The highly anticipated Star Fox Zero will not be able to hit the 60fps mark despite being at 720p resolution
Nintendo has been a diamond in the console rough when it comes to sixty frames per second. Where most PS4 and Xbox One games struggle to maintain 30 frames per second, Nintendo has maintained video game respect by having almost as many native 1080p at 60fps games than the other two even while being less powerful.
That’s not the case with Star Fox Zero which will run at 720p and less than 60fps. Which is a setback for sure, but probably (hopefully) Star Fox pushes the Wii U to its limit. An FPS stress test performed by Digital Foundry shows some serious changes in frame rate throughout the game dipping to as low as 40 frames per second in certain areas. While this is still more than the “cinematic” 30 frames per second that most console users are accustomed to, at least the games are locked at 30FPS which eventually doesn’t become noticeable. When you drop from 60 to 55 then back to 60 then down to 40, frame rate becomes a big deal and the game appears to jitter.
Star Fox Zero’s frame rate becomes an issue because it splits the screen between the main one on the TV and on the gamepad. Because of this split, the frame rate suffers because the game has to render two different spaces. Most fans of the series are just happy to have a traditional Star Fox game which hasn’t happened since Nintendo 64’s Star Fox 64. Fans have been clamoring for a high definition Star Fox for quite some time and they’ll get it in April, but at a cost of frame rate.
At what appears to be one of the last major titles of the Wii U’s lifespan, Star Fox Zero might showcase what people have known all along: The Wii U was a misstep when Nintendo decided not to go full strength in the power department to sacrifice price. Fans are willing to pay more for a quality system and hopefully we’ll get that when the Nintendo NX is announced this summer.