Unity Technologies has recently announced that they’ve entered into a “strategic partnership” with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), and that their free game development tool will be able to publish to Sony consoles before 2014.
This is big news for indie, hobbyist, and professional game developers alike! Game developers using Unity will soon be able to create games for the Playstation 4 and PS Vita consoles, further expanding the wide array of targets Unity can already publish to.
What is Unity?
For those unaware, Unity is a cross-platform game engine for developing 3D games. It comes with built-in scripting, scene editor, shader support, physics simulation, and all the tools one needs to create games that look and play great. Not only is the basic version free to download, at any time you can upgrade it to add support for more platforms (iOS, Android, Flash) and more special features (lighting, animation, pathfinding).
With a myriad of online tutorials and hot new games being created with it every day, Unity is becoming a powerful name in the game development scene. We love it here at VFS, and many of our students’ industry projects are created with it!
What does this mean for game developers?
Sony has been opening up to indie developers and smaller companies, where their game development platforms are concerned, and they’re not the only ones. The upcoming Ouya seeks to make console development more widely available and affordable for developers, and Valve (operating their popular game portal Steam) have their eyes on the console market as well with the upcoming Steam Box.
Console development has always been a large investment and commitment for game developers, with SDKs costing plenty and needing publishers to impress. But now, with consoles partnering with free development kits like Unity and opening the floodgates to indie developers, the console market, rather than dying, may be the talk of the next decade.
To be able to build my games all in one place, free of investment, and have the option and opportunity to launch on dozens of different platforms, is a dream come true for many developers, including myself. I hope this trend continues.
Chevy Ray Johnston teaches Flash and Advanced Flash