Unity lays groundwork for more VR games with latest upgrade

The company has added native support for the Oculus Rift, and more are on the way

PCWorld senior writer Brad Chacos using the original Oculus Rift developer kit.

PCWorld senior writer Brad Chacos using the original Oculus Rift developer kit.

Virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift will never make it big without lots of content. To help developers build games for such platforms, Unity Technologies has begun adding VR-specific features to its suite of cross-platform development tools.

Unity's platform is already used to build games for smartphones, PCs, TVs and game consoles. Now, the company has, like many others, caught the VR bug. Unity version 5.1, which was launched on Tuesday, includes a first round of VR features.

Native Oculus Rift support is now available to all Unity users. To help developers, the update to Unity's platform also handles a number of VR-specific features out of the box. Important basics such as head tracking and the correct field of view are applied automatically and rendered in stereo. Support for Microsoft's HoloLens and Gear VR from Samsung will be added in the near future. The company said it didn't have anything to announce regarding native support for HTC's Vive. But there are already third-party SDK's for that device, including Google's Cardboard and others.

Version 5.1 will also add the Unity Multiplayer Service, to make it easier to build multiplayer games. The Multiplayer Service is currently in preview but will become generally available soon. It offers a Matchmaker server, designed to make it easier for gamers to find others to play with, and a Relay server, which aims solve connectivity problems for players trying to connect to each other behind firewalls.

These are the first multiplayer and VR features that will be native to the Unity software, and they are just first steps, the company said.

Version 5.1 can be downloaded from Unity's website. Developers can choose between the free Personal Edition or the Professional Edition, priced starting at US$75 per month, or $1,500.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags softwareapplication developmentUnity Technologies

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?