Unity 4.5 ships
Unity Technologies has shipped Unity 4.5: the latest free update to the game engine. Largely a performance and bugfix release, version 4.5 also updates the new 2D physics toolset introduced in Unity 4.3.
New 2D physics tools, plus stereo support for DirectX games
Unity 4.5’s new 2D physics features include new gizmos for manipulating 2D joints and a dedicated wheel joint type. Users can also drag 2D rigid-body objects around in the ‘editor’s play’ mode.
The update also adds OpenGL ES 3.0 support for iOS devices; and, if you’re using the Pro edition, stereoscopic rendering for DirectX 11 games.
New Module Manager system to streamline future releases
Version 4.5 also introduces a new Module Manager system, which should enable the developer to push out updates for Unity’s Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone add-ons without the need for a full release.
Other than that, it’s mainly bugfixes – over 450 of them, apparently – and shader and scene loading has been sped up, although Unity doesn’t put any figures on the speed boost.
Pricing and system requirements
Unity 4.5 is available for Windows and Mac OS X. The $1,500 Pro edition includes the BlackBerry and Windows Phone add-ons; the iOS and Android add-ons are priced separately. There is also a cut-down free version.
Anyone waiting for Unity 5, announced earlier this year, and demoed again last week, will have to be patient a bit longer: the developer has confirmed that there will be at least one more release in the 4.x cycle first.