Unity Announce 5.6 and Unity 2017 Release Details


Today Unity had their GDC keynote presentation (available embedded below) and announced details of the final 5.x release, version 5.6 which is schedule to be released on March 31st.  Details of the 5.6 release:

Here’s a brief rundown of the key 5.6 features talked about in the keynote:

Physically Based Rendering and Global Illumination: Enables virtual objects that look and behave like they would in the real world.

Progressive Lightmapper: Gives you immediate feedback when trying out different lighting scenarios, with selective baking, super fast iteration, and debugging.

Vulkan: Our friends at Infinite Dreams came on stage with Skyforce Reloaded to demonstrate how to maximize performance and reduce battery usage.

To learn how to get the most from Vulkan in Unity, be sure to attend the GDC session presented by ARM on Thursday, 10AM – Room 3022 West Hall.

Metal: Apple Metal graphics API gives you access to the raw power of the chipsets on your devices. Now, available directly in the editor on MacOS, you can view scenes in editor as it will appear when you deploy on a device. Unity 5.5 added instancing, the ability to write native Metal shaders — 5.6 brings Metal Compute. Developer nWay got on stage with their upcoming game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars to show off the full potential of Metal. Thank you to surprise special guests Ludi Lin and Jason David Frank of Power Rangers fame for joining us on stage!

2D Tools: Unity 5.6 is adding CompositeCollider2D, an outline editor, 2D physics contacts API and more.

New NavMesh: Adding AI and Pathfinding to more easily control character navigation through giant game worlds.

Unity Collaborate: A simple way for teams to save, share, and sync their Unity project — all Cloud hosted! Unity Collaborate has entered open beta so be sure to sign up now!

Performance Reporting: Unity Performance Reporting automatically collects errors across various devices and platforms making it easier for you to find and fix issues in real time. Additionally, Performance Reporting for Unity 5.6 beta will capture and report crashes recorded for iOS games. With 5.6, you can expect support for even more platforms. There’s no code required, simply click the On switch for “Performance Reporting” in the Services window.

TextMesh Pro: We’re happy to announce that one of the top performing tools on the Unity Asset Store, used to deliver substantial visual quality to text styling and texturing in games via advanced text rendering, will now be available for free to users of 5.3+ and natively integrated into Unity in the future.

Visit the Unity Asset Store to get TextMesh Pro now.

VR platforms: 5.6 will ship with Google Cardboard/Daydream support, including for iOS.


They also discussed Unity 2017, which will enter beta in April.

Upcoming features include:

  • Timeline, a track-based sequencing tool that applies a “drag and drop” approach to choreograph animations, sounds, events, videos and more, will make it easier for storytellers to compose stunning cinematics.
  • New scriptable rendering pipeline that will allow developers to customize and extend render loops for mobile, HD and VR/AR.

We can’t wait to share these new tools to support content creators. You can check out the preview build of Timeline now.


The Unity Keynote Video

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