Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wii U doesn’t have touchscreen because ‘it took something away’ from the game

So you’re basically saying ‘the Wii U was never good’

If you opened up your copy of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wii U and were all excited to test out the touchscreen features on the GamePad — you were probably disappointing to find out that the only “Wii U” thing about the port was off-TV play, which the Switch can now do by default. Yes, there was a chance that the Wii U version would have actually been superior from a gameplay standpoint if you could manage your inventory on the fly on the second screen, but according to the game’s director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, it wasn’t in the cards.

Speaking to IGN, he states, “In doing our testing without the touch features 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. 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”

It’s natural to move on to the next big thing, but does anyone remember when Nintendo was heralding the Wii U GamePad as the current next big thing? Unlike a lot of other gimmicks that marketing teams push out of obligation, I thought the GamePad actually was unique. Having that second pad that you can manipulate or touch as a live map would have made perfect sense with the Sheikah Tablet so embedded into the game, and “looking back and forth” didn’t stop any number of amazing Wii U games, like Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Every time I hear a story like this I just pour a little bit out for the Wii U.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s touchscreen features [IGN]

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!