Unity's 2018.1 release is now available. The first major point release of 2018 introduces several much-awaited new features including the Entity Component System (ECS) and the C# Job System and the new Scriptable Render Pipelines.
These new features form the basis of the company's push into the high-end console development space.
The ECS and C# Job System potentially provide huge performance leaps on the CPU side. Speaking to Unity founder Joachim Ante earlier this year, he described the system as providing "performance by default" alike to hand-tuned code on every hardware platform but without the expertise and tuning usually required. Users will need to adjust how they write their code in order to receive these benefits though.
There's a choice with the new Scriptable Render Pipelines with high-end experiences able to take advantage of the High-Definition Render Pipeline, responsible for the stunning Book of the Dead demo, while the Lightweight Render Pipeline can be used for mobile devices to balance performance with battery life.
Both of these advancements mark a first step into a new 'package' outlook for Unity. Both systems are currently in preview, though developers are free to use either or both, while relying on the more stable parts of the engine for all their other requirements. It lets developers push the envelope in areas that are important to them, while remaining on stable ground in other aspects.
Unity now supports over 25 platforms and adds optimised support for Magic Leap One, Oculus Go and Daydream Standalone in this release.