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Multiplatform game engine Unity is expanding to PS Vita and PlayStation Mobile this year
by Mark Brown 22/3/2013
Product: Unity news
Manufacturer: Unity Technologies
Format: PS Vita
Unity Technologies has announced that it will work with Sony to make its monstrously popular game engine available to PS Vita and PlayStation Mobile developers later this year.

The Unity multiplatform engine powers a massive number of iOS games, like spooky box fiddler The Room, upcoming zombie killer Dead Trigger 2, and RPG Ravensword: Shadowlands.

According to Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason, the engine's biggest USP is the ease with which it allows studios to port their games to any device it supports (which includes iOS, Android, Flash, Mac, Wii U, and Xbox 360).

"Unity does the heavy lifting when porting games to other platforms," Helgason explains. "Code is automatically converted, and just polish and optimisation for that specific platform needs to be added."

So, will this be enough to convince PC and mobile developers to port their games across to Vita? We asked a few Unity-using game creators for their thoughts.

10000000

10000000 creator Luca Redwood told us that he has avoided developing a Vita version of his gem-matching dungeon-crawler so far, primarily because "rewriting the whole thing looked like a bit of a drag".

"I've been spoilt a bit by Unity's 'write once, run anywhere' approach," Redwood tells us. "So, when Unity support hits, I'm keen to do it."

For Redwood, porting his game to Vita would be an enormous gamble. "It might have been worth doing a native port or it could cost ten times more than it makes," he states.

But if it's as simple to port to Vita as it was to re-bundle the game for Android, then for Redwood it's like, "hey, it's worth a punt."

Walk this way

Swedish developer Simogo might make a Vita game. But don't expect to see its wander-'em-up Year Walk or rhythmic robber Beat Sneak Bandit on the device.

"We're definitely not ruling it out, but we're not too keen on making ports," Simogo co-founder Simon Flesser says.

"It's always more fun to get started on new things. So, for us, it'd be more fun to make something specifically designed for the unique capabilities of the Vita."

The Swindle

And what about PC devs?

Dan Marshall - of BAFTA-winner Size Five Games - says he'll "absolutely" be looking into a PS Vita version of his upcoming crime caper The Swindle.

"This is really exciting news. The only thing I haven't seen yet is how much it'll cost. Hopefully, Unity and Sony are planning a sensible sliding scale for licensing costs, because that's the sort of thing that suddenly makes launching on console a big gamble."

"As long as all that's reasonable, I'm game."

And how about Dead Trigger 2? MadFinger CEO Marek Rabas tells Pocket Gamer, "we will consider it...

The PlayStation Unity tools will be released in late 2013, with beta versions becoming available at some stage before then. Unity Technologies will be building tools for PS Vita and PlayStation Mobile, as well as PS4 and Sony's future cloud services.
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