Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch Downgraded Breath of the Wild

It's official now. Back at E3 we could have our suspicions about why there was no usage of the Wii U GamePad in Breath of the Wild anymore with hypocritical explanations from Aonuma's end about this big change with the interface.

But now we know for sure. While the Nintendo Switch has a huge advantage in portability over the Wii U GamePad, it received an equally huge downgrade with its interface. The screen doesn't seem to be a touchscreen anymore, there's no camera and you can't use the thing in addition to your TV screen. In fact, if you play at home on the TV, the portable screen hides within the docking station:

Apologies Master, but this device is not compatible with your Sheikah Slate.

So, all the GamePad functionality that Breath of the Wild could have offered, like navigating maps with your fingers or selecting items in your Adventure Pouch on the fly, wouldn't be possible with the Nintendo Switch. And so Nintendo decided to downgrade the Wii U version to not offer all the features that originally were advertised as selling points for The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD.

They don't want the Wii U version to be superior over the Switch version in any way. They don't want to give you a good reason to play this game on the Wii U. And that's a shame, because the Sheikah Slate item, which seems to be essentially the new Ocarina of Time in this game and an important part of the story, really looks like it was designed around the Wii U GamePad. After all it's the Sheikah Slate that Link uses ingame to study maps and to look around. And that makes full sense.

What doesn't make sense is that they suddenly castrated the game and removed a valuable part of the interface that had been shown two years ago at the Game Awards 2014. It only makes sense in the realm of marketing.

I wouldn't be surprised, if the Switch version also received additional content just for the sake of it...


Marandahir said...

I completely agree.

And I wish they had maintained both interfaces for the sake of two-console-owners' novelty (like Gamecube/Wii owners got with Twilight Princess back in 2006).

But while I'm upset about this as a Wii U owner (and have been since I got my hands on the demo at Nintendo NY back during E3 week), as a future Nintendo Switch owner, I'm excited to be able to play the game on the go.

TourianTourist said...

As someone, who owns all versions of Twilight Princess, I really did like how they gave you a different experience between GameCube and Wii. That made me pick up the Wii version later.

Ideally they would create a similar situation with Breath of the Wild, where I get the original experience on the Wii U first, but picking up the Switch version later will be worth it for different reasons.

People did know that the GameCube version was potentially the better one, but they still went for the Wii version instead, because they wanted the new system and the possibilities that came with it.