GAMING BLEND

Unity Engine 4.3 Now Supports The PS Vita

By William Usher 2014-01-15 11:40:15 discussion comments
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The PlayStation Vita has slowly been picking up pace in many circles of gaming. The device has been sorely trailing behind the Nintendo 3DS like Republicans have trailed behind Democrats voter appeal, policies and panache in the last two Presidential elections. The Vita is, however, picking it up as far as support goes, mostly due to Sony hunkering down and doing a lot to attach the Vita to many key features of the PlayStation 4.

The latest bit of news ties well into Sony's effort to help bolster the development appeal for the Vita by working hand-in-hand with Unity Technologies in order to open up development support for the Vita with the Unity 3D engine. This is big news, especially for development studios planning on making use of the PS4's cross-platform compatibility features with the Vita.

The news was made public on the Unity 3D blog, where any and everyone is able to head to the site to see what's what.

The big news is that the Unity Engine 4.3 is available to the public as a platform for the PS Vita. This means that games utilizing the latest in Unity technology will be able to get the porting treatment with ease onto Sony's handheld platform.

Not only is the Unity supportive of the handheld but the company has tapped into the portable's special features that help it separate itself from the competition. This means that developers are capable of utilizing the Vita's motion sensors for gyroscopic gameplay implementation, as well as features for utilizing both the front and rear cameras, which is key for augmented reality games, as well as full use of the dual analog sticks. As pretty much everyone already knows, any 3D game out there with full first or third-person controls relies heavily on dual-stick analog functionality, and any game made in Unity designed around those features are now eligible for port-and-play on the Vita with near 1:1 control mechanics.

In a way, this could mean that there is potentiality for seeing popular Unity titles like Interstellar Marines make the leap. The indie title was originally planned to release on the Xbox 360 and PS3 many years ago, so depending on how things go maybe we'll see it on portable platforms, too?

As noted on the official Unity blog...
“As with all the other platforms we support, Unity for PS Vita allows you to develop your game once, without rewriting the code from scratch; simply build and run it on your PS Vita devkit. Not only that, you can now create both 2D and 3D games with Unity 4.3, animate almost anything with the native animation system Mecanim, and implement very cool graphics. And all of it can be run directly on your PS Vita devkit for quick iteration!”

What's more is that PlayStation exclusive features such as Friends, matching and Trophy support are also integrated into the engine, so you can port a game over and easily tier your Trophies to various activities without requiring separate third-party software. This will make it especially easy for PC indie devs to get their game over onto the PS Vita without having to re-work key features or having to utilize additional middleware to ease the process of porting.

You can learn more about Unity 4.3 being made available for the PS Vita by paying a visit to the official Unity 3D website. If you already have a license for the Unity engine but you would like to make games for a PlayStation platform, feel free to check out the official website to find out more on how to become a registered PlayStation developer.
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