Unity 5 Announced at GDC

Unity 5

Unity 5

News out of the 2014 Games Development Conference (GDC) today, as Unity Technology has announced Unity 5, the next generation of their multi-platform game development framework.

The release date for Unity 5 has not yet been revealed, although it is likely to be in late 2014. Unity 4.6 will be the last major Unity 4 update, to be released yet this spring, and will include an overhauled GUI system.

New Features

Enlighten Global Illumination System

Unity 5 will feature the integrated Enlighten real-time global illumination technology. Enlighten, by Geomerics, has formerly been integrated into the Unreal Engine 3 and 4, and has plug-in support for 3DS Max and Maya. It is the winner of the 2012 Develop Industry Excellence Award for Technical Innovation.

Physically-based Shaders

Unity 5 will feature a built-in physically-based shader system, designed to cover a wide variety of real-world materials under all lighting situations. This also includes a vastly improved workflow, from the art pipeline all the way to the UI. Unity 5 will introduces full deferred shading and baked reflection probes for realistic environment-based specular highlights.

New Audio System

Unity’s entire audio system is being redesigned in favor of a more robust and flexible one. Included will be a new Audio Mixer designed to allow highly complex real-time re-routing and effects. Mixer settings can be made into snapshots, for dynamic transition between sound profiles during gameplay.

WebGL Add-on Target

Unity Technologies has announced its collaboration with Mozilla to bring WebGL and asm.js support to Unity. In Unity 5.0, developers will be able to access Unity’s WebGL add-on to create games to run in modern browsers, without plug-ins. Formerly, Unreal Engine had been the only company to target the WebGL, so this announcement is exciting!

Unity Cloud

The Unity Cloud cross-promotion network will be available with Unity 5, enabling mobile game developers to run full screen interstitial ads, exchange ads with other Unity developers, and directly access game installs. This provides access to over half a billion potential customers, for free.

Additional improvements

  • Unity is now 64-bit
  • New multithreaded job scheduler
  • NVIDIA PhysX 3.3
  • Easier and incremental building of Asset Bundles
  • New 2D physics effectors
  • SpeedTree Integration
  • NavMesh improvements
  • Mecanim StateMachine Behaviours
  • Loading optimizations
  • and much more!

Unity Pro developers who are using Unity 4 can upgrade to Unity 5 for only $600, and those still using Unity 3 can upgrade for $750. These upgrade prices are available for a limited time. New customer can license Unity Pro 5 now for $1500, and will immediately receive Unity Pro 4 to use until Unity 5 is released.

Learn More

More information about Unity 5 will be released soon. For now, check out the official Unity 5 page on the Unity website, as well as some Frequently Asked Questions.

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