Microsoft is working hard to unify their three major products in Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone. Now, Unity Technologies have announced they will support the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms.
AWESOME!Unity3D will support both Windows8 and Windows Phone 8.It's official! Waiting for more details...— JeffWeber (@JeffWeber) August 22, 2012
Jeff Webber, a well-known Krashlander developer relayed the information via his Twitter account. The news has since been confirmed by Edge-Online.com and Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason revealed that 53% of mobile games developers use the engine. He went on to add:
Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible. The Unity community has been asking for access to Windows Phones and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 8. We’re happy to announce that we will support both.
It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides for Windows 8 and Microsoft in dealing with the gaming community. Valve founder Gabe Newell, Blizzards’ Rob Pardo, Minecraft’s Markus “Notch” Persson and id Software’s John Carmack have all been publicly venomous toward the OS.
But this move might finally be a way for Microsoft to allow the platforms to reach their full, gaming, potential. With the Unity game engine able to produce games for Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, iPhone, iPad, Android (with Linux to be added soon), there is the potential for Windows Phone 8 to get any games developed for the iPhone in a much shorter timescale. It also opens up the potential for cross platform gaming between Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox 360.
The Metal War Online video below shows the capability of the Unity engine.
John Richards is the senior director of Windows App Marketing at Microsoft:
We are excited that the Unity community will now be given the opportunity to develop world class titles for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The number of high quality Unity-authored games for the PC, Xbox, and mobile devices already created is staggering and we’re looking forward to seeing these products appear in the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Simply put, this is a great move by Microsoft. By utilising an already established game engine, they are showing that they believe that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 to be a viable gaming platforms, despite what their more recent critics say.