Unity Technologies, already synonymous with game development for many studios, has released their latest engine build. Called Unity 5.4, the main draw of this iteration of the Unity engine is it makes Multiplatform VR support that much easier. Developing for everything from the Oculus Rift to the HTC Vive and the PSVR is that much simpler. There is even now native support for Google Daydream for mobile developers included.
Following their announcement, Unity Technologies explained what developers could do with Unity 5.4 in their official blog. It reads:
“Unity 5.4 now includes built-in and optimized rendering support for OpenVR (SteamVR/HTC Vive), Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and Playstation VR platforms. Through a single API you can easily build for multiple platforms with device-specific tweaking kept to a minimum.
“To enable this, we’ve refactored the VR subsystem to eliminate redundant code that duplicated functionalities across VR devices. On the performance side, we’ve added the Optimized Single-Pass Stereo Rendering feature (previously called Double Wide Rendering), so now both viewports are rendered in a single pass, to help sustain high frame rates.”
Unity 5.4 and You
For non-game developers this does not mean a great deal immediately. However, making Multiplatform titles with VR support simpler lowers the barrier to entry. This could lead to a wider variety of VR titles from even indie studios down the line. With a significant majority of gamers interested in getting a VR headset in the near future, this is good news for smaller studios.