Why Nintendo Dropped Gamepad Support For Breath of The Wild

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Why Nintendo Dropped Gamepad Support For Breath of The Wild

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Nintendo says it dropped Gamepad support for the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild to ensure parity with the Switch version.

Oh hey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, launched for the Wii U at the same time as the Switch, did you know? The older console's version is understandably undershadowed by the shiny newness of the Switch, but Wii U gamers who have been keeping an eye on the game since it was first revealed as Zelda Wii U back in 2014 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/140265-Zelda-Wii-U-Delayed-Past-2015] will notice the absence of a feature. The Wii U version of the game does not support the Gamepad in any way (except as a second screen), despite early trailers of the game having players use the Wii U's unique peripheral as a kind of permanent inventory/map screen.

Nintendo's Hidemaro Fujibayashi explained to IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/03/02/why-zelda-breath-of-the-wildas-touchscreen-features-were-cut] that developers "aimed to provide the same gameplay experience across both on Switch and Wii U," noting that when development began, well before the Switch was announced, touch screen features were present.

"In doing our testing without the touch features," he said, "we noticed looking back and forth between the GamePad and the screen actually took a little something away from this type of Zelda game."

"Without the touch features it actually turned out to be a really strong gameplay experience," he explained. "After more experimentation and testing out, we realized that this is the best way to experience the game. That's how we ended up with the current gameplay style in the production version."

So that's why Breath of The Wild's Wii U version doesn't feature the Gamepad.

Soruce: IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/03/02/why-zelda-breath-of-the-wildas-touchscreen-features-were-cut]



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CaitSeith

Formely Gone Gonzo
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Jun 30, 2014
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I play it with the Wii U Pro Controller, so I never noticed that. Also, the title is badly worded. The game supports gamepad; it just doesn't use its touch screen features as much as previous Zelda games did.
 

Bad Player

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Jun 21, 2013
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I'm a huge Nintendo fanboy and love to them to death... but I gotta admit I love Nintendo just going "yeah we realized the game works better without the main 'selling point' of the Wii U."
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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You sure it's not because they didn't want the Wii-U version to have more control features than the Switch, thereby taking the wind out of the sales sails of their new console and launch line-up?

Say what you will about the gamepad, a shortcut to health items would've been appreciated, seeing how much damage some of these enemies do in one hit. Seriously, the item screen in Breath of the Wild, and maneuvering through it in the heat of battle, is quite shit.
 

Dr. Thrax

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Dec 5, 2011
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That's.. more than a little disappointing.
One of things I absolutely fucking loved was being able to use the gamepad to access my inventory in Wind Waker HD because you were switching out equipment every 15 minutes or so.
 

Quellist

Migratory coconut
Oct 7, 2010
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Totally bullcrap. They just didn't want the Wii U to have a version that's better than their flagship version in any way whatsoever. After seeing how well the Gamepad was utilized in Xenoblade Chronicles X I was hoping Nintendo might have learned something, guess not
 

DrownedAmmet

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Apr 13, 2015
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CaitSeith said:
I play it with the Wii U Pro Controller, so I never noticed that. Also, the title is badly worded. The game supports gamepad; it just doesn't use its touch screen features as much as previous Zelda games did.
yeah, I thought it didn't support Gamepad only mode when I first read the title, which is the only Gamepad feature I actually like
 

gillnavisingh

Stick a Cupca- AUGH!
Jan 13, 2010
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I get the feeling that this article will bring anti-Switch people together so they can bash on Nintendo for enforcing parity on a system that non-Nintendo fans disliked to begin with.

That being said - I haven't played the Wii U version quite yet, and I'm enjoying the Switch version very much
 

Leg End

Romans 12:18
Oct 24, 2010
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josemlopes said:
Doesnt the WiiU version run better then the Switch?
Supposed to run at 720p 30fps versus the Switch's 900p 30fps but supposedly it tends to dip, at least a lot more than the Switch version. It also supposedly has lower quality audio for whatever reason.
 

shrekfan246

Not actually a Japanese pop star
May 26, 2011
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Man, it's almost like Nintendo treated the Wii U exactly like how Sony treated the Vita.

Off-loading obnoxious extra menus and HUD elements to clean up the main screen and speed up things such as inventory use were exactly the best ways to use the gamepad, you incompetent ninnies.
 

Rednog

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Nov 3, 2008
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The funny thing is that the game still forces you to use the damn gamepad. I've had 2 shrines force me to use the gamepad and you can't complete them with the pro controller. God know why they kept it in.
 

cathou

Souris la vie est un fromage
Apr 6, 2009
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i whish they had at least had the option to close turn off the damn controller screen. when you play you have the controller flashing every 3 seconds "push here to play on the controller". my eye keep focusing at it everything i look down a little bit...
 

WeepingAngels

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May 18, 2013
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Well, I am glad they are admitting they removed the second screen features for parity with the Switch. Indeed the Wii U version would have been the superior version if they had kept the second screen features.

Article said:
"In doing our testing without the touch features," he said, "we noticed looking back and forth between the GamePad and the screen actually took a little something away from this type of Zelda game."
After playing both the Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD with dual screen support, I think this is BS. They took out dual screen support solely because they couldn't have the Wii U version be the superior version.

gillnavisingh said:
I get the feeling that this article will bring anti-Switch people together so they can bash on Nintendo for enforcing parity on a system that non-Nintendo fans disliked to begin with.

That being said - I haven't played the Wii U version quite yet, and I'm enjoying the Switch version very much
Nintendo purposely sabotaging the game on the Wii U is something worth bashing Nintendo for, don't you agree? Unless you think parity was so important that sabotaging the Wii U version (the console the game was made for in the first place) is a good thing? This just highlights to me why the Switch is a bit of a downgrade. Without the second screen, backward compatibility with Wii U, 3DS and DS is impossible or any games that get the remaster treatment will be gimped.
 

WeepingAngels

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May 18, 2013
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Bad Player said:
I'm a huge Nintendo fanboy and love to them to death... but I gotta admit I love Nintendo just going "yeah we realized the game works better without the main 'selling point' of the Wii U."
It's like when Peter Molyneux would talk up a Fable game by bashing the previous one and it's not admirable....at all.
 

Sonicron

Do the buttwalk!
Mar 11, 2009
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Suppose that's true - great. You went with what felt better in order to make the game a more enjoyable experience for most players. I can get behind that train of logic.

Now if only the same thinking had been applied during the development of Star Fox Zero.