Unity game engine adds support for Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10


Unity Technologies released version 4.2 of its Unity game development engine, adding support for the BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) 10 mobile operating system as well as Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT.

The Unity platform includes tools designed to help developers builder richer, more interactive gaming experiences optimized for mobile devices, Web plugins and desktop platforms. "In Unity 4.2, all users of the free version of Unity can publish to any mobile platform they wish, be it Windows Phone 8, Windows Store, iOS, Android or BlackBerry 10 without it costing a dime," said Unity Development Director Vilmantas Balasevičius. "In addition, Unity Pro users can use the Windows Store Pro deployment option (which includes the Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps platforms) absolutely free of charge."

Balasevičius said Unity also is making a number of existing Unity Pro features available to users of the free version, including real-time shadow effects, text-based serialization of materials, prefabs, scenes and NavMesh baking for improved game actor navigation. "In addition, as a developer using the free version of Unity you can cooperate with your colleagues using any version control system, because text-based serialization no longer requires a Unity Pro license," he noted.

Unity 4.2 also touts improvements and new features like OpenGL ES 3.0 support for Android, deferred lighting for Android and iOS, and Custom Game View resolutions and aspect ratios. The complete Unity 4.2 release notes are here.

The release of Unity 4.2 should help game developers more efficiently roll out their titles across multiple mobile platforms. A majority of the most popular applications optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android are not available on Windows Phone and BlackBerry, research firm Canalys reported in May.

"The availability of key apps is a factor in motivating consumers' initial mobile device purchasing decisions, and it will only become more so," said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd. "But moreover, it is a major factor in determining ongoing consumer satisfaction. Simply, Windows Phone and BlackBerry customers do not want to miss out on apps (or app features) from important and locally relevant brands, or the latest games, because of their choice of smartphone. It is therefore imperative for the success of both Windows Phone and BlackBerry that their respective app ecosystems attract and offer the high-quality content that consumers want and would otherwise miss."

For more:
- read this Unity blog post

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