In Link’s newest equipment that he has with him in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the infamous Sheikah Slate – the tablet type of accessory which allows Link to navigate a map of Hyrule, take pictures, and much more. This feature was orginally designed in regards to the Wii U’s gamepad. Upon reveal that BOTW was also coming to the Switch, this originally posed a big of a problem. “Honestly, it was a little bit concerning for me,” said Hidemaro Fujibayashi (Breath of the Wild director).
To be able to make the user experience fluid across both of its platforms, the dev team ended up having to remove parts of the game. “We did have the Wii U Gamepad in mind when we created the Sheikah Slate,” Hidemaro explained. “When we had to create it for the Nintendo Switch, and also make sure that the players had the same experience (on both platforms), we had to do things like remove the touch controls and adjust the button assignment a little bit.”
“It really turned out that this was the best way to enjoy the game.”
Despite the initial worry, Fujibayashi stands firm that encompassing to Switch was the right choice for the game. This is because the shift allowed the team to get around the original issue of developing for the Wii U; focusing on two screens at once. “When we started testing it out, and trying different configurations, we realized that it actually works better if you can keep your focus on the TV screen, rather than going back and forth between the second screen and the TV,” he stated. “As we started to flesh this out, it really turned out that this was the best way to enjoy the game.”
Fujibayashi stated that the shift in systems wasn’t an unforeseen occurrence . Realistically, working for Nintendo, he has known about the Switch for quite some time now. “We thought that it might come our way,” he said. “It wasn’t actually the shock that people might imagine.”