Unity have announced that the Unity Engine, the most popular engine used for independent game development, as well as for development on PC and mobile platforms, not to mention the engine officially endorsed by Sony and Nintendo for development on their systems, now supports the Vulkan API, the open source competition for DirectX 12, right out of the box.
The feature is currently still in beta – it is available in the new Unity 5.6 beta update to all Unity users, including Personal Edition users – but Unity are still claiming 60% performance improvements already. “Vulkan is a new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs on desktop and mobile platforms,” Unity said, speaking of support for the API. “It’s designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores by allowing multiple threads to run in parallel. This means increased speed with reduced driver overhead and CPU workload, leaving the CPU free to do additional computation or rendering.”
Vulkan is the big new addition, but Unity 5.6 also adds improvements and enhancements for existing graphical tech, including Metal Compute, Particle System and GPU Instancing. What does this mean for you, the average gamer? It means that a lot of your games, no matter what developer they are from, and what platform they are running on, now have a chance to look far better than they used to.