‘The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’ Gets Virtual Reality Support And Faster Loading Times

Photo of Nintendo Switch, two Joy-Con controllers in Joy-Con Grip
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While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released over two years ago, that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from updating and retooling its magnum opus. Having come out on the same day as the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild released to critical acclaim, with reviewers praising it for its strong open world design, tight gameplay, interwoven and connected systems, and beautiful art design. To date, it is the fourth best-selling Nintendo Switch game at 12.77 million units (eclipsed only by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), and it even sold more than 1 million copies on the ill-fated Wii U.

Yet, despite its age, Nintendo has seen fit to continue rolling out support for the latest Legend of Zelda game. As reported by Polygon, Breath of the Wild has recently been updated to support virtual reality. For those with high-end headsets, don’t get your hopes up — you won’t be able to play Zelda on your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive anytime soon. Instead, Nintendo has enabled users to experience virtual reality through their recently-released Nintendo Labo VR.

However, as novel as it sounds to explore the kingdom of Hyrule in virtual reality, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. As The Verge explains, Nintendo has done little to alter the core gameplay for virtual reality. As a result, everything runs and plays the same — for better or worse. Since Labo VR has no head strap, players have to hold the console and headset up to their faces. As a third-person game, shoe-horned virtual reality support is by no means fluid, and when playing in handheld mode, Breath of the Wild runs at a maximum of 30 frames per second, which can look a bit rough in VR.

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However, even if you don’t own Labo VR, you can still benefit from improved loading times. As documented by YouTuber and speedrunner Alexis de Champris, the recent update to Breath of the Wild has increased load times. Taking to Twitter, de Champris noted that shrines now load four to six seconds faster than before. These results were based on tests done with the cartridge version of the game, and it seems that load times are likely improved outside of the game’s 120 shrines.

If you are interested in virtual reality on the Nintendo Switch, but not interested in playing the latest Legend of Zelda game, it’s worth mentioning that Super Mario Odyssey received a new VR mode, which runs more fluidly than Breath of the Wild.