Just a few weeks ago, the famous honcho the Legend of Zelda series, Eiji Aonuma, announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel would be pushed back to Spring 2023. It was an announcement that many of us were undoubtedly expecting, especially given that 2022 is already hosting games like Bayonetta 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and the recently announced Pokemon Scarlet and Violet coming to the Late-2022 slot. pending.
While we wiped a tear from the corner of our eye and lamented that we wouldn’t be playing BOTW2 over the holidays this year, the announcement video itself featured some brand new footage from the upcoming sequel; So much so, in fact, we’ve come up with 16 theories about Link’s gnarly new arm. What we might not have noticed at the time – something we hadn’t considered until the guys at Digital Foundry started talking about it recently – was that the footage looks remarkably sharp for OG Switch hardware.
Now, game trailers running on slightly beefier hardware aren’t a new thing, but the team at Digital Foundry thinks there might be some weight behind the theory that Breath of the Wild 2 could be coming to brand new Switch hardware. Whether this is a “new” Switch modeled after the new 3DS that offered a modest spec boost, or some kind of Switch “Pro” or a proper “Switch 2” successor is impossible to say at this time, but their main argument was this die volumetric clouds, which feature prominently in the trailer, seem too advanced for the humble Switch’s processing power, according to their experts.
This, alongside the higher resolution and anti-aliasing techniques, could indicate that the game might be a “cross-gen” release, much like the last game. Digital Foundry Video Producer Alex Battaglia explained: “Since they’re delaying it now, I think this will be the equivalent of what we saw back then on Breath of the Wild where it was on the old one and also on the new one and let’s see the beautiful benefits of the new one”. Watch the team discuss the clip in the DF video here:
Here at Nintendo Life, we’re a little more skeptical, although of course we love the idea of a brand new toy to play with. The idea of a new Switch console releasing alongside Breath of the Wild 2 in 2023 isn’t completely off the table, but given that the OLED model was only six months old at the time of writing, it seems unlikely that Nintendo would want to launch another SKU any time soon. With the original Switch now being over five years old, there are many early adopters who see the OLED model as a decent upgrade worth getting their hands on. For Nintendo to come out a little over a year later and say, “Oops sorry guys, that’s the one real Update” feels a bit premature, especially considering how healthy Switch sales are.
On the other hand, it’s possible that Nintendo will take a completely different path: mainly a new dock that improves the resolution when playing on the big screen. Since the OLED introduced a significant upgrade for people who mostly enjoy handheld gaming, a new dock would benefit gamers who are resolution hunters and prefer to play in docked mode. This could give the ‘native’ output resolution a hefty boost – perhaps even up to 4K (although we’ve seen various kits do this) via a built-in scaling technology. Then again, that doesn’t quite explain the volumetric clouds, which Digital Foundry believes exceed the capabilities of the current Switch.
Ultimately, Breath of the Wild 2 is sure to do well on the current Switch; it somehow has To the right? The first game was perfectly playable and excellent on Wii U, and even the Switch version has issues at certain points (well, hello, Korok Forest!). There’s just no way Nintendo could give up a console that – at the time of writing – has now sold over 100 million units and is surpassing the mighty Wii. The first Breath of the Wild has currently sold around one copy for every four Switches in the wild, and Nntendo won’t disappoint that audience for some edgier graphics.
As for a possible cross-gen release? Well, even given the ongoing difficulties manufacturers are currently facing, it’s certainly possible, but we have yet to be fully convinced. It just doesn’t seem like the right time to us, especially considering the global chip shortage is likely to continue into 2023. We wouldn’t credit Nintendo with offering some sort of upgrade/remaster of the game’s later line, however; Maybe some sort of collection bundling both Breath of the Wild games together for the next console? We would agree to that!
The real question is whether Switch owners would be tempted to upgrade to new Switch hardware if this was a cross-platform (cross-platform, of course) release, because that’s what Nintendo would bet on, using the same tactics used on both Twilight Princess on GameCube/Wii and BOTW on Wii U/Switch.
Would we upgrade? Of course we would, but new Nintendo hardware is tied to our jobs here, so it’s easier for us to justify ourselves. Would she but upgrade?…
So we’re not sure if we’ll see a brand new Switch console alongside Breath of the Wild 2, but we’d love to know what you think on the matter. Check out the polls below and leave a comment with your thoughts on this topic!
https://www.nintendolife.com/features/talking-point-if-breath-of-the-wild-2-launched-alongside-new-switch-hardware-would-you-upgrade If Breath of the Wild 2 launches alongside new Switch hardware, would you upgrade?