Last month VRFocus reported on the updates that the upcoming 4.6 version of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine development tool will bring. The changelog includes some significant updates for virtual reality (VR) developers that will help them improve their experiences for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) on PC and other devices. Today Epic Games has finally released Unreal Engine 4.6 for licence owners so that they can now take full advantage of that changelog.
Crucially, Unreal Engine 4.6 adds support for Oculus VR’s 0.4.3 software development kit (SDK), helping to ensure that VR experiences will run as smoothly as possible. Elsewhere, developers can also now add 3D user interfaces using a new widget, which will likely prove essential for VR in which standard menus and information tend to clash with the technology. The team has also added another widget that will also players to broswer the web from within a given videogame. There’s also a new Network Replay Capture system that allows for an ‘instant replay’ of gameplay for users to edit, stream and share. The engine now also supports game worlds of up to 20km across.
Unreal Engine 4 is proving a popular tool for VR development thanks to its accessible integration with both the Oculus Rift and the Project Morpheus PlayStation 4 HMD. Epic Games itself has been a big supporter of VR, developing tech demos for new iterations of the Oculus Rift including the Showdown piece that was revealed alongside the latest prototype, Crescent Bay. The developer faces stiff competition from Unity, which is soon to launch its Unity 5 engine and recently integrated free support for the Oculus Rift.
Unreal Engine 4 is available from $19 USD a month, though is also available for free to students and schools. VRFocus will continue to follow the Unreal Engine, reporting back with any VR-related developments.