PSP developers impressed with Sony’s new toy.

Despite concerns over real-world battery life for Sony’s new Playstation Portable (PSP), it’s looking like it may actually live up to some of the hype that’s been flying around since it was first announced. The folks at GameSpot spoke with several developers who all stated that they were actually impressed once they got their hands on a final production unit as it exceeded their expectations in some ways:

Numerous developers we spoke with indicated that the PSP unit turned out to be much stronger than expected. Most developers singled out the PSP’s screen as the most surprising part of the new system.

According to EA associate producer Joel Manners, “The beauty of the image on the screen was far brighter, far crisper, far more robust than we thought it was going to be. In fact, when we first got the development kits in, we had to rethink how to do more—the screen was way more than we thought it would be.”

EA’s initial PSP test software looked great on emulators using regular CRT displays, but the actual PSP screen appeared bland because it didn’t take advantage of the screen’s brightness and contrast. The developers had to adjust light models and textures to take advantage of the extra detail and vibrancy provided by the screen.

The graphics power of the unit is also capable of processing higher polygon counts than expected. Developers moving existing console franchises to the PSP can spend more time on creating original art rather than worrying about reducing polygon counts on existing art.

Now if Sony can figure out how to give the unit a decent battery life it’d probably be just this side of perfect.

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