3DS Can Run Unreal Engine Without Performance Hit
With Sony's impressive NGP looming over the horizon, many studios and pundits have been quick to write off the 3DS as a lesser device. None have been more vocal than Epic Games, who have completely dismissed Nintendo's handheld on the grounds that it can't handle the Unreal Engine. Ubisoft, however, have hit back in defence of the 3DS... and state that it's perfectly capable of running Epic's engine without a performance hit - in full 3D.
In an interview with Gamespot regarding Splinter Cell 3D, Ubisoft Montreal's Fabrice Cuny describes the 3DS as being "powerful" and "impressive"... and that clever programming allows it to run the Unreal Engine without a performance hit. Epic are still unlikely to bite without the second thumbstick, mind.
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.
In terms of graphics and gameplay potential, Cuny suggests that the 3DS sits halfway between a Wii and a DSi. After all, it essentially as all the gadgets of both. Nintendo are also apparently providing excellent dev tools and support to ensure that its launch lineup is bug-free.
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.
The 3DS (and Splinter Cell 3D) launches tomorrow. I'll be all over the hardware review, but in the meantime, why not look at our automatically-updating software buyer's guide?