GUI upcoming in 4.6

For all of those of you who can’t wait to get your hands on the new GUI, we’re very happy to be able to tell you that it’s upcoming in Unity 4.6.

Unity 4.5: Over 450 bug fixes, a 2D physics makeover and more

No other Unity release has featured so many bug fixes: by downing more than 450 of the little critters, we’ve set a new record! Plus, thanks to our all new Module Manager, with Unity 4.5 we’ll be able to serve you platform-specific hotfixes across mobile platforms.

The latest release in the 4.x cycle, also brings you across the board 2D physics improvements, a major update to the shader compiler, improved MonoBehaviour serialization and added iOS support for OpenGL ES 3.0.

OpenGL ES 3.0 for everyone

Unity 4.5 adds OpenGL ES 3.0 support for the latest iOS devices. What’s more, we’ve brought a bunch of improvements to ES 3.0 support generally, including much better graphics level selection in player settings, support for 3D textures and a number of stability and performance fixes.

Smooth and natural 2D physics

There are lots and lots of 2D physics advances to benefit from in 4.5. We’ve dug around and changed some things in Box2D as well as adding functions that bring 2D physics better into line with the functions and conventions of our 3D physics system.

Faster scene loading

We’ve introduced a significant performance improvement by reworking MonoBehaviour serialization. From now on, your prefabs will instantiate way faster. As well as serializing classes, you can now also serialize structs, making it easier to be friendly to the garbage collector.

Shader workflow boost

No more coffee breaks while waiting for Image Effects, Marmoset Skyshop or other advanced shader packs to import. Our all-new shader importer makes things much, much faster. Plus, we’ve also improved shader errors reporting, and made debugging surface-shader-generated code so much easier.

Rapid repairs

The Module Manager now allows us to ship hotfixes across all the mobile platforms we support. If, for example, an OS update has unfortunate consequences for Unity installs, we’ll be able to address any issues at double-quick speed, meaning you won’t have to wait for the next full Unity release to access fixes. Read more about how you can get Unity bug fixes faster.

Joint gizmos, wheel joints and API sophistication

Amongst many other things, our 2D tools now feature a wheel joint for your vehicular pleasure and some super-amazing 2D joint gizmos, plus you’ll find that we’ve added sophistication and flexibility to the API.

Drag as you play

As always, our Beta group have been a great help in ensuring release quality. One feature they particularly loved in 4.5 was the ability to drag 2D rigidbody objects around whilst in the editor’s play mode. Drag, drop and play to your heart’s content!

Unity Remote iOS upgrade

Unity Remote is our playtesting solution for iOS and Android. As of Unity 4.5, there’ll be no more Wifi latency when playtesting your games on iOS devices. Plus, we’ve added support for the full range of iOS device inputs including accelerometers, gyroscopes and camera images. Unity Remote is available free of charge from Google Play and the App Store.

Stereoscopic rendering for DirectX 11

Many of today’s displays have a 3D feature and ship with 3D glasses, but few games are designed to take advantage of this. In Unity 4.5 we’ve added a Pro-only function that automates the process of building stereoscopic content for any Windows appliance running DirectX 11, making it much easier to build stereoscopic games.

Sparse Textures

Want massive, detailed textures without using huge amounts of memory? With Sparse Textures, textures are broken into “tiles” and can be loaded and unloaded as needed. In Unity 4.5, we’re exposing this DirectX 11.2 hardware capability, so you can build your own massive texture systems that use it.

There’s much more

Specify which node of your character to take root motion from, render from native code plugins on mobile platforms and get improved preview resolutions on Windows Phone 8. Check the release notes for the full low-down!

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