Unity Move To Expand Their XR Platform Range
It's not just Magic Leap support that was announced at GDC 2018.
When it comes to the number of platforms that Unity Technologies support with their ever-developing Unity engine, they are, to put it mildly, rather prolific. From older videogaming platforms like Nintendo’s Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS, to both Google head mounted displays (HMDs), Microsoft’s Hololens, the PlayStation VR, the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. It even provides support for both Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore augmented reality toolkits.
It’s a fact they are also very proud of.
“We provide access to the greatest number of build targets, and we’re always adding support for the most desired and relevant platforms.” Explained the firm on their official blog. “When important new devices enter the market, we want to ensure we have day-one support for you.”
As such, they are always looking to for the next platform to come, and in the case of this year’s Game Developer Conference (GDC) four new platforms were announced as being added to the mix going forward. The first was, in many ways, perhaps both the most and least surprising, Magic Leap and its Magic Leap One HMD.
Announced in the same week as Unreal Engine was revealed to the supporting the mysterious headset which continues to beguile investors everywhere. Unity revealed that among other things a Technical Preview for Magic Leap’s creator portal. As Unity themselves put it, “Unity believes the world is a better place with more creators in it, and platforms such as Magic Leap will unleash new forms of creativity which we can’t wait to see.”
Google Play Instant
Revealed yesterday during the Google Developer Day, a traditional GDC Day One event, the new service from Google is being rolled out to developers some time later this year. Trialled with partners in a closed Beta at the end of 2017, Google Play Instant involves the creation of a short demo of an app or videogame that can be near instantly loaded. Giving users a quick taste of what the software entails and inviting them to download the full version. ‘Instants’ are made available by an additional Try Now button added to store pages. You can find out more here.
Unveiled last year at Oculus Connect 4, and being released this Spring, the standalone HMD neither requires a PC to run it nor a compatible smartphone in order for it to function. Unity has confirmed that developers will be utilising the same workflow methods that they currently employ when developing for the Samsung Gear VR, which is made in partnership with Oculus.
Google Daydream Standalone
Also adding to the existing range of headsets comes support for the line of Google Daydream Standalone HMDs, which in this instance means the Lenovo Mirage Solo – something that VRFocus went hands-on with earlier this month. As with the Oculus Go this is somewhat utilising the support already in existence for its predecessor, adding 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) support on to the existing Daydream platform.
VRFocus spoke to Unity further about their continued push across immersive platforms following their GDC keynote speech and you’ll be able to see what they have to say on the site very soon.