Gran Turismo 4 on the PlayStation Portable will be as straight a port of its PS2 progenitor as possible, according to series creator Kazunori Yamauchi, and should include the same volume of features and run comparably well.
Speaking in an interview on Sony's Japanese website, Yamauchi outlined the situation with GT4 PSP. "Currently, we're at a test point where we're seeing what we can do with the PSP, and what is best added or removed to achieve GT4 on the PSP. Because of this, I cannot yet speak concretely," he initially warned, before offering some thoughts.
"As far as volume is concerned, because we're using the GT4 name, we're of course envisioning the same level of volume as the PS2 GT4," he said. "The PSP is a portable game machine, so many think that it can be used to play simple games. Say whatever you will, it's a new generation of portable hardware, with performance that lines up with the PS2. Therefore, software development takes quite a bit of work. If you don't give it your all when making games, producing something good is difficult. Because of that, given that we're already making the GT4 systems on the PS2 hardware, we'll likely end up [making this game] by porting those systems to the PSP."
"There's basically two ways of making games for the PSP. One way is to develop an original new game, which in general will be limited in its content since the price of PSP games aren't going to be too high, meaning the game's development budget will also be limited. We're going to be taking the second method, which is to take a system from a major title, and effectively sliding it onto the PSP hardware," he clarified.
Yamauchi also commented on the status of the PS2 Gran Turismo 4, commenting that the essentials are in place and the game is around 75 per cent complete. "As a driving simulator, [the game] is already done," he said. "Now, we are doing work on how to make it into a game... entertainment." He also revealed that Polyphony Digital plans to continue adding as many new cars as its schedule permits, and will continue unveiling both cars and courses in the coming months ahead of release. Furthermore, the quality of cars and rival AI is apparently something we needn't worry about.
Gran Turismo 4 PS2 is still on track for release in November 2004 in Europe. In late May, Sony denied reports that the game had slipped until 2005, despite sources close to Sony telling Eurogamer otherwise. "We haven't been made aware of any changes to the schedule, but Polyphony are such perfectionists that they won't ship the game until it's absolutely ready," a Sony spokesperson said at the time.
Gran Turismo 4 on the PSP, meanwhile, doesn't currently have a specific release date, but it is expected to debut alongside the playable PSP unit at the Tokyo Game Show in late September.