Feeds

Unity 3 debuts (sans Jobsian code spectre)

New freedom. New version

Boost IT visibility and business value

Three weeks after it was freed from the spectre of Steve Jobs' infamous code translation ban, Unity has unveiled the long-awaited third version of its cross-platform 3D game development kit.

Among other things, Unity 3 offers a, well, unified editor, letting you deploy applications to any supported platform — including the web, the iPhones, the iPad, Android devices, and various gaming consoles — from a single codebase.

Unity has offered its 3D game-building kit for various platforms since 2005, and it now boasts over 200,000 registered users. But it's perhaps most famous for finding itself caught squarely in the middle of Steve Jobs' epic spat with Adobe. This past spring, when Jobs banned iPhone and iPad applications written in languages other than Objective C, C, or C++ — a crackdown on Adobe Flash at the very least — many assumed that Unity would be banned as well. The company's kit is based on Mono, the open source incarnation of Microsoft's .NET, and it compiles .NET code straight to assembly.

For months, Unity and its users were left to wonder whether the Apple app police would evict the platform — Apple wouldn't provide an answer one way or another — but earlier this month, Jobs suddenly lifted his code-translation ban, officially allowing not only Unity-built but also Adobe Flash–built native apps onto iPhones and iPads.

Whatever Steve Jobs thinks of cross-platform kits, Unity lets you code for more than just Apple devices. In addition to fashioning apps for Android devices, Macs, PCs, the Wii, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation, it builds for the web via its own browser plug-in. Android love is new to version 3, and according to Unity the current tools do "not represent the final Unity Android quality."

Version 3 also offers Beast lightmapping from Swedish outfit Illuminate labs, deferred rendering, occlusion culling, audio filters, lens effects, and a source-level debugger. Like its predecessors, Unity 3 is available for free to students and new companies with less than $100,000 in revenue during the previous year. Larger companies must opt for the premium version of the product, Unity Pro, priced at $1,500 per developer per seat. Current Unity Pro users can upgrade for $750.

If you want to develop for Android, Apple's iOS, or game consoles, you pay additional fees. Unity iPhone (for the free version of Unity) is priced at $300 per seat for new users or $100 per seat for upgrades, and Unity iPhone Pro is $1,200 or $500. Unity Android is $1,500 (Unity Pro required). And game-console development is priced on a per-title license.

You can download Unity 3 here. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.