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Unity making its VR dev tool open source

Engine maker's move may be more practical than principled; Unite LA event used to confirm Nintendo Switch support at launch

Unity today announced that its upcoming VR Editor tool will be open source. But as Unity CMO Clive Downie told Gamasutra, the move was made as much out of necessity as any commitment to open source software.

"One of the reasons why there's an open API, and we're making components of the VR editor open-source, is because we don't know everything," Downie said. "We found some things out about the creation process in VR that allows us to get to the offering that people are going to see. But we know that we can accelerate the development of it far faster if we allow people to do that with us... We found out that there's a lot of learning to do, and probably too much learning for us to kind of commit into a regular update cycle."

The tool, known as EditorVR, will debut in open beta form on December 15. The tool will have a version of the company's OctaneRender integrated into it, and the company is giving its 360-degree video player upgraded support for 4K video as well.

Unity also announced at its Unite LA event today that it would be supporting the Nintendo Switch platform at launch, noting that Super Mario Run is being built using Unity. The company is also supporting the Facebook Gameroom platform with open beta access of a new export-to-Facebook feature in the Unity Editor.

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