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'Zelda: Breath of the Wild' is capped at 900p / 30 fps on the Switch

By Shawn Knight ยท 55 replies
Jan 18, 2017
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  1. Nintendo revealed at E3 2016 that the next entry in the storied Legend of Zelda franchise wouldn’t be a Wii U exclusive as was originally announced. Instead, Breath of the Wild would also be released on Nintendo’s upcoming gaming system (what eventually became known as the Switch).

    Now, courtesy of a recent exchange between IGN and Nintendo, we’ve got a bit more information on the matter which may be alarming to some.

    The “key facts” that Nintendo shared about the game – that are relevant to this story, at least – are that it’ll run at 30 frames per second on both the Wii U and the Switch. Here’s where it gets interesting: on a television, the Switch version will render at 900p while the Wii U will be limited to 720p.

    The new system will also afford higher-quality environmental audio so things like footsteps, water, grass and so on will seem more realistic and thus, enhance the game’s open-air feel compared to the Wii U.

    While the Switch’s built-in LCD screen operates at up to 720p, Nintendo has said that the Switch can support resolutions of up to 1080p when docked and connected to an HD-capable display. This, as The Verge suggests, seems to indicate that the Switch simply isn’t powerful enough to drive a 1080p experience.

    Nintendo traditionally isn’t known for focusing on the sheer power of its hardware, instead opting to invest in the content and storytelling aspects of its games. Based on what we’ve seen of Zelda so far, it’s safe to say that it’s not a jaw-dropping graphical masterpiece.

    We also have to consider the fact that this is one of the first games being developed for a brand new system. It’s not uncommon to take years for developers to really learn the hardware and be able to maximize its potential.

    Then again, the fact that a launch title based on one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises can seemingly only muster 1080p30 at a time when the competition already has 4K-capable hardware on the market is hard to overlook. 

    One could argue that the game may be limited on the Switch for the simple fact that it was originally developed for the Wii U and thus, not optimized to take full advantage of the new hardware.

    While on the subject, Nintendo also revealed that some onscreen buttons will differ between the Wii U and Switch versions but otherwise, they’ll both offer the same content. Furthermore, the physical copy of the Wii U version will require 3GB of local storage either on the system itself or via an external drive. And last but not least, the Special Edition and Master Edition bundles will be limited to the Switch only.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    If people were going for eye candy, indie game developers would've never gotten this far. Real gamers go in for the gameplay.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,825   +2,080

    Do you not understand form factor? It's a hell of an acheivemeant what they got in that little thing. Need I remind you that other consoles are capped at 30fps? If you want eye candy get a PC. Nintendo has never been and never will be about pushing the graphics envelope.
  4. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +144

    It's funny that tech sites want to make an alarm for a console that plays games at 30 fps and 900p. As far as I know that's normal for consoles right now, in the best situation they make it to 1080p and any of those consoles are portable. A regular Switch buyer only cares for the great games that Nintendo will release for it, that's it. Personally I think this console could make a great companion to my gaming PC.
    erickmendes, Kotters and Chesterfried like this.
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,302   +1,753

    it's not an achievement when the Nvidia Shield seems to have much better hardware. for the price nintendo is asking you get too little. the peripherals are very expensive and you only get 32GB internal storage. As for their online services plans... Nintendo seems to be living in a dream world, or the guys working there are on shrooms.

    Since nintendo is marketing the Switch as a home console the fact that it can't run something like Zelda at 1080p is disappointing. 720p for the portable mode is good.
  6. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Addict Posts: 171   +123

    Could care less about the specs really. I'm still getting my Wii U version and its still going to to be fun whether its in 720p or 5400p I just dont care. games are all about gameplay. You dont have that you have a poor game.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,725

    Doubt anybody will be able to tell the difference between 900p or 1080p on a screen that small playing an action game. The gameplay department is far more important, and nintendo is better at nailing that then sony/MS are.
    darkzelda likes this.
  8. Yeah looking forward to this as well, first time I have been excited for a console in a while.

    The 32GB internal storage is a non issue as it will be cartridge based and has a slot for a dirty big SD card anyway.
  9. Precisely. This is especially true of the Zelda franchise. They could launch that game at 720p and 30fps and still sell it like heroine. Nintendo is the one segment where content > candy.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,822   +3,215

    I really don't think what they've done with the new Zelda is pushing any envelope. Iv'e watched their switch presentation and seen Zelda in action. It looks like a mobile game. The open world is barren, far too little going on. Oblivion for the Xbox has questionably better graphics, and that console in ancient.

    We all know Nintendo doesn't release powerful consoles but when the developers start having to make serious sacrifices like not being able to populate an open world with models, it's a serious problem. What is there isn't exactly high resolution or poly count either.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,825   +2,080

    I was not talking about zelda, I was talking about form factor. 8 of them can be linked together wirelessly. You can have up to 2 people playing on one in tablet mode. Please, tell me how the shield can do any of that?

    What Nintendo has done with the switch has never been done before and there is an estimated 2 million preorders.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,822   +3,215

    Yeah, I quoted the wrong post.
  13. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 293   +124

    Guys don't defend overpriced low performing hardware!!!
    SirChocula and gingerbill like this.
  14. Kunming

    Kunming TS Maniac Posts: 308   +187

    When I become POTUS, my first act, will be making 30FPS games illegal ! We don't use VHS anymore, so why should we use 30FPS! (Ok it will be illegal on PC)
    Agnomen and gingerbill like this.
  15. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,302   +1,753

    the 900p is for the TV mode.
    liammac002 likes this.
  16. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,971   +231

    It's capped at 720p in portable mode, and 900p when docked to a TV.

    I actually do think the Switch is underpowered, particularly as Nintendo underclocks the Tegra X1 when docked for some inexplicable reason. The Google Pixel C used the X1 in its full capability so the cap, especially when it's tethered to a power source, makes no sense
    Puiu and Evernessince like this.
  17. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 403   +211

    "Is Nintendo's new system underpowered?"

    Yes. Next question.
  18. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    I'm sad to see Nintendo keep trying to come up with the next gimmick to make money. I know they called it "innovating", but at the end of the day it's really just a gimmick. It's been accepted that you lose money on console hardware and make it up in software sales. Years ago Nintendo decided to make a profit off both hardware and software by selling technology that's 2 generations behind. I know someone will come along and say "but it's games and fun factor that's important, not hardware!" but personally I'm not paying $299 for hardware that was considered average 5 years ago. Why can't Nintendo make a console that has all the gimmicks they want to try *and* have superior hardware performance? I know they just want to re-create the Wii cash cow, but it's not going to happen. I think Nintendo should just throw in the towel and stop wasting everyone's time and money with this crap. They should just start making games for mobile devices and the competition's hardware (PS4/Xbox) like SEGA eventually ended up doing. Of course Nintendo is too proud to ever do that. They'll just keep trying with their stupid gimmicks every few years until they run out of cash reserves. Sorry to say, but at some point Nintendo will have to make a choice; make a serious console with hardware that can compete or exit the hardware sector altogether.
  19. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,822   +3,215

    Heck, it's not even about using that extra horse power for graphics. It's about enabling new experiences, something you'd think Nintendo would be keen on.
    CaptainTom, Agnomen and gingerbill like this.
  20. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Posts: 233   +59

    All the signs are pointing towards this being the last ever Nintendo console , isn't that a sad thought :( .They have learned nothing from last time and have been living of old IP's churning out the same stuff for a long time.

    Hopefully I'm wrong but this looks destined to flop , I wish they could have had new people at the top making better choices who realise this isn't 1990 anymore :(
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,822   +3,215

    Hm, don't know about that. Remember that the switch also replaces the DS which was pretty popular. At it's current price point though it is a hard sell for a personal system for kids.
  22. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 220   +140

    That is such a horrible idea. A company that has so much money, makes a profit on every system they sell, and make a ton more selling their games there, and they're just going to stop having that much control and design power, just because some fanboys hate them and don't like their vision that gives them ability to make so much more money than having their games just be another game on the XBox One and PS4.
  23. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,138   +1,556

    Ok, the one thing I am kind of wishing the didn't do is include voice overs. For me it was always fun just hearing the tone of their voices and imaging what they sound like in my head while I read the dialog.
    Evernessince likes this.
  24. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    Ok ok... let's focus on it's either going to rock or suck, and everything you know or think that you know has actually nothing to do with how it is going to be, could you please stop with all the ducking itching?

    It looks like everyone posts here just for the sake of complaining about something, or to hate a brand, or trump, or blame the russians, or to make publicity for your crappy youtube channel... yeah I said it.
  25. liammac002

    liammac002 TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +8

    That's true, and the game will be running at 720p on the Switch's display since that's its max resolution. 900p and 1080p might not be a big difference on a 6 inch screen, but on a large TV it's definitely noticeable.

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