One of the big questions a lot of people have had about the Nintendo Switch and the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is what the differences are between the Switch and Wii U version of the game. Well, there's a list of the differences.
IGN did a quick rundown of the differences between the two console versions of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after Nintendo provided them with a statement on the matter.
Both versions are essentially the same, launching on March 3rd. There are two major differences between the games, though: The first is that the Wii U version will run Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at 720p and 30fps. The Nintendo Switch version of the game runs at 900p and 30fps when docked and 720p at 30fps when undocked. So playing the game in portable format on the Switch will be equivalent to playing on a TV with the Wii U version.
The second biggest difference is that the Nintendo Switch version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will have increased environmental audio fidelity. They mention that the environmental sound effects will be of a much higher quality on their new system, including when running through the grass, splashing in the water, and interacting with the environment.
Most of everything else will be similar, save for the fact that the Wii U version will have to install some data on the hard drive and will need 3GB of space free even if you do get the physical version of the game. And, speaking of physical versions... the limited collector's editions are only available for the Nintendo Switch, but they don't really have anything to do with the actual gameplay or performance.
They do mention that the button icons will be slightly altered to reflect the differences between the Switch and Wii U button schemes, but I'm sure most people expected this to be the case since every platform has its own GUI.
Most people expected the differences to be a little bit... different. A lot of people were hoping for 900p at 60fps or 1080p at 60fps on the Nintendo Switch when it came to running Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the game is a large scale, physics-driven, open-world adventure title. It uses a lot of advanced design and interactivity techniques that I didn't think Nintendo would employ. But obviously those techniques have been taxing enough to force Nintendo to lower the resolution from 1080p to 900p. So this is equivalent to what Mass Effect: Andromeda will run on the Xbox One, which is also 900p at 30fps.
The Wii U version of Breath of the Wild is equivalent to Dead Rising 3 on the Xbox One, which was also a large scale, physics-driven, open-world game that only ran at 720p at 30fps with frequent drops. Now, back at E3 last year, a lot of people noted that the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild frequently had trouble holding frames above 25fps and would sometimes drop down into the teens. According to Digital Foundry's benchmarks, the Nintendo Switch version of the game holds steady at 30fps with infrequent drops into the mid to high 20s.
We'll see how well the game performs in real-time under various conditions when both versions of Breath of the Wild will be benchmarked come March 3rd.