Breath of the Wild’s Labo VR update speeds up loading times

It appears that the update bringing Nintendo Labo VR support to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also improves some loading performance in the two-year-old game on Nintendo Switch, resolving a nettlesome disparity with the game on the last-gen Wii U.

The update, which published on Thursday, measurably shortens the load time for shrines on the Switch — a savings of five whole seconds on a Switch with the update versus one without. YouTuber and speedruner Alexis de Champris confirmed the difference in a test yesterday:

And furthermore:

De Champris noted that the test was done using BOTW on cartridge, not from the console’s hard drive. “But at this point, we can definitely say that Switch and Wii U are almost even,” he said.

Shortly after the Switch and Breath of the Wild launched in March 2017, players noted that load times were faster on Wii U when Link enters a shrine or respawns after a death. GameXplain took an in-depth look at the differences in a video at that time, too.

Zant, another Breath of the Wild speedrunner, said Switch BOTW load times indeed beat those on the Wii U, and “there also seems to be noticeably less overworld lag when moving fast like with [bullet-time bounces].” Bullet-time bounces are a quasi-glitch/exploit speedrunners use to cover a lot of territory in the game.

The Labo VR free update arrived this week for both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Some also report that load times in SMO are now faster than in previous versions of the game.

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