No Man’s Sky is live in virtual reality. Not just a piece of it, or a demo version. No Man’s Sky Beyond VR is entirely accessible through the Sony PlayStation VR headset. You can visit the whole darn galaxy if you want. And if you have been playing it a lot, you can see your whole galaxy in VR.
Sean Murray, cofounder of Hello Games, showed me the VR version of No Man’s Sky Beyond at a Sony preview event. He popped me into a headset and I was on a planet in No Man’s Sky Beyond, inside virtual reality. No Man’s Sky original came out on the PlayStation 4 and PC in 2016. It got overhyped at first, but for the past 2.5 years, Murray’s team has been religiously upgrading the experience.
I could do anything that I could do in the normal PlayStation 4 version. I had to reach down to pull out my mining tool. I could point it at objects to mine them, or I could point it at enemies or creatures and shoot them.
I pulled a trigger on the PlayStation Move controller and began to extract resources from a plant or rock (I’m not sure what it was). I could pull up to an alien and have a conversation by pressing a button. I could look anywhere and go anywhere.
I found that my comfort level in VR was pretty good, and I was only slightly woozy at the end of a 15-minute experience. I was sweaty at the end of it, but in a good way.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Murray in an interview with GamesBeat. “People have looked at the game and said it would be cool in VR. We did it more for creative reasons than commercial ones. It’s an interesting, cool thing. It lets us see it with fresh eyes.”
Then Murray directed me to a spaceship. I could board it easily and pull a throttle with one hand and hold a joystick with the other. As I was doing so, I was mimicking the physical motions with my hands on the Move controllers. It was remarkably easy to control the ship.
When I flew into the air, I could look all around the cockpit. I pulled up on the controls and was able to rise into the air with my ship and accelerate into the clouds, and then the stars appeared as I broke into space. As a finale for the experience, I landed my ship on a space station. I teleported myself around the place and chatted with an alien.
“The key thing for us is it is a full game,” Murray said. “It has the full No Man’s Sky experience, with multiplayer, building bases, owning freighters. It has expanded a lot.”
The VR update will be available to all players who bought the original game for free, Murray said.
“The day this comes out it will be the VR game that people own the most,” Murray said with a laugh. “That’s exciting that people could turn on a headset and be in VR.”
The VR game will ship later this year on PSVR as well as on the PC, Murray said.
Murray said that roughly 30 percent of players have played the game for more than 100 hours. Those players will be able to boot up and see all of their gear in VR. The menus, text, and other interfaces will be viewable in the VR mode.