Alias today announced Maya 6.5, the next version of its 3D animation and special effects package. Version 6.5 is a “performance-driven release optimized to meet the needs of games, film, broadcast and digital publishing professionals seeking dramatic performance enhancements while working with massive datasets.” Maya 6.5 brings major performance improvements, new scene segmentation features, expanded support for CAD datasets, and mental ray for Maya Satellite. Other areas of improvement include: Maya Cloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Embedded Language (MEL), API, Plug-ins, Devkit and the embedded Web browser. Maya Complete 6.5 is priced at US$1,999 and Maya Unlimited is $6,999. Both will ship later this month for Mac OS X.