Many have doubted the technical prowess of Nintendo's latest little-handheld-that-could - Epic's own Mark Rein being perhaps the most vocal - but Ubisoft thinks that's all hogwash. And, more importantly, the publisher apparently has enough tricks up its sleeve to prove it.
"The 3DS is powerful, and we are able to run the Unreal engine on this console, which is pretty impressive for a handheld machine, and the 3D doesn’t affect the performance (thanks to my amazing programmers). The architecture is different compared to a Wii or some other platforms that we had to work with here at Ubisoft Montreal," Splinter Cell 3DS producer Fabrice Cuny told GameSpot.
"The 3DS can be much more comparable to a platform between a DSi and a Wii. We are able to create games anywhere from a puzzle game to very high-end game such as Splinter Cell 3D. The tools on the 3DS were brand new, and with every development phase, we had some tools with bugs and crashes. But with version after version, Nintendo provided us a set of tools and the support to help us debug and optimize the game."
So, will the 3DS be bench-pressing benchmarks alongside the NGP and iPad 2? Probably not. But that doesn't mean you should write it off before the battle's even begun. (Also, seriously, try to discount the thing after taking Ocarina of Time for a spin in 3D. It's your childhood, but better. Say what you will, but Nintendo's mastery over the forces of nostalgia is an otherworldly power that'd we can only imagine came from, well, a magical croissant-shaped flute.)