Today Nintendo announced a pretty huge partnership with Unity Technologies that will see a version of the versatile Unity game engine available for the upcoming Wii U system, IGN has learned. Game engines like Epic’s Unreal Engine are the kind with a lot of flash and attention, but Unity has quietly evolved into a powerhouse of games. We used to cringe when we saw the Unity logo at bootup in iOS games just a couple of years ago, but now the little engine that could can boast visually stunning games like Dead Trigger [Free] that serve as a tech demo of just how powerful Unity can be.
Unity also prides itself on its versatility, making it easy to essentially develop one version of a game that can be distributed to a wide variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac and PC, and even right in desktop web browsers. Now the Wii U can be added to that list, which should give incentive to developers creating Unity games to consider including Nintendo’s newest console in their targets as well.
Starting next year, the add-on for Wii U support will be distributed to the 1.2 million currently registered Unity developers, and I’m guessing that means you’ll see plenty of familiar iOS game appearing on Nintendo’s console in a short amount of time. However, it works both ways, and this just increases the chance that developers who have been planning on making games for the Wii U might also more easily consider iOS and other platforms by going with Unity. And, it's entirely possible that the next generation of Microsoft and Sony consoles could support Unity as well, which would open all sorts of possibilities.
Time will tell how this all shakes out, and we’ll keep an eye out for any sort of significant iOS to Wii U cross-platform news, but it’s an interesting turn of events and really cements the Unity Engine as one of the most versatile and popular ways of creating games.