Tuesday, July 9, 2024
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Unity opens beta for visionOS development

Unity developers interested in creating games for the Apple Headset Pro can now sign up to access Unity’s beta program for visionOS development. The beta includes access to Unity PolySpatial, the company’s tool optimized for “spatial computing experiences”—the kind made possible by the Apple Vision Pro’s combination of virtual and augmented reality.

Unity Runtime and Editor senior vice president Ralph Hauwert told Game Developer that the software is optimized to take advantage of the “interaction paradigm” that Apple has crossed with the development of visionOS. PolySpatial is designed around the idea that Apple Vision Pro users will have “multiple apps running at the same time,” and that the software makes Unity games feel “at home” on the device.

Though developers like Triband are using PolySpatial to port games like What The Golf? to visionOS, Hauwert said this is an opportunity for Unity developers to begin imagining the “new kinds of applications” that are possible in a world of spatial computing.

Even though the pricy headset hasn’t hit the market yet, Hauwert said there’s “opportunity” for developers to get wellversed in how to build applications for the headset and make games feel “the way they should” on this device.

Can Unity developers expect to build a business on visionOS?

Developers looking to draw revenue from the wave of Apple Vision Pro early adopters may need to temper their expectations. Sources speaking to The Financial Times recently indicated that Apple has downgraded its manufacturing targets for the first run of $3,500 headsets, and delayed its plans for a cheaper consumer-level device.

So while Unity’s beta program may not provide a short-term return on investment, there are still upsides to beginning to experiment with games on the device. As Omdia analyst George Jijiashvili pointed out, this headset won’t be shipping with hand-based controllers like you find on the Meta Quest and PlayStation VR headset lines. That means it’s a platform primed for developers to begin thinking about interactions that purely rely on the user’s hands.

And as we know, some developers are already analyzing how hands can be part of the game design process.

Game Developer and Omdia are sibling organizations under Informa Tech


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