Unity have just released Unity Beta 5.4 today, available for download immediately. Of course, this is a beta, so all usual warnings apply, there be dragons!
So what’s in this release? Well...
Enhanced visuals, better performance, tighter Unity IAP integration and a major VR rendering upgrade
There are significant visual quality and in-editor artist workflow improvements in the Unity 5.4 beta. We’ve also worked to further optimize our VR rendering pipeline, making it far easier for you to deploy your build across the major VR platforms.
Our cross-platform in-app purchasing service, which you can use to integrate support for multiple stores through one API, is now more tightly integrated with the Unity Editor to make assessing and boosting the revenue performance of your game a smoother experience.
This latest release also comes with faster WebGL development build times, support for Retina displays, and much, much more…
One of the coolest new features is compatibility with popular PBR based texturing tools such as Substance Painter or DDo. Now you should be able to drag and drop them in and have them appear exactly as you have designed them. There are also particle system improvements, better VR support, VR performance improvements, enhanced IAP and performance improvements.
There have also been some cuts, specifically in platforms supported. Unity 5.4 loses support for iOS 6, web player and PS3 deployment. The web player loss is unfortunate, but not unexpected, as basically every single web browser has removed traditional plugin support at this point. Thus why WebGL became such an important target for Unity. One of the major focuses of Unity as of late has been improvements in graphical rendering prowess, and they have put together a video illustrating the changes between Unity 5 and 5.4.
In addition to the 5.4 beta, they also released the stable version of Unity 5.3. This can be downloaded using the standard download process. Another GDC announcement from Unity was the private beta launch of Unity Collaborate, a cloud hosted service for remote teams to collaborate on development, locally or remotely.