No Man’s Sky Beyond will include free virtual reality support this summer

    
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Earlier this month, we learned that Hello Games still has huge ambitions for No Man’s Sky; it’s planning to turn the game into a proper MMO with proper MMO multiplayer, never mind that the company doesn’t want anyone to call it that. But as it turns out, those ambitions don’t stop at the massively multiplayer: Hello Games is giving the game the full virtual reality treatment.

“We’re thrilled to announce the next major component of Beyond: No Man’s Sky Virtual Reality,” the studio says, suggesting that it “will become perhaps the most owned VR title when released.”

“No Man’s Sky Virtual Reality is not a separate mode, but the entire game brought to life in virtual reality. Anything possible in No Man’s Sky, NEXT or any other update is ready and waiting as an immersive and enriched VR experience. No Man’s Sky Virtual Reality, like all the parts of Beyond, will be free to existing players. However, we’re excited to announce that the release of Beyond will see an exclusive retail release of the game on PlayStation 4. This physical edition will come with the base game, VR support, and every update so far, including Beyond. No Man’s Sky Virtual Reality will bring the experience to PlayStation VR and Steam VR, and will be released simultaneously on both platforms.”

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Fervor Bliss

Are other games really charging for the VR support?

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Schmidt.Capela

Some games release VR versions that you have to purchase anew even if you already own the original, like Skyrim, Fallout 4, and basically anything else by Bethesda. Other games release a VR-enabling paid DLC, like the ecchi shooter GalGun2. So, yeah, quite a few games charge for VR support.

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A Dad Supreme

Also related:

PlayStation VR: The Next Wave of Games Coming in Spring and Summer 2019

Sony has sold 4.2 million PlayStation VR headsets

“We’re also very excited to reveal that we have officially sold-through more than 4.2 million PS VR systems worldwide as of March 3, 2019,” PlayStation social-media director Sid Shuman wrote in a blog post.”

“Sony announced the 4.2 million number as part of its State of Play video event today. During that presentation, the publisher revealed a number of new PSVR games and release dates.

The company talked about 14 new experiences coming to the device before the end of the year. These include full VR games like Blood & Truth, which is the followup to the PSVR launch experience London Heist. Blood & Truth is coming May 28 from developer London Studios.

Other standout games include Falcon Age coming April 9, Five Night At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted coming in Spring, and No Man’s Sky VR coming in Summer.”

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Schmidt.Capela

So, on the console side, for every current gen VR-enabled console out there there are about three dozen non-VR-enabled consoles (between PS4, XBOne, and Switch). Easy to see why console devs won’t make more than a token effort to develop VR games, with that kind of market penetration you would need to sell to nearly every single PS VR owner in order to recoup the costs of an AAA VR-only game.

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A Dad Supreme

Still better than those odds were last year, or the year before it which is very good news indeed. I think they focus more on potential growth than actual market share, which is what keeps devs interested. Stolen from Wiki:

As of February 19, 2017, PlayStation VR has sold over 915,000 units. Andrew House, the President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), the company behind the PlayStation VR, stated that the sales of the VR were far beyond expectations.[35][36] On June 5, 2017, the number of PlayStation VR units sold has passed 1 million.[37]Sony announced that the PlayStation VR had sold over 2 million units and 12.2 million games on December 3, 2017.[38] On August 16th, 2018, Sony announced that PlayStation VR had sold-through more than 3 million units and 21.9 million games worldwide as of August 16th, 2018.[39]. As of 3 March, 2019, PlayStation VR has sold-through more than 4.2 million units.[2]

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Schmidt.Capela

Assuming the next generation PlayStation keeps compatibility with it (likely but not guaranteed) and current owners of the peripheral don’t shelve it, perhaps to switch to 4K gaming.

But yeah, the tendency is for VR hardware to become increasingly cheaper due to mobile tech helping push forward many advancements that are useful for both HMDs and VR input devices, which in turn makes it easier to build a large enough player base to make it profitable to develop games for it.

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Arktouros

The biggest problem right now with VR tech is most computers simply lack the power to go to the kinds of resolutions we want them to have. There’s already examples of the technology out there with extremely amazing graphics but it’s 100% aimed at the business/corporate side of VR applications.

Going to probably be at least another 5-10 years before we start seeing good things from VR at least.

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, the graphical power required to drive that HMD you linked is roughly the same you would need for a single 4K display; a modern midrange board could do it, assuming you are happy with 60fps and medium quality settings.

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A Dad Supreme

Oh yes. Time to dust this game off, bring it off the shelf and fire it back up!

So far, the PSVR offerings are okay, but as far as space simulators most aren’t as good as Star Trek Bridge Crew .

This is truly some well-received news.

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Melissa McDonald

Looking forward to trying that out. Doesn’t cost much, no big deal if it ends up not being as good as I’d hoped.

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Tobasco da Gama

Just to add another layer of meta to the simulations-within-simulations storyline.

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Greaterdivinity

Man, this game deserved every lump and black eye it took for how terrible it was at launch and how Murray straight up lied about shit like multiplayer.

But hot fucking damn, over the past what, 3 years or so, they’ve released multiple huge updates that have considerably improved and expanded upon the game. They added in proper multiplayer (years later : P). Now they’re releasing a VR mode. And all of this has been for free.

They fucked up the launch in one of the most spectacular ways possible, but mad props to them for not giving up and moving on. They’ve soldiered in on admirable fashion and seem to have turned this game into something damn close to what they pitched us ahead of launch.

Good job, dudes.

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Bruno Brito

So, they’re the Drake of online gaming?

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PanagiotisLial1

well for online gaming we got a couple cases games turned around

First ones that come to mind was disastrous AO release and mediocre ESO one

I am ok with giving a second chance if someone honestly tries and delivers even with delay

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Arktouros

As a VR consumer this is what I consider to be “bad VR” and it very much falls in line with most of the generic criticisms of VR, such as it being just the next 3D TVs or it’s just like strapping a screen to your face. This kind of VR will never have real staying power because it’s fundamentally no different than the non-VR experience only now you have a headset strapped onto your face. Using standard interfaces like a gamepad, keyboard or mouse is a huge VR failure.

A “good VR” game is a game that is designed from the ground up to really take advantage full of the new ways that VR enables people to interact with their environment. How about instead of using a gamepad and press forward you stick your hands out and you virtually interact with your ship’s flight controls? How about being able to walk up to one of those strange lifeforms you see and give it a pet and see how it reacts?

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Anton Mochalin

For me however this announcement suddenly makes buying a VR headset an interesting idea while VR uses you’re talking about don’t resonate.

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Arktouros

Yea I understand that. When I bought my VR device I also had a very interesting idea as well. Unfortunately actually owning it and playing around in various games and programs it became pretty clear what I thought I wanted and was going to use it for wasn’t a very interesting idea as I had thought. I certainly never expected I was going to spend hours in a rage cage with me holding my hand up moving it around like a flying airplane (not me btw) while playing a 360 bullet hell style game but there I was.

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Humble DG

I don’t believe this is “bad VR” at all, especially considering we haven’t actually tried it yet. But I also don’t believe VR is made good when I can click buttons in a space craft. Based on that premise, Elite Dangerous is your definition of “bad VR” and it’s an amazing VR game experience. Sometimes it’s just the world you’re in and can experience is what the best part of VR is.

I agree that it would be cool if we could pet things in the game, but maybe they will allow that. The biggest challenge with VR and this type of exploration game is going to be the walking. With the jet pack, I can “float” around which is good, but simple walking can lead a lot of people to nausea. That is what I would consider a “bad VR” experience.

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Arktouros

Sure. So out of your VR library of VR games, other than Elite Dangerous, what other games do you think are examples of good VR? Maybe share a story of your personal experiences with those VR titles and why they worked for you when playing them?

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Humble DG

I didn’t realize I was on an interview.

Well, I mentioned ED. War Thunder’s flight experience is quite entertaining and the first time into a loop actually caused my stomach to turn a bit. Lone Echo was very impressive both from a gameplay standpoint, a control system and visuals. Universal Sandbox I find mindless fun and there is an education value to it. X Plane is a little too realistic on the flight for my taste, but for a dated game it works. There are always the funny ones like Rick and Morty and Job Simulator which are just stupid fun, but you get to do stupid things and that really was the point, right? I personally enjoyed Star Trek Bridge Crew but honestly, it was more for teamwork, or lack there of, that made that game quite enjoyable. The Climb actually caused some of my fear of heights to be elevated and thus I feel it did exactly what it should have done. Guns VR is a nice, blowing off steam sort of game.

Those are probably my favorite ones in the library. I’ve seen more bad experiences in the VR titles that are educational based. I can’t remember the name of it but some simulation of World War 1 trenches was just horrible due to the controls and movement.

Does that help or were you just being sarcastic?

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Arktouros

Does that help or were you just being sarcastic?

Not at all. A game like Elite Dangerous is extremely polarizing given it’s simulation nature. You’re either going to love it or hate it based on other factors than whether it has VR or not. This made it a poor barometer to gauge what you think of as “good VR.”

Also in doing so I’d have to point out the vast majority of the titles you brought up are titles that offer the kind of VR I am talking about.

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masterblaster0

How is this game’s performance these days? It used to be really bad and you certainly don’t want lagginess for VR.
Can they achieve the ideal framerate for VR (90fps) on PS4?

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Armsbend

Maybe this is the killer app VR is looking for? I’m being sincere – this world would be cool in VR and a first of it’s kind imo.

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Arktouros

Not really, no.

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Armsbend

I think it would be cool. This and the two other apps I consider being worth it might turn me on the apparatus. 4 or 5 reasons to have that thing strapped to my beautiful head and I’m in. Right now I think it’s 3.

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Arktouros

Games like this are rarely interesting. You can look at previous examples like EVE:Valkyrie where basically all they’re doing is strapping a screen to your face. It sounds interesting as an idea but actually going through with it is extremely lackluster.

What I’ve found makes VR the most compelling is using it to generate new and different sensations that the standard controls of a PC can’t replicate. Game conversions like this just don’t do that.

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kimowar101

strapping a screen to your face lol….I don’t think you have played Valkyrie…

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Schmidt.Capela

Given the way those games work, I believe Subnautica — which already includes VR — is more appropriate as a VR experience than No Man’s Sky. Swimming is more natural than walking in VR (unless you have an omnidirectional treadmill to work with).

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Armsbend

I’m not closed off to the idea. However, I just got noise cancelling decent headphones for gaming and even those are a little too far removed from real life for me. My kids are too young for this kind of stuff right now :)

tl;dr – I’d play this game in a VR setting – while I’m not interested in regular gameplay.

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Humble DG

This game has the potential to be a very cool VR experience if they can get the movement controls while on the planets done properly. It’s the reason why so many VR games “portal” people to locations in the game. The sense of walking, when you can’t actually walk messes with people’s heads. The best implementations of VR are when the player doesn’t need to walk or run. Floating is used a lot to avoid that. Flight games are good candidates as well because being stationary is assumed.