ARMS Runs at 1080p and 60 FPS Docked, Almost as Good in Multiplayer

Like it or not, Nintendo consoles have been known as little siblings to the competition when it comes to graphics performance ever since the launch of the Wii. This remained the case even as its games’ art design and performance (especially relative to the capability of the hardware) have both remained, by and large, top notch. With Wii U and the jump to HD this stereotype began to buckle, and while first party Switch titles thus far have looked impressive in their own right, they’ve also largely been ports of Wii U releases. As such, while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s 1080p and 60 fps one-two punch is impressive, it’s no industry shaker. The game ran at a native 720p on Wii U, so it’s only expected a Switch version would see a tangible bump to full high definition.


It’s almost as if the staff behind Mario Kart 8 knows of this sentiment and has set out to correct it, because if what’s been shown of Nintendo’s upcoming motion-based fighter ARMS is any indication, the folks at EPD are officially talking graphics very, very seriously again. You may have spotted a recent Digital Foundry analysis, where ARMS was analyzed and determined to be running at a full 1080p and 60 fps, complete with the visual flourishes, texture and graphics quality, and general fit and finish one should expect from current-gen games. The title even appears to be sporting fancy anti-aliasing, a technique Nintendo has historically left out in favor of better performance and its own unique tricks concerning clarity and fidelity.



Perhaps more impressive is what ARMS maintains when jumping to two-player split screen. Like Mario Kart 8, ARMS retains a 60fps framerate in this mode of play, though it does drop to 900p as well. This may sound disappointing, but consider this; most folks I talk to and interact with (both gamers and industry people) weren’t even aware of the fact that Mario Kart 8 on Wii U wasn’t full HD until they heard about the Switch version correcting exactly that. If presentation from the very same developers was able to mask such a significant jump with so few people noticing, then it seems safe to say ARMS in two-player at 900p will look just fine.


What’s interesting to consider is the sort of precedent this sets for upcoming first party Nintendo games. It’s true Zelda was 900p, but that was already an improvement from 720p on the Wii U version. Given that it was a direct port and was developed using tools clearly built and designed with Wii U in mind, the end result is understandable. But with ARMS, we have something clearly created from scratch for Switch, with the capabilities of its Nvidia innards taken fully into account. What this hopefully means is that we can expect the likes of Super Mario Odyssey and yet-unannounced Nintendo titles slated for E3 to end up delivering the same. It’s not a guarantee, ARMS is a good sign.



There’s more happening in the world of ARMS beyond just graphics, as Nintendo aired a Direct livestream yesterday almost exclusively about the game. In addition to detailing much of the title’s roster and the various arm-based weapons available to it, the trailer touched on the planned modes and fight styles, which include Grand Prix, Versus, and a selection of more creative styles that include familiar games like volleyball and basketball. You can check out the full Direct above for all the info – my current take is that I’m far more excited for this game than I expected to be.


ARMS is set to launch on Switch June 16th, just one day after the Electronic Entertainment Expo concludes. Given that E3 is open to the public this year, it seems a perfect strategic maneuver: entice the public with a fun showfloor demo, enamor the press with the same, and before anyone’s excitement has time to wear off, ARMS will be available for purchase. We’ll see if things play out so smoothly, but the game is available to try via “Global Testpunch” ahead of release if you find yourself unable to wait.