Daily Debate: Should Nintendo Consider Bringing Zelda to Other Consoles to Utilize More Powerful Hardware? – Zelda Dungeon

“But it’s not a Nintendo, this is a…”

Nintendo is probably the most widely known name when it comes to early gaming consoles (unless you grew up in the 1970’s; then you probably have a special attachment to Atari and Pong). In fact, Nintendo is so prominent that most elderly refer to any console as a Nintendo; doesn’t matter if it is a PlayStation, Xbox, PC, or even a cheap Yahtzee electronic game you picked up from the dollar store. It is all the same for most aged 65+.

Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Microsoft

Over the years, Sony and Microsoft have introduced their own gaming consoles: The PlayStation and the Xbox, respectively. It was then a race of who could provide the best graphics, the fastest processor, the most storage, etc. Sony and Microsoft especially prioritized (by collaborating with various other companies) the creation of photorealistic games. This priority created a need for some heavy-duty hardware. However, deciding not to keep up with the “hardware wars,” Nintendo continued to focus on the quality and content of their games rather than graphics and resolution alone.

Where Did All The Pixels Go?

Enter the Nintendo Switch. While Nintendo chose to not battle in the console wars, they did decide to collaborate with different gaming companies to bring a larger variety of games to the Switch. Perhaps it is more accurate to say Nintendo chose to continue collaborating with third-party companies. They did originally feature third-party titles for the Wii U, but the Wii U was not a big hit and therefore third-party games were not well supported. In any case, the collaborations on the Switch included games that required more processing power. In order to support these games, something had to give. The Switch just did not have the necessary specs/hardware to run some of these games as they were. Any games that were graphics-heavy and were ported to the Switch had their visual quality/resolution reduced (by a lot in some instances).

If you have played some of these ported games on the Nintendo Switch you may have run into frame rate drops, pixel loss, stuttering (especially during combat scenarios), etc.

A perfect example of downgraded resolution in a ported game is YS VIII Lacrimosa of Dana. In the images below, we compare the Switch version of the game to the PS4 version. The quality drop is significant in this case. Another thing to note with this particular game, playing on Nightmare Mode will cause the game to crash during raid battles unless you are playing in docked mode.

Significant pixel loss in the Nintendo Switch version of the game YS VIII Lacrimosa of Dana.

A Really Real Link?

The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most successful game series. After 35 years, people are still drawn to the hero Link and his adventures. The series has compelling storylines, colorful characters, and deep lore, and it is easy to pick up without a steep learning curve.

What would happen if Nintendo collaborates with big game developers who are known for solid graphics alá The Last of Us, Death Stranding, Halflife: Alyx, etc. and brought out a photorealistic Legend of Zelda game? Such a game would obviously not be able to run on existing Nintendo hardware, therefore it would need to be created specifically for the PS4/5, the Xbox Series X/S, or PC. It could of course get ported to a Nintendo system but at reduced quality.

If Nintendo decides to go this route, would you try it? Why or why not? Do you think that doing so would betray the Zelda franchise that has always been known as one of Nintendo’s trademarks? Are there perhaps enough games that are similar to the Zelda series already on the PlayStation and Xbox, and this would just be overkill?

If Nintendo did go this route and the game became a big hit, do you think that it would spark Nintendo to put more stock in their hardware in order to run more complex games in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!