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Zelda: Breath of the Wild runs better on Switch than on Wii U, might output in 900p in docked mode

Long-time Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma told IGN that Breath of the Wild runs better on Nintendo Switch than on Wii U.

"I think I mentioned this during E3, but the gameplay is completely the same experience on Wii U and the Nintendo Switch," Aonuma said. "The game controls for the two are pretty much identical. However, when you play in TV mode, the resolution of the screen and the sound quality go up."

Despite a difference in resolution, Zelda: Breath of the Wild's framerate holds steady on both the Switch and Wii U. "When I said earlier that the gameplay and game experience is the same, I meant the framerate is the same as well," Aonuma went on.

Legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto chimed in. "The world in Breath of the Wild is all seamless. There’s a lot of processing when [the game] needs to recreate the landscape, so that’s a little bit of challenge. But while you’re playing it there’s no difference whatsoever between the two."

When asked if Switch owners would see any other performance gains, Aonuma said that Zelda loads faster on Switch than on Wii U since data loads faster from game cards than optical media.

One particular of Zelda's performance on Switch has caused a good deal of chatter over the last two days. A report made by Switch showcase attendee Oscar Yasser—founder of press outlet Atomix and currently a "tech entrepreneur"—claims that a Nintendo rep told him during his hands-on Switch demo that Breath of the Wild outputs at 900p in TV (or "docked") mode.

Nintendo has confirmed that Zelda runs at 720p on Switch when played on the portable.

Yasser's report has been referenced by other outlets including IGN and Eurogamer. Nintendo has confirmed that Switch games running in docked mode can output at up to 1080p, leaving room for speculation that more resource-intensive titles might come in under the resolution ceiling.

Meanwhile, Eurogamer reported that a Nintendo rep told them that they're shooting to hit a steady 1080p/60fps on Breath of the Wild for Switch, although the outlet also alludes to Yasser's report.

Zelda will launch on March 3, day and date with the Switch. Assuming Yasser's report pans out, it's possible that Breath of the Wild does output at 900p right now, and that Nintendo is still nailing optimization, although it would be cutting things close given the logistics involved in pressing game cards and discs and packaging them in time to ship out for release.

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