Unity Technologies has unveiled Unity 5 featuring signficant updates to its lighting and audio capabilities.
The fifth version of the game engine includes the integration of Gemoerics' lighting tech Enlighten, available to all licence holders free.
The update also comes with a new built-in physically-based shader system, as well as introducing full-deferred shading and baked reflection probes for more realistic environment-based specular highlights.
Unity has struck a partnership with Imagination Technologies to ship Unity 5 with in-editor real-time lightmap previews using the PowerVR Ray Tracing tech.
There are a number of features aside from lighting, including a completely rewritten audio pipeline that includes a new audio mixer designed to enable real-time re-routing and effects scenarios. Unity has also teamed with Mozilla to bring WebGL and asm.js support to Unity, bringing early access to the WebGL add-on once Unity 5 is released.
The Unity Cloud cross-promotion network will be officially launched alongside the update, allowing devs to run full screen ads in their mobile games and allowing them to exchange ad units with other developers.
Unity will also now run in 64-bit, contain a new multi-threaded job schedular and will integrate plant and tree modelling and rendering toolkit SpeedTree.
Unity 5 is now available for pre-order from the store and CEO David Helgason told Develop the engine update should be released this year. Those who pre-order will also receive Unity Pro 4.
“Every time we ship a new version of Unity, we’re looking to empower developers with technology that's more powerful and easier to apply than ever before,” said Unity CEO David Helgason.
“With the huge additions of physically-based shading, lighting workflows, a new platform, and a new built-in method for user acquisition, we’re improving Unity dramatically from both a creative and business perspective.”
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