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Pre-GDC: Unity Announces 3.0 Platform, Support For PS3, iPad, And Android
Pre-GDC: Unity Announces 3.0 Platform, Support For PS3, iPad, And Android
March 8, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

March 8, 2010 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, GDC, Programming

Unity Technologies revealed the third generation of its development platform with several new updates, and expanded its list of supported platforms to include PlayStation 3, iPad, and Android.

Unity 3.0 promises updates to its rendering capabilities and physics features, as well as core systems optimizations designed to make targeting multiple platforms easier for developers. The platform will include integrated licensed technology like Illuminate Labs's Beast lighting software for photorealistic scene lighting.

This third iteration will also incorporate Umbra Software's occlusion culling product, which is designed help performance for games with large, open scenes and complex geometry. The platform's top-end version, Unity Pro, will include both Umbra and Beast at no additional cost.

Unity Technologies updated its Unity iPhone for version 3.0 to include streaming audio support for smaller build size, Bluetooth multiplayer support, faster in-game GUIs", and a 2D sprite engine. Furthermore, the company's iPhone product will offer performance improvements that promise to provide faster frame rates.

The company says that with its new platform support for PlayStation 3, iPad, and Android, it offers developers an opportunity to target a larger install base than any other game engine. Unity's game engine currently can produce games for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Wii, with support for Xbox 360 announced last October.

Unity 3.0 is slated to release this summer with its entry-level version available for free for commercial use. The company intends to keep the Unity Pro version at its current price of $1500 per developer seat, with upgrades priced at $750. Developers who preorder Unity Pro 3.0 will receive early access to the platform's beta builds.

"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," says Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason.

He continues, "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."

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E Zachary Knight
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This is very odd.

here is a link to their Android phone support Poll:

There is a total of 474 votes as of me writing this.

Now here is their Linux support poll:

810 votes as of this writing. Yes they both have a large voting base for the respective platform, but the Linux one has so much more demand than the Android one.

I really hope that their next release will have Linux support built in as I will then choose to use it.

Dave Endresak
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It will be interesting to see the response from all the consoles due to the very large install base for those platforms. I haven't really seen too much marketing for Unity, though, but maybe I've just missed it. If they get the word out, they might really see some incredible volume of user-created offerings.

Paul Reynolds
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Unity should not be confused with other watered down "game maker" tools. I can honestly say with over 10 years commercial video game experience that Unity is an industrial strength platform with the extensibility and ease of use that internal Tools & Tech teams could only dream of. I'm not a paid evangelist, just a very satisfied licensee of Unity Pro and Unity iPhone.

Jarryd Huntley
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@Ephriam Knight

I do agree it is odd, but I find it more ironic since AndroidOS is modified version of the Linux kernel...

Regardless its good to see Unity3D making more progress.

Wolf Wozniak
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How exactly does PS3 support work? I can't find it on their site.

Is it through Minis? Because that's for PSP, it just happens to work on PS3.

And also, the Mini's devkit by itself is still $1500.

Enlighten us!


Dustin Chertoff
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It's definitely a nice tool. My only issue with it is figuring out how to add my own custom systems (i.e. for monitoring player performance, or perhaps for adding custom AI behavior that modifies scenarios on the fly). Admittedly, I haven't spent long with Unity, but it didn't seem like it supported integration of non-typical game like features already built-in to the scripting language.

Joe Woynillowicz
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Regarding Android vs Linux I am guessing the reason is because Android systems are much more likely to be media consumption devices and support the whole "App Store" ecosystem, and would therefore likely have a much larger user base. This is just my guess on the matter.

William Welch
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Building for consoles(Wii, PS3 and Xbox) requires you to be a registered developer with the respective console manufacturers. You can't just buy a Unity console license and build a PS3 version of your game, burn it to a disc and go to town. It's not an option for the average consumer. Those build options are for legit developers who already have contracts in place. The actual price depends on what you plan to do. Unity Technologies is going to charge you more if you're making a AAA boxed retail game for the Xbox vs. a downloadable XBLA application.

@Dustin Chertoff: in almost all cases, if you can program it, you can do it in Unity. The API exposes pretty much everything you need to code game behavior and editor tools. The only things they keep locked away are core engine functions like low-level rendering code and things like that.

Tobin Russell
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I used Unity 3D when I worked at Knowledge Adventure as a designer. Though Unity has some issues here and there, it is a very impressive package. I'm glad to see Unity finally is going to support PS3. I begged them to do so when they visited the office way back when and they seemed very resistant at the time.

Chuan Lim
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Very nice version release.! Curious as to whether developers are excited about the Android export functionality? Not been following the app + games on that platform but it still feels like a slow boil awaiting some kind of catalyst. Throw Windows Mobile 7 into the mix and perhaps its going to take a bit longer. Addition of Illuminate Lab's Beast is really impressive as well and shows Unity is serious with positioning itself as a professional tool ..

-- Chuan

Benjamin Marchand
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This update is just a giant slap in the face which makes me not regret a single moment of 2 years of supporting Unity tool/Unity Team.

Dustin Chertoff
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@William Welch

Thanks for letting me know! My company does a bunch of simulation programming, and we've been looking at various engines we can use to act as front-ends for our sims. Knowing that it is possible to connect our components to the engine will make it easier to convince the decision makers here to give it a shot.

sdva,jhg dgjhgj
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Why bother with the ipad at all? or even the PS3? If you've got Xbox360, then you've already got 100% of PS3 owners. Who owns a PS3 but not a 360?

Juan Manuel Serruya
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Im really glad to see this, looks like the best option for small / medium size studios.