Hello Games' No Man's Sky is an ambitious game, to say the least. The open-world space exploration game has a lot of fans who can't wait to get their hands on it and see what all they can do. Fortunately, the wait for No Man's Sky is almost at its end. Following months of rumors, an official release date of June 21 has been set for the game on the PS4 and PC (with a limited-edition collector's edition available as an option for PC preorders as well).
Originally announced at E3 in 2014, No Man's Sky features a procedurally generated open-world universe with an estimated 18 quintillion (18,000,000,000,000,000,000, a.k.a. a lot) possible planets that players could find. Many of the possible worlds in the game feature unique plant life and creatures, and alien races will have actual languages (though these will follow English grammar rules with alien words swapped out for English ones, to make it easier for players to figure parts of them out). Players will be able to explore new worlds, trade with other races, wage war or tackle this open universe in a number of other ways. It's no wonder that fans are excited to learn that a release is finally close at hand.
The "Explorer's Edition" collector's edition will feature a 1:35 scale hand-painted tin ship replica (with stickers for customization), a hard-enamel traveler’s pin, a diorama display backdrop, a "mystery item" that will be revealed at launch and a "rad" box (which the developers rate as "priceless"). Interestingly, the box doesn't actually contain a copy of the game; buyers will be emailed a No Man’s Sky digital code prior to the game's release that's redeemable via either Steam or GOG.com (specified at the time of purchase) so they'll still have the game upon release even if their physical order hasn't arrived. The "Explorer's Edition" is priced at $149 and is limited to 10,000 units. A "Limited Edition" for the PS4 is being released as well, though it doesn't include replicas or pins -- it will instead come with an art book and companion comic.
The game was originally planned to have a staggered release, with the PS4 version enjoying a period of exclusivity before the PC version was released at a later date. The release was shifted to simultaneous by the time E3 2015 rolled around, though. It's possible that this was done because of the developer's refusal to set a release date until the game was ready for everyone, since the staggered release would mean that a finished product was waiting around for months before being shipped. Delays may also have cut into the PS4's exclusivity window, causing that contract to be abandoned.
In the end, it doesn't really matter what the reason was for the simultaneous release. No Man's Sky is a beautiful game, and it promises to offer a lot of different options for players regardless of how they choose to approach the game. Of course, knowing that the release is finally drawing close does have one drawback: It makes June seem so far away.
No Man's Sky will release on June 21, 2016 on the PlayStation 4 and PC.