Unity 3 goes live with added features

Basic version of cross-platform development software remains free

Unity Technologies has made the latest version of its game development engine Unity available, with the basic version of the software available for commercial use for free.

UnityPro, which is the company's premier version of the tool, will cost $1500 (948) per 'developer seat', whilst owners of the current UnityPro version can upgrade for $750 (475).

Unity 3 is a 3D development tool designed to allow cross-platform development between iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, Android, Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"This audacious dream of building a truly unified platform for game development is coming to fruition," said David Helgason, CEO of Unity.

"With tens of thousands of teams of every shape and size using Unity, across every genre and all major platforms, across all parts of the game industry as well as most other industries, economies of collaboration and sharing and scale of stunning dimensions are being realised."

Key among the new features of Unity 3 is the Unified Editor, which allows users to deploy projects to any supported platform from a single editor, as well as new lightmapping, deferred rendering, occlusion culling, a source level debugger and new audio filters and lighting effects.

In June Unity celebrated its fifth birthday with over 30 million instances of its Unity Webplayer installed, and now counts more than 200,000 developers using its tools.

Unite 2010, which the company runs as a development and networking conference focused on the engine and its use, will take place in Montreal on November 10-12, 2010.

Unity also announced today that its engine has won the Wall Street Journal's software innovation award.

"We couldn't be more excited to be recognised thus by one of the world's most respected and widely read publications. This is the latest in a series of accolades for Unity," said Helgason in response to the award.

"We remain doggedly focused on simplifying game development tools to make them available to everyone from the individual enthusiast to the most demanding of game development studios."

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