Thanks to IGN we have a new video of Breath of the Wild’s opening, specifically to show the differences between the game’s Switch and Wii U versions. The differences are much more pronounced than I had expected and definitely show off what the Switch can do in comparison. In particular the Wii U version’s lighting effects and shading seem much more pronounced, lowering the detail and making things contrast much more heavily than the Switch version. This leads to the chamber Link begins the trailer in being a much brighter blue in the Wii U version and his model coming off as less impressive, almost obscured even. The textures of the chamber itself are likewise less pronounced on Wii U, with a blurred effect on the background elements not present on Switch.

These discrepancies and more make themselves known when Link steps out into the world. On both the scale is breathtaking and appealing, but the Wii U version’s sky is more muted and its trees less verdant. There’s also a thicker misting effect on Wii U, used to obscure farther away details that isn’t present on the Switch. Distant hills and plateaus can be seen more clearly on Switch and while I can tell they’re there on Wii U it takes away from the sense of actually being able to go to them that the game’s open nature provides. Hyrule Castle’s own spires are even more pronounced on Switch, with the Wii U version’s towers blending together slightly.

This has definitely sold me even further on the Switch version as while I typically don’t put so much into graphics over gameplay, the experience of Breath of the Wild will certainly benefit from a greater visual sense. When I stand on mountaintops and take in the world around me, I want to be able to see as much as possible for the game to tempt me to its corners. Likewise with a much heavier story emphasis that presentation bump will definitely be felt in cutscenes and more dramatic shots throughout.

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg