Unity Technologies announced today that Unity 5.6 will release on March 31st, marking the final installment of Unity 5. At GDC 2017, the company also provided an early look at Unity 2017, the next generation of Unity, and announced that the beta version of Unity 2017.1 will be arriving in April.
John Riccitiello, CEO at Unity Technologies, said:
“The Unity 5 cycle culminating in 5.6 represents great progress in our key focus areas: graphics, performance, stability, efficiency and platform growth. I’m really proud of what our engineering teams delivered. Features like Physically Based Rendering, Global Illumination, and Codeless IAP are just a few of the advancements that have helped make Unity 5, and the community it powers, so successful.”
Here are the key features of Unity 5.6:
- Progressive Lightmapper speeds up iteration and testing of lighting scenarios and reduces baking times.
- Navigation Mesh system adds AI and pathfinding to more easily control character navigation through giant game worlds.
- New Video Player supports smooth 4K playback to provide immersive video and enable the creation of 360 video experiences.
- Native support for Vulkan graphics API provides better performance across Windows, Tizen, and Android platforms, while consuming less device power.
- TextMesh Pro provides improved control of text formatting and layout through Advanced Text Rendering and is now available for free to users of 5.3+, with native Unity integration coming in Unity 2017.