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Unity announces Xbox One support and partnership with Microsoft

Unity, developers of the wildly popular gaming engine of the same name, announced yesterday at Build 2013 that they have struck up a "strategic partnership" with Microsoft to develop for Xbox One and Windows Phone 8. This collaboration with Microsoft means the development of new development tools geared specifically for both platforms, "including support for many next-generation features like enhanced Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass and cloud stuff."

In addition to opening up the development floodgates to both platforms, the new partnership will also benefit those who choose to develop games using the Unity engine.

Current Unity Pro 4 license holders will receive the Windows Store Pro publishing add-on, which will allow them to port games to both the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, free of charge. Developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios get the tools for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One at no cost. The partnership will also offer up over $100,000 in prizes to those who build "great Windows experiences."

This partnership should prove to be a boon to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, who have both seen their fair share of struggles in gaining popularity. It will add much-needed dev cred to Microsoft's mobile operating system, which is something they have desperately been trying to jumpstart. Unity's support for Windows Phone 8 is a welcome turnaround. They decided to pass on Windows Phone 7 back in 2011, but announced last summer that they would indeed support its successor.

Drift Mania Championship 2 Windows Phone Unity

Drift Mania Championship 2 on Windows Phone 8 was built with Unity.

But this is no one-sided partnership either. Unity gets to play in Microsoft's gaming waters. If you combine Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone, there is no competitor that comes even close to Microsoft's gaming reach. Throw in these perks for developers that were just announced at Build 2013, and it looks like everybody wins.

Source: Unity; Via: TheInquirer

  • Great news. Can't wait to experience the Xbox One
  • Roll on Microsoft. If done well, its unbeatable. Now, get me KOTOR for WP. Pleaseeeeee.
    That would be awesome. Only downside is that I would be glued to my phone for a good 50hrs
  • Disney announced Temple Run OZ for WP8 :) It is a Unity game, right? And I guess that before Oz we get TR2, too :D Can't wait!
  • Well played, Microsoft!
  • I believe Unity is the tool that allows developers who write for Android and iOS to use it's base code to make writing for Windows RT/apps simpler.
    This should speed adoption of the platform far faster than could be done without it. I'm really looking forward to watching this grow over time.
    Looks like the sleeping giant is awake finally. Glad they didn't hit the snooze button. (again?)
  • It's a game engine like Epic's Unreal and Crytek's CryEngine
  • I think you're thinking of Xamarin.
  • Great news. Now, for the love of God, let indie's self-publish.
  • +1.0
  • ^ This.
  • Superb! :D
  • Why aren't there more comments here? Haters must be having a bad day. This is fantastic news, I just knew wp8 would be a viable platform.
  • ^THIS. Windows Phone will be a great jump for those who are in already, and will be a great start for those who are new :D
  • This is a really smart move by MS.
    All that's left now are TUTORIALS!!!
  • There have been the tutorials already spread out on MS sites.
  • We could see more multiplatform games coming to Windows 8, WP8, and Xbox One with this Unity engine. Smart move by Microsoft.
  • +1
  • Sorry, just to clarify: does this mean if I have a Windows Phone dev licence that I get Unity free?