Yesterday, rumors wafted across the Atlantic from francophone fanzine Jeux-France.com. In a typically brief article, the site said that Ubisoft had confirmed that Splinter Cell Essentials, the franchise's first foray on the PSP, would be a prequel--meaning it would be an all-new title, not just a tweaked port. Specifically, Essentials would "explain the origins of Fisher," according to Jeux-France, which said the information was confirmed by French Ubisoft officials.
As it turns out, the Essentials-prequel rumor was partially true. Ubisoft reps confirmed to GameSpot that Splinter Cell Essentials would indeed include a "prequel aspect." The rep declined to elaborate what exactly the "aspect" would entail, but did say that "it definitely is not the primary focus" of the game.
The Ami-Ubi disclosure raises the possibility that Splinter Cell Essentials could be a tweaked port of a PlayStation 2 title, a la Prince of Persia Revelations. That game was a miniaturized version of the PS2 Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, with some new content added and several levels reworked.
So what exactly will Splinter Cell Essentials be? Ubisoft isn't saying--yet. "We are preparing to make an official announcement and will give more details very soon," said the rep.