Gamers have been waiting for Hello Games' ultra-ambitious survival-adventure title No Man's Sky ever since it was unveiled at E3 in 2014, but release dates have been nonexistant and detailed updates few and far between - rare, for an industry that increasingly relies on pre-release hype, promotional betas, early access and frequent infodumps to keep upcoming titles firmly in the public consciousness. But, from the beginning, it was made clear that Hello Games wasn't planning on handling No Man's Sky like a typical release.
But now, we may have a better idea of when the game is actually coming: The Playstation Blog recently (briefly) listed a pre-order date and price for the hotly-anticipated game.
As reported by GameZone, the Playstation Blog (which has since taken down links to the original posting) appeared to reveal that No Man's Sky will have a March 3rd pre-order date at a price of $60. No release date was listed, officially or otherwise, though it has long been suspected that June 2016 was being target as the ideal spot for the title.
Directed by Sean Murray and David Ream, No Man's Sky is an "open-universe" survival-adventure where players will travel between planets interacting with the indigenous animals and plants in order to harvest resources to upgrade themselves and their transportation to ever more distant worlds; with an ultimate goal of reaching the center of the Universe. Along with visually-stunning graphics and a unique sci-fi aesthetic, the game looks to change the open-world game by creating worlds via random procedural generation using deterministic algorithms - meaning that the game will self-generate nearly a "quintillion" unique planets identifiable by coordinates and scattered throughout its near-limitless virtual galaxy.
Describing the game in the original press posting, Hello elaborated:
"No Man's Sky has been in our heads for a very long time. In fact, it has its roots in Sean Murray's experiences growing up on a ranch in the Australian outback. It was the true middle of nowhere, where if something went wrong you were told to just stay where you were and light a fire at an exact time every day, and hope that someone would find you. The night sky was filled with more stars than you’ve ever seen, and we've all thought that this is exactly where videogames would go, videogames that contained the whole universe, and you’d be able to visit it all. No Man's Sky takes that jump - it's the game we've always wanted to make."
While the hype among the gaming press has been enormous more or less since No Man's Sky was announced, the jury is still out as to whether or not the game will make a major impact with mainstream gamers. While it features a multiplayer component, the designers have been eager to point out that it is not combat focused and is meant to foster a spirit of exploration and engagement, not necessarily combat or competition. Explaining the utopian-scope of their vision, Hello explains:
"If you can see it, you can go there. You can fly seamlessly from the surface of a planet to another, and every star in the sky is a sun that you can visit."
If the June release date is accurate, No Man's Sky can at least look forward to not launching against any other similar competition: At this time, the only major title currently slated for that month is LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with several other "niche" titles including Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator and Odin Sphere Leifthrasir also scheduled to make their retail bow.
We'll let you know when No Man's Sky gets an official pre-order/release date.