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25. January 2020


Over on the Unity blog there is a discussion of the upcoming changes to VR and AR support in Unity 2019.3.  The Unity engine is migrating to a new plugin based framework called the Unity XR SDK.

We have been working to improve our multi-platform offering, enabling direct integrations through a unified plugin framework. The resulting tech stack consists of an API that exposes common functionalities across our supported platforms in a frictionless way for creators while enabling XR hardware and software providers to develop their own Unity plugins. This architecture offers the following benefits:

  • Multi-platform developer tools such as AR Foundation and the XR Interaction Toolkit
  • Faster partner updates from supported plugins via the Unity Package Manager
  • More platforms have access to an interface to leverage Unity’s XR rendering optimizations and developer tools

Unity has developed new XR plugins for our supported platforms as part of this shift. Additionally, we have deprecated our built-in platform implementations in 2019.3.

With the move to a plugin architecture future support for OpenXR will be handled by Valve in the future.  From version 2019.3 onward, GearVR, Daydream and Vuforia will no longer be supported, forcing you to use the Unity 2018 LTS release if you wish to support those platforms.  Additionally Google Cardboard support is ultimately going to be provided by this Google open source project.

In comments there was further details about VR/AR support improvements in the Unity 2019.3:

Hi Felix, Unity’s 2019.3 release is coming soon, and there are new features in XR that will roll out in that update. In 2019.3, we have enabled Vulkan for Oculus Quest, using multiview fixed foveated rendering (FFR). Additionally, the Universal Rendering Pipeline (URP) and High-Definition Rendering Pipeline (HDRP) are both supported in our XR SDK, and will continue to be supported. Lastly, our new XR Plugins are compatible with the new input system. That means if you add the Magic Leap XR Plugin and Input System packages, for example, you will get the controller layouts for Magic Leap devices.

You can learn more about the changes in the video below.

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