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'No Man's Sky' will come to PC after PS4 launch

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Those who want to discover new worlds in an infinite universe will soon be able to begin, but only on PlayStation 4 at first.

Hello Games revealed that its science fiction exploration game No Man's Sky will launch on Sony's PS4 console as a timed exclusive, but will later come to PC.

The studio's founder and managing director Sean Murray revealed this during an interview in the September issue of Edge magazine.

Murray discussed the indie studio's focus on the PlayStation 4 version. "I actually got in a bit of trouble for saying that we wanted the game to feel really 'console-y,' " he stated. "We've always had PC in mind but in my head [console-y] means solid framerate and immediate controls. I think a PC game can be 'console-y' and it's intended as a compliment, but I get in trouble for saying it."

No Man's Sky uses a technique called procedural generation to create a universe of infinite planets with all different animals and plant life. Rather than an artist designing each world and creature themselves, they create a variety of elements and features that are then randomly mixed and modified to make the various art and content assets for the game. That process explains why choosing the lead platform is so important. The tech of the platform sets the boundaries and the depth of the procedural generation.

"Unlike most games, the actual hardware really affects what we can do in terms of the richness of the worlds and things like that," Murray said. "It isn't just adding a veneer of resolution, or extra antialiasing options. It has a real effect on what we can actually do in the universe."

The game's moment-to-moment gameplay may also be a factor in the technical complexity. As shown in trailers for No Man's Sky, the player can go from walking around one planet and interacting with its dinosaur-like inhabitants, to flying through a space battle with dozens of ships, to exploring another world and its forests within seconds.

Game critics at the E3 video game conference in June awarded No Man's Sky with three awards: Best Original Game, Best Independent Game and a Special Commendation for Innovation.

Hello Games is based in Guildford, England. The indie studio is known for previous developing the Joe Danger series of games, where the player controls a daredevil stunt driver and completes races and stunt trials.

No Man's Sky will be released in 2015 for PlayStation 4 and PC.

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