BlackBerry demos Unity, Bluetooth gamepad support at GDC 2013

BlackBerry 10, Unity and gamepad support - Can it get any better?

By Simon Sage on 28 Mar 2013 12:55 am EDT

We got cozy with BlackBerry at GDC 2013 and they were pretty excited to show off two juicy pieces of BlackBerry 10 news. For one, they're starting the process of opening a beta of the Unity 3D engine. This is big news for developers that are already well-entrenched with Unity on other platforms, but also those currently considering BlackBerry 10, but need something to handle their graphics. 

The other cool thing BlackBerry had at their booth was a demo of Bluetooth HID controllers working flawlessly with the BlackBerry Z10. The Unity demo game, Angry Robots, played fine with the hardware controller, as did the fan favorite Alpha Zero. The BlackBerry engineer we talked to told us he was working on Wiimote compatibility, so it's easy to imagine PS3 optimization isn't far off. At this point it's simply a matter of devs looking at the right docs and making sure their game plays nice with Bluetooth controllers. 

No word on Moga support unfortunately, but maybe this demo will show that some kind of partnership is in order. 

Reader comments

BlackBerry demos Unity, Bluetooth gamepad support at GDC 2013


This is so awesome, and with HDMI you could literally make your phone a portable game console that you can throw up on the big screen at any time. I can only imagine the implications for emulated games on BB10 (sideloaded, of course)

This is just what I want to hear. The future combo of a BB10 hdmi connection to the tv and a blue tooth controller in hand. Sounds amazing!

Posted via CB10

Is kevin trying to kill the "First!" posts? Seems to be working.

Anyways Unity looks stunning and the controller tech might actually get me to game on my TV once in a while (hard core PC gamer here speaking) We'll see anyways. Question though, if playing on my TV does the Z10 become a controller type device or is it just cloning the screen basically?

If I'm not mistaken and the Z10 is anything like the Playbook (still waiting on my upgrade) than the tv becomes a large screen for your phone, so you can use your Z10 as you always have but it is just connect to hdmi. You can switch between apps and browse the net and play a game while you have a movie playing all at the same time.

Waiting patiently for a the Unity games to be released on BlackBerry 10, what game being demoed looks amazing

Posted via CB10

Not really my thing. If I'm goona dive into a game like that I want it on my console with cutting edge graphics. I'm happy with the puzzles and physics type games on my z10

But I've read many articles talking about the fall of the consoles. Your average person doesn't want to get that into a game. There happy with the mobile games. So glad to see blackberry is aware of this

Posted via CB10

That's the whole idea... what if your phone ended up being your console? everything is about convergence these days.. phones getting almost as powerful as the original wii now.. all you need is a bluetooth controller and an hdmi cable..

Console and cutting edge graphics don't even belong in the same sentence. I'm a hard core Nvidia gamer but even AMD's weakest offering makes a console look like CGA/EGA.

Then the PS4 must scare you with it's processor running at 1.78 terraflops. that will make almost every gaming pc look like a nes.....

You can't even spell teraflops. If you did you'd know Nvidia surpassed 1.78 Teraflops back in 2009 with the GTX295. That's four generations of GPU ago. I actually had two GTX295s running in SLI back then. ATI HD5870 is 2.7 Tflops and was considered mid level in 2010

yah ive yet to get into the PC world of graphics. So maybe Im middle ground, but my point is still valid.

Are there any games that are currently available now in app world that take advantage of BT joysticks?

Posted via CB10

Great news. BlackBerry 10 already kicks the cr(app) out of Windows Phone as far as games go. Can only get better now. God I love my BlackBerry z10!

Sent from CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10

I remeber reading about this back before we knew what Z10 was. All we knew was London. Its nice to see it come to fruition.

They are going big on gaming and I like that.

Ha -- Simon -- did you actually hear anything that Adam was saying? You looked pretty plugged in to the game! But I would have been, too -- amazing graphics off the phone.

Wow, that is sweet and the graphics are awesome. BB10 just kicking more ass. The haters should really be shaking their heads. Ha

Posted via CB10

While at the GDC you should stop by the Oculus Rift booth and experience what will be the next BIG THING and what will change the way we will play games...

Thanks for covering BlackBerry's presence at GDC 2013. I actually didn't know about the support for bluetooth gamepads. At some point in the not-to-distant future, I think I'm going to check out the CrackBerry store and find some serious gaming accessories for my phone. Who would have thought that even two years ago?

If it games well, then it is very portable while traveling. Not going to say it will replace the ps3 and alike, but it's very easy to put a controller and small cable in your suitcase. Also, this platform can replace your pc for most of your on the fly needs.

Posted via CB10

I totally agree. I miss my PlayBook and Bold 9000 combination. The PlayBook allowed my old BB05 to become very modern due to the bridge. We lost the full bridge with the z10, and I hope we get it back. It's nice to connect the PlayBook to the big screen and run it via the phone. That way you still have full use of your phone. Please BlackBerry listen on this one!

Posted via CB10

Me too, get this stuff over to the playbook. With dockingstation to hook the PB to my TV and use the Z10 as a remote for typing purpose. Or even better, use the Z10 as the joystick connected to the PB.

You can use a blue tooth keypad to run the PB. However I agree totally. We lost the major advantage of the PB when we lost the full bridge.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry keeps amazing me. Still want the docking station a bit more, I would prefer replacing a computer over replacing a gaming console

It looks like they thought of everything this time

Posted via CB10

Absolutely. For most people, browsing the Web, spreadsheets, word doc is what a home computer does. Docking station with the ability to plug in a mouse, screen, portable tetragig drive, printer, would be great. Each family member would just plug their phone in and get to work. When done unplug and walk away. No more need for 5 laptops in the house!

Posted via CB10

Awesome! Looking forward to this.

Now hurry up BlackBerry with the docking stations already.

Can we expect this with OS 10.1 around Q10 launch I wonder?

Either way it's great to see BlackBerry committing to more consumer initiatives like this.

Posted via CB10

Dualshock 2 support will be nice. Simon, is that gamepad available to buy right now? If so do you happen to have a link to where one such as myself could buy it from?

I think it was Angry Robots. They were still debating about whether or not to put it up on BlackBerry World. Shout out here if you guys want to see it - I'm sure the Unity guys would be happy to oblige if there was enough interest.

LOL. Loved the fact that Simon only looked at Adam only AFTER he cleared a room in the game for about a nanosecond...then right back to the game until the interview was "over".