Differences can be found across the multiple releases of Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.
It was the first game of the series in which EA Canada hadn't shared development between computer and console releases, instead focusing on the Windows iteration in order to capitalise on the strong points of PC hardware. The PlayStation release was developed by Eden Games, a French studio then known for creating the V-Rally series.
- Players has to create different profiles for each race mode in the PlayStation release, whilst in the PC release all modes are accessed with one profile;
- In the PC release, character pictures are provided during the profile creation, allowing to choose from either male or female drivers.
- The PC release features the Porsche Chronicle section;
- Players can view pictures, videos, and vintage promotional material from the Porsche lineup, organised chronologically and by car lineup.
- Only some songs are shared between the PC and PlayStation soundtracks;
- "Metrognome" by Captain Ginger, "Twin" by Cypher, and "Rezidue" by Morphadron are featured during races in both releases.
- "Dr. Know" by Morphadron is featured at menus in the PC release and at the end of races in the PlayStation release.
- "R U Ready" by Morphadron is featured during races in the PC release, during the History Video in the PlayStation release, and during the Classic Era introduction video in both releases.
- "Reduction" by Captain Ginger and "Andromeda" by Morphadron are featured during races in the PlayStation release, and at Porsche Chronicle in the PC release during the race models and 356 lineage videos.
- "Psychonaught" by Captain Ginger is featured at menus in the PC release, and a shortened version of it is featured during the Quick Race menu in the PlayStation release.
- The remainder of the PC release's soundtrack is credited to previous Need for Speed composers Morphadron (Rom di Prisco), Captain Ginger (Saki Kaskas), and Cypher (Crispin Hands). Meanwhile, the remainder of the PlayStation release's soundtrack is mostly credited to Thomas Colin and Emmanuel Lauvernier.
- The PC release's car handling features a four-point physics model.
- The PC release features a cockpit camera, including head movement simulation.
- Progression is year based, with cars and their respective events being available only after their launch year.
- The race class events are only available at the end of their respective era:
- The car is offered to the player and its events can not be replayed.
- Car Showcases include pictures and detailed data about each car.
- Customisation options include mechanical components, engine swaps, rims, body parts, decals, tyres, change of interior and exterior colour, and perform some fine tuning.
- The club meeting events are available only upon completing the eras to which they are related.
- All cars and events are available from the beginning of their respective eras.
- The race class events are available from the beginning of their respective era:
- The player has to buy their own car and its events can be replayed.
- Text with car specifications are offered as opposed to Showcases.
- Customisation options only include changing exterior body colour and fine tuning.
- The courses have slight changes through the Evolution Mode.
- The Classic and Golden eras have their own racing and menu soundtrack, to reflect their respective time periods.
- Players has to perform 360-degree or 180-degree spins, slaloms, time trials, car deliveries, and race against the other test drivers.
- Players are rewarded with three cars applied with unique liveries.
- The Factory Driver mode has fewer missions and is centred on slalom, time trials, and delivery.
- Players are rewarded with race cars for the Quick Race mode.
- The PC release features Quick Race, Quick Knockout, and Knockout modes, for single player or online multiplayer.
- The PlayStation release features Time Battle, Race, Chase, and Capture the Flag modes, for single player or up to four players.
- The PC release features minor car interactions including functional turn signals and hazard lights, as well as animated doors, bonnet, boots, and convertible roofs.
- The PlayStation release features the Porsche 356/1 prototype, 924 lineup, 968 lineup, and a more comprehensive 928 lineup (only the Porsche 928 GTS is featured on PC). The PC release lacks these cars, but still presents media about them at the Porsche Chronicle section.
- The PlayStation release has exclusive variants, such as the Porsche 911 Carrera (964) Speedster, Porsche 911 Carrera RS (964), and Porsche 911 Carrera RS (993).
- In the PlayStation release, the 356 A lineup is featured with the Porsche 356 pre-A taillights.
- The PC release has a more comprehensive lineup for the Porsche 356 and the Porsche 914.
- The PC release has the Porsche 935/78 Coupe "Moby Dick" as the Golden Era race car, whilst the PlayStation release has the Porsche 917K as the Golden Era race car.
- In the PC release, the Porsche 959, Porsche 928 GTS, Porsche 911 GT2 (993), and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (996) are offered as additional downloadable content, whilst the PlayStation release has them included in the base game.
- The PC release features nine point-to-point courses; five circuits and a skid pad, all set within Western Europe (France, Germany and Monaco).
- The PlayStation release has five locations based around the world - featuring 20 circuits - with each four based on a segment of one of the locations; Germany, France, USA, Scotland, and Japan.
- Unrelated to these locations, three racing circuits are also available.
Game Boy Advance
- Developed by Pocketeers, a Game Boy Advance release was made available in March 2004.
- It is loosely based on the PC release, but simplified due to hardware limitations.
- It offers two game modes; Quick Race and a shortened Evolution Mode.
- Article: IGN.com (2000) Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed. Available at: https://www.ign.com/articles/2000/01/20/need-for-speed-porsche-unleashed-4