Earlier in the year Unity Technologies revealed a roadmap for the new version of its Unity Engine, Unity 5. The look ahead revealed that future updates would be building on the middleware’s virtual reality (VR) support (which already included integration with the Oculus Rift and Gear VR head-mounted displays (HMDs)) with support for the Project Morpheus HMD on PlayStation 4. The update was projected to be arriving in the Unity 5.2 release and today that’s proved true.
Unity 5.2 is now available and packs a host of new features, including that support for the PlayStation 4 HMD that’s set for a consumer launch in the first half of 2016. There are also 2 other new deployment options in support for Windows 10 and Universal Windows Platform, which will be significant for those working with the Oculus Rift. There’s also SDK-free access to Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Cloud Build and Unity Multiplayer included in the package.
Returning to VR, Unity Technologies has made particle rendering optimisations ‘with speed improvements varying from 15% to 50% depending on geometry type’ and fixed an issue on Gear VR in which the HMD would not report ‘FEATURE_AUDIO_LOW_LATENCY’.
On top of that some known issues have been flagged up for those work on the Oculus Rift and Gear VR platforms. On the Oculus Rift side, the company has pointed out linear lighting and MSAA crashes, advising developers to use gamma lighting until a fix is established. The Oculus Rift is also not rendering after it reconnects to Windows 10 with runtime 0.7, the latest version of the Oculus VR SDK. On Mac, a platform that Oculus VR is yet to recommit to, there’s no image to the HMD.
Finally, for Gear VR, there’s a crash when using OpenGL ES 2.0, and developers are advised to use 3.0 until a fix arrives.
VRFocus will continue to follow Unity Technologies’ work with VR, reporting back with the latest updates on it.