‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Update: Patch notes reveal free items, but will they come to Wii U?

‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Update: Patch notes reveal free items, but will they come to Wii U?
Link in ‘Breath of the Wild’ ‘Zelda’/VG 247
Link in ‘Breath of the Wild’ ‘Zelda’/VG 247

It’s impressive how Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch and Wii U are largely the same game. The largest Zelda game ever made sees the exact same level of quality on the Wii U as on the Switch.

But Nintendo keeps holding back the Wii U version in an effort to make the Switch version look good, or so it seems. The latest offense is a new update headed to Zelda: Breath of the Wild that allows for free items, but only on the Switch.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild update: Version 1.3.1 brings players free items from the news channel

Every Nintendo Switch owner knows the Switch news channel they’re greeted by when they unlock their system. The sidebar contains info on upcoming games or new things to know about current ones. Now Zelda players will have another reason to take a look at left side of their lock screen. According to the version 1.3.1 release notes:

In-game items can now be obtained from launching the software from certain articles distributed through a new News channel (“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Tips from the Wild”) which can be accessed through News on the Home menu.

Free items are never a bad thing in the Zelda world. But if you’re on Wii U, don’t get too excited. There’s no mention of how owners of the older console will access these items.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is better on Switch. Just slightly, but still better.

This isn’t the first time that Nintendo’s played favorites. It’s still unclear why Zelda games like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess on Wii U make use of the second screen, but Breath of the Wild doesn’t.

Early ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ footage from 2014
Early ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ footage from 2014 Nintendo/Entertainment Weekly

An early look at Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U suggested that while the top screen would show Link and the overworld, the GamePad’s screen would show a map that you could manipulate and mark up. This is nowhere to be found in the final Wii U version.

Zelda on both platforms is largely the same, and the experience of the game is in no way completely ruined by the lack of occasional free items, but it’s clear which version Nintendo is prioritizing.

Let’s hope Nintendo chooses to switch their stance.

Check out more Zelda: Breath of the Wild news and coverage

See why we need a Zelda Netflix show now more than ever. Also find out all there is to know about Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including what to expect from the Champions’ Ballad DLC and if there are even people of color in this giant world of Hyrule. Learn how to preserve your items, how to beat bosses like the Stone Talus and Lynel, the best recipes for Link and how to take on the game’s shrines. If you’re looking to snag a giant horse with little stamina, here’s how you accomplish that. You’ll also want to find out where all the great fairies are in the game, how to use amiibo with your version of Zelda and what went into making Breath of the Wild.