Unity game engine for iPhone offers 3x performance boost

Unity Technologies has announced the release of Unity 1.5 for iPhone, a new version of its game development engine for the iPhone. It’s a free update for registered users; Unity for iPhone is available to existing Unity users starting at $399.

Unity is a 3D game development engine that works on Mac OS X and Windows, and can be used to make games for those platforms as well as for the Web, the iPhone and the Nintendo Wii. It incorporates powerful graphical capabilities, handles shading and lighting, terrain generation, physics modeling, audio and video effects, supports scripting, and asset management.

The 1.5 release adds a “significant performance boost,” according to the developer — up to 3x faster than before. It also provides full support for native Objective C and C++ code, which Unity claims provides full access to the iPhone 3.x APIs and custom plug-ins.

Also new in this release is built-in protection against piracy, access to native iPhone functionality from Unity scripts for video playback, on-screen keyboard support and GPS and location services; and many other “under the hood” enhancements to tweak performance and optimize code generation.

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