GDC: Unity claims 'engine with broadest support'

GDC: Unity claims 'engine with broadest support'
Michael French

By Michael French

March 9th 2010 at 8:58AM

New version of increasingly popular engine unveiled in San Francisco; Adds Android, iPad and PS3

Unity Technologies opened GDC with a bold claim. The firm unveiled the new v3.0 of its eponymous engine - now with support for Android, iPad and PS3 - and touted it to be the tech with the widest remit in games development.

The news follows on from an announcement in late 2009 that the engine, which is hugely popular for iPhone and web games, now supports Xbox 360 too. A Wii version was introduced last year also.

Unity is at GDC with its 'Author Once, Deploy Anywhere' pitch - which effectively lets developers build one version of a game with Unity and then be able to roll it out to platforms of all sizes.

"Since our first version in 2005, Unity Technologies has been focused on the democratization of interactive 3D and delivering an impressive list of technological advances making it the technology of choice for more than 100,000 developers today," said David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies.

"We have been driven by innovation and a desire to always offer the best capabilities to developers. Unity 3.0 is built on that same promise and allows our customers to further expand the reach of their games to new platforms and audiences."

Key improvements in v3.0 are updates to Unity's rendering capabilities, physics features  plus a number of other optimisations. Unity also includes fully integrated licensed technology from Illuminate Labs and Umbra Software.

And as usual, Unity touted low prices for its tech - a key part of its uptake has been enabling developers with small to non-existant budgets use Unity to launch their careers.

Unity has kept the entry level version of the engine as free for commercial use. Unity Pro, will retain its current price of $1,500 per developer seat while those looking to upgrade will have to pay $750.

A final release of V3.0 is planned for this summer, but developers can gain first access to beta builds by pre-ordering it from www.unity3d.com. Pre-order customers also get their Unity Pro 3.x licenses at a discount: $1,200 per seat for new licensees and $500 per seat for 2.x upgrades.

Improvements have also been made to Unity iPhone and Unity iPhone Pro, available to pre-order at similar discounts: $300 per seat for new licensees of Unity iPhone ($100 per seat for 1.x upgrades) and $1,200 per seat for new licensees of Unity iPhone Pro ($500 per seat for 1.x upgrades).