Unity adds PlayStation Vita to cross-platform development suite

The addition lowers the bar for developing games for the portable console

Unity Technologies has added the ability to develop games for the Sony PlayStation Vita to version 4.3 of its cross-platform toolset.

Unity's cross-platform development suite can be used to simultaneously create games for a multitude of different platforms, including smartphones, game consoles, PCs and the Web.

Any developers with a licensed developer agreement from Sony Computer Entertainment will from now on be able to deploy their game to the Vita via the Unity engine and make use of platform-specific functionality such as motion sensors, dual analog sticks, rear touch pad, and front and rear cameras, Unity wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. Version 4.3 was released in November.

Unity for PlayStation Vita also lets developers integrate their games with Sony's PSN (PlayStation Network).

The Vita has struggled to compete with increasingly advanced smartphones and tablets, but the ability to create games for the device using Unity will lower the bar for developers. That could, in turn, help increase the number of available games.

One company that has already taken advantage of the new option is Zoink. The PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of the company's "Stick It To The Man" game were both developed using Unity, according to the blog post.

Unity's support for Sony's portable console is the result of a far-reaching deal the two companies signed in March last year. In addition to the PlayStation 3 and the Vita, the deal also included Sony latest console, the recently launched PlayStation 4. However, there is currently no date for when support for the PS4 will arrive, a Unity spokesman said via email.

Unity has been quite busy lately, adding native support for 2D games, releasing test tools to simplify the development process and signing an expanded deal with Microsoft regarding the Xbox One.

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