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Unity 6 Preview Has Been Released

Featuring accelerated rendering, new lighting options, multiplayer workflows, and much more.

Unity Technologies has officially launched Unity 6 Preview, a new and improved version of its flagship game engine and the last release of Unity 6's development cycle, with the final version set to hit the shelves later in the year.

Formerly known as 2023.3 Tech Stream, Unity 6 was first announced at Unite 2023, with the team describing it as a supported release that offers users a head start in leveraging the engine's novel and enhanced features, which are still in the stages of discovery or prototyping. As stated by the devs, the release introduces a slew of rendering and performance enhancements, new lighting options, upgraded multiplayer game creation tools, expanded web and XR features, and AI tools.

One of the highlights of Unity 6 Preview is its improvements to the engine's Universal Render Pipeline (URP) and the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), which both see significant performance enhancements, resulting in accelerated production across different platforms. Said improvements have the potential to decrease CPU workload by 30–50% and deliver smoother, faster rendering tailored to diverse platforms, depending on your content.

The newly introduced GPU Resident Drawer deserves special mention for its ability to efficiently render larger, more detailed worlds, eliminating the need for intricate manual optimizations. This feature allows for up to a 50% reduction in CPU frame-time for GameObjects when rendering vast, complex scenes across PC, mobile, and consoles.

Other notable rendering enhancements include GPU Occlusion Culling, which boosts the performance of GameObjects by reducing the overdraw per frame, Spatial-Temporal Post-Processing, a neat functionality that allows you to upscale lower-resolution frames without fidelity loss, and Render Graph for URP, a new rendering framework and API that simplifies render pipeline maintenance and improves rendering efficiency and performance.

Speaking of Unity 6 Preview's lighting improvements, the release brings the long-awaited Adaptive Probe Volumes (APV), offering a novel method for creating global illumination lighting in Unity. APVs streamline authoring and iteration times for Light Probe-lit objects, allowing users to seamlessly create lighting transitions with scenario blending and sky occlusion.

"Building on the development of APV delivered in the 2023.1 and 2023.2 Tech Stream releases, enhancements in Unity 6 Preview improve authoring workflows, expand streaming capabilities, and extend control and platform reach to achieve impactful lighting transitions," the team noted.

On top of that, the new version of Unity boasts better multiplayer game creation capabilities, with the team introducing novel end-to-end solutions such as the Multiplayer Center, a streamlined guidance tool to ease your transition into multiplayer development, Multiplayer Play Mode for testing multiplayer functionality across separate processes without leaving the Unity Editor, upgraded Multiplayer Tools, improved Netcode for GameObjects and Entities, and more.

In addition, the release features Unity Sentis, a neural engine made for seamlessly integrating AI models into the runtime. Sentis enables the implementation of new AI-powered functionalities like object recognition, smart NPCs, graphics optimizations, and more. What's more, the engine now supports AI model weight quantization (FP16 or UINT8) in the Unity Editor and comes with a library of AI models and a new Functional API that simplifies the process of building, editing, and chaining AI models.

The list of Unity 6 Preview's features also includes:

  • New tools for building XR experiences.
  • Improved sky rendering in HDRP.
  • Support for Underwater Volumetric fog.
  • Improved tooling and URP support for VFX Artists.
  • Multiplatform enhancements.
  • New tools to enhance your productivity and functionality.
  • And much, much more!

Learn more about Unity 6 Preview's new features here and try out the engine's new version yourself over here. Don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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