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Unity 5 engine unveiled with better lighting, sound and browser gaming

Unity 5 engine
Just look at all the highlights and shadows
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Unity is one of the gaming industry's most robust cross-platform engines, and it's been used to create titles such as Shadowgun, Bad Piggies and Gone Home. Now, it's getting an attractive new version 5 update.

Unity 5 is officially up for pre-order for developers. Once new games start getting built with the improved engine, players can expect higher quality characters and environments thanks to better lighting and shading.

The latest engine brings improvements to dynamic lighting such as a torch or a moving sun. Unity 5 also adds better shadows and reflections to make graphics look more realistic.

Beyond visuals, Unity claims it has overhauled its sound system to allow developers to tune sound profiles, so next time your bad piggy might make a different sounding squeal when it's rolling down a tunnel versus when it rode a rocket-powered skateboard.

Cross everything

Overall, gamers should expect some nice upgrades in visual and audio fidelity with Unity games. But as the engine is cross-platform, the Unity folks haven't forgotten to make it accommodating for all sorts of devices.

Falling in line with Epic's recent move to add more browser gaming to Firefox, Unity is also working with Mozilla to make plugin-free gaming. With WebGL and asm.js support added directly to Unity, gamers will be able to play games such as Dead Trigger 2 over the web without having to download anything or go through a client.

In a smaller tweak, Unity 5 is also 64-bit, which should allow games to access more memory on everything from gaming PCs to consoles to 64-bit processor powered smartphones.

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Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.