Epic Games released Unreal Engine 4.21, bringing a number of new features, bug fixes, and improvements for augmented reality development, including deeper support for Magic Leap One and the addition of support for the Windows Mixed Reality platform and headsets.
Initially including support for Magic Leap in version 4.20, Epic Games has extended support for Magic Leap Qualified Developer Release. According to release notes, the latest version also uncovers support for hand-tracking via the LiveLink plugin.
"Unreal Engine 4 now supports all the features needed to develop complete applications on Magic Leap's Lumin-based devices. We support rendering, controller support, gesture recognition, audio input/output, media, and more," wrote Jeff Wilson, senior technical writer at Epic Games, in a blog post regarding the release.
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The new build also brings native support for Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform and headsets, including the HP Mixed Reality and Samsung HMD Odyssey headsets. Developers will need the April 2018 Windows 10 update or later and a supported headset to play along.
Fresh off of a $1.25 billion funding round, Epic Games continues to jockey for position against Unity as the go-to platform among developers, particularly when it comes to augmented reality experiences.
And while Unity also supports Magic Leap, Epic Games' move to bolster its support for the new AR system could eventually help it to gain overall market share. The company can already claim several high-profile studios, namely Framestore, ILMxLAB, and Wingnut AR, as using Unreal Engine 4 to build Magic Leap experiences.
With added support for Magic Leap as well as Windows Mixed Reality, Epic Games now presents a few more reasons for developers to give Unreal Engine another look when compared to Unity.
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