WiiU vs Switch, GameCube vs Wii: A Tale as old as the Temple of Time
Nintendo has delivered, and I can't put the controller down long enough to write words that evoke exclamation points of joy as a happy Zelda fan. A lot of people are questioning if BotW is better or worse on one console or another. I can attest the WiiU version with a Pro Controller is a wonderful time for a fraction of the cost a Switch is. I did the math. If I had waited to buy my WiiU when BotW released I could have saved some dough, but Wind Waker HD was worth the purchase back in 2013.
Fellow Zelda Universe writer and Webmaster Shona Johnson (@ShonaAdventures) addresses the question of the week in an excellent in-depth comparison of the two console experiences. She gave the WiiU high praise with only one negative that I too can attest: "The frame rate can become a bit choppy when there's a lot of movement on the screen or when the system is trying to render too many things at once". Frame rates dropping rarely occurs and when it does it's because of the multitude of monsters on screen. Shona even states the Switch buffers a bit which further proves the WiiU has been a great system and has one more game to play and chug along as hard as its little motor can.
Disclosure: I am waiting for the first price drop to purchase a Switch and avoided "the cult of the new" by sticking with the WiiU version, so if you came here for a compare and contrast I cannot assess the Switch. Therefore my thoughts are one-sided, which I believe is acceptable for a Frugal Friday piece.
It's been a week
I have played Zelda more than I have in years. As soon as you own this game it owns you. It's the original The Legend of Zelda difficulty with a lot of Game Over screens if you are out of your league and don't even have your green tunic (unless you dye your clothes in Kakariko Village). There is a lot to unearth in this game, and I'll keep it short and spoiler-free: BotW is a fresh and nostalgic approach to the World of Zelda. I more of my first take feelings on the game here. If you enjoy collecting items then this is your kind of Zelda game.
BotW is a wonderful game to close the chapter of one console and turn the page and start a new life of Nintendo games on the Switch, but that doesn't mean you need it right now. If you can wait, the game will still be great. Gorons are always great™ and if they make plushies of all the characters I'll need to hide my credit card.
Collecting Collectables in the Game vs Real Life
The WiiU is an underrated console that will fondly be looked back on as the first HD edition to the Nintendo roster. Sending it off with a game I'm 20+ hours into yet not nearly done exploring is a wonderful feeling. Breath of the Wild on the WiiU was worth the wait.
I am hyped about Breath of the Wild (BotW) and if you’re a long time Zelda fan I bet you are too. One week from the official release date of March 3rd, 2017, the anticipation comes to a roaring boil especially since the last newly released game in the franchise did not quench my thirst for an open world to run around and ride horses. Expectations are high because Nintendo knows how to deliver a good game that banks on nostalgia and knows we want to visit Link, Beedle, anyone we can interact with one more time in a reimagined way.
I’ve been playing Zelda long enough to remember how I was in utter distraught when Twilight Princess was delayed a year and how they made a bold move by making the game available on both the GameCube and Wii. History repeats itself as we wait for the public release of BotW on the WiiU and Switch, and I plan to use the same strategy that I did back then: play the game used on an older console.
Now if you don’t own a WiiU, by all means you should go for the Switch version since it supplies better graphics and its future is bright, but I purchased my WiiU with the intent of playing a NEW Zelda—not an HD remake following another HD remake—and goshdarnit that’s what I’m going to do. (Yes, Hyrule Warriors is technically another WiiU Zelda, but I have yet to play that one/it is categorized as a Spin-off on Wikipedia.)
Lets talk pricepoints.
If you have a WiiU, then BotW will set you back $60.
If you get the Switch at $300 then the total investment is $360. That’s a lot just to play BotW right away, I’d rather save the $300, or better yet, donate it to a good cause and wait to play BotW when there is a Switch pricedrop.
If you’re only interested in the new Zelda and nothing else the Switch has to offer in its first year you could buy a used WiiU for a decent price. This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people feel the need to be a part of “the cult of the new.” Hold off playing the BotW for a year and your bank account will thank you.
As a feature writer for Zelda Universe, it’s an investment in my writing and myself to be up to date and write about the newest and hottest thing but up until this point I have always opted to wait for a used console and Zelda. In a way it’s like paying your future self that extra ~$10-$110 in savings, at least that’s how I look at it as well as other notable finance writers.
Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar mentions, “the consoles themselves are quite cheap, too, especially if you buy a certified pre-owned console from a used game store.” At the time of this writing the WiiU is valued around $200. Spend $260 on a WiiU and BotW or $360 on the Switch and the same game? I'm in it to win it for BotW alone and lean with the former.
If you consider yourself to be a frugal video gamer, now’s the time to actually buy a WiiU and enjoy the library of discounted, used games.
Check back for more Breath of the Wild reactions in the weeks to come.
For more frugal tips take a gander at The Stick Vacuum's article How to Save Money Each Month – 76 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now
I'm short, sweet, and thankful for avocados ☺
What I write