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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

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

Kevin Lee is the Hardware and Roundups Editor at IGN Entertainment. Prior to IGN Entertainment, he worked at TechRadar.