Today is the launch day of Nintendo’s new console, the Switch. The portable-home console hybrid has received decent reviews, thus far. It does some things right and others wrong, while functionality does not seem user friendly. The selling point of the system at launch is the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are a handful of other titles such as 1-2-Switch, which uses the JoyCon controllers as motion controllers. But honestly, Zelda launching with the system may be the best launch title of all time, surpassing the likes of Mario 64 and Super Mario World. However, the Switch is not needed to enjoy the latest Zelda, and a whole other world of possibilities could be out there for certain players.
If players have listened to Nintendo’s marketing, one would be under the impression that LOZ: BOW is only available on the Switch. However, on Nintendo’s previous system, the Wii U, the game also released on March 3. Has there been any advertising for this version? Certainly not, as the game was used to push the new system, that makes sense. But players should not think they missed out on an opportunity by not grabbing a Switch. What they could be missing out on is an underrated system and a very enjoyable library of games for the same price as a Switch.
With the price of the console, LOZ: BOW, and specific accessories to get the best experience, purchasing all of this at launch would have cost about $450. Currently, the system seems to be ranging from $400 to $600 online. It is possible to get away with paying only $100 more today, especially if there are local Craigslist listings. Maybe a Toys”R”Us has a system that did not sell this morning, and that is worth a look. But what if that money was put elsewhere? Such as picking up a Wii U and giving the system a chance if one was never given previously.
From the recent reviews, many should know the issues with Switch and Zelda. While Zelda is getting perfect scores across the board, the game still suffers from technical issues. On the Switch dock, it runs sluggishly at 900p as it suffers to hit 30 FPS. The Wii U version of the game has less effects on screen, but mostly is no different than the Switch version. Unlike the differences of Skyward Sword on the Wii and Wii U, LOZ: BOW does not suffer. Also, Skyward Sword is another Zelda game worth owning, so that would be two that could be played if one is to purchase a Wii U. Throw in Windwaker HD and Twilight Princess, and there are four Zelda games for the Wii U. At the same time, the Switch version of Breath of the Wild has issues due to its JoyCon Controller sync issue. Reports of controller input in the game causing death seem to be high, and this would be annoying. Of course, shelling out another $70 would solve that issue with the Pro Controller. Couple that with the inability to charge the JoyCon while playing without buying a specific adapter, or buy only getting a few hours in portable mode on a battery will hamper that experience. These are all things that could be avoided on the Wii U.
While the Switch has a dull library at launch, look at the vast library the Wii U has in comparison. With the two Zelda games already listed, couple that with Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 and Super Mario Maker, and the money used to buy a barebones Switch experience could go much further. Obviously, LOZ: BOW could still be had. Combine that with the ability to use the Virtual Console on the Wii U, which opens a library of classic titles. This is not available on the Switch. The Wii U can be had on ebay starting out at $250, or possibly cheaper searching the local craigslist. Gamestop offers the system refurbished for $249 and it may be bundled with a game. Honestly, the system has been difficult to find a deal on in recent memory.
Don’t get me wrong, the Nintendo Switch looks to be a technical marvel. However, certain players wallet and judgement of the launch are not going to justify the purchase. It just seems Nintendo really does not want to make it known that their new masterpiece is available on its previous platform with virtually no difference in gameplay experience. To me, that would hurt their overall sales for the game, but I understand wanting to push the new console. I am just doing my part in trying to make it known that players don’t need to break the bank to play the new Zelda. At the same time, if one decides to break the bank today, that person could get a lot more for their money if going the route of purchasing a Wii U.