and to boost sales. Total bull-shyte.
(Still an amazing game though)
I have the Wii U version and I have no problem playing it. The graphics are almost identical to the Switch version and I rarely encounter frame rate issues.
Well, dark souls 3 on my PS4 has some frame rate issues and it still a good game. Zelda has less and is a better game and even more awesome is the switch makes it so I can take one of the best game ever with me anywhere. Sorry PS4 but I think I'm done with you...
Sounds like this game is due for some patches and updates, especially the Wii U version.
Still waiting for mine in the mail.
@Jaded_Drybones The least they could do is have cross-platform releases of some of the switch games like Splatoon 2 and others suited for the wiiu, till at least the end of 2017.
I have the Wii U version. Yes, there are long spans of time in towns and stables @ 20 fps. I does bother me occasionally, but overall it's an immensely enjoyable game on Wii U. Once you get out into the world, there aren't many significant drops and is smooth for the most part.
I think the previous DF video mentioned that the Wii U version is running with a double buffered v-sync enabled, so it goes from 30 to 20 fps and not much in between. That's the source of a lot of these drops.
I'm not an expert, but are these issues patchable?
EDIT: I have also played a lot on the gamepad and performance does seem to improve to a mostly solid 30fps. These are still drops in the towns, but far less frequent. Then again, maybe they're harder to make out on the small 480p screen.
Switch version here.
I'm about to face Ganon after messing around for nearly 100 hours, 65 shrines, master sword early, and hylian shield early. With that said the worst area so far with frame rate has been the Lost Woods, even in portable mode there are drops there. Outside of that area though the game has been amazing.
I'm starting to wonder how much of the Switch's frame drops are due to lack of optimization for new hardware, it was a Wii U title after all and how much of it is due to the fact the Switch isn't actually that much stronger than a Wii U. It makes sense given the Wii U is dead and buried and the mobile market is all Nintendo really has left if I'm being completely honest outside of course the core contingency of Nintendo fans whose numbers have dwindled I'm sure. Mario Kart 8 is 1080p with 0 AA which tells me the Switch is stronger than the Wii U but not enough to implement even a basic form of AA.
Worrying to be sure, but not totally unexpected given the Switch is a handheld you can hook up to your TV despite the claims Nintendo is marketing the Switch as a home console a la ps4 and one when it doesn't come close to matching either and is really a marginal upgrade over the 4 year old system it replaces.
I have the download Wii U version and I've only seen noticeable frame dips during once instance the rest was smooth. Not sure if there is a difference between having it on the HDD or having a physical copy.
Hmmm....perhaps I should try cleaning my disc drive lens.
Yes, because comparisons totally resolve things, right?
@BinaryFragger Wow, those are pretty damning accounts... If the head developers discovered that they ultimately didn't even want to work with the Gamepad, it makes you wonder why so many fans want it to be supported... In the end, I guess it really was just a burden on the gaming experience.
@gatorboi352 It's a port and clearly not built with Switch's unique hardware setup in mind. I would expect it. It is also a 1st gen game. Every system has 1st gen growing pains. All this talk about FPS misses the point that the game was for the majority of the time developed as a wii u exclusive and thus coded so. It's also a fantastic game
@shani I think it could have somerhing to do with colour space. Switch can output full RGB range. Maybe your TV can't view the colors correctly. I don't know but you could try to change the RGB setting in your Switch settings to see if that makes any difference.
@AndreasC81 I'm talking about the video in article, I don't have a Switch.
And thanks, but as far as I know my U2311H actually have a pretty decent colour space.
@JpGamerGuy90 so a console needs to be as powerful as PS4 to be able to be called a home console?
@shani You're welcome. It was just a thought.
@AndreasC81 I appreciate that.
i would say if you intend to buy other switch games then i would just buy the switch and this game as more Nintendo titles are coming and as the guy said on the video you can take the game out in a portable mode. so why not if you have the money it not like you are going to buy the console for just one game there will be years of new games coming out and the Wii U is at the end of its life which is a shame
Watching that video just makes me want to go home and play the dang game.
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