No Man’s Sky, a game which has a history of calls for VR support since its 2016 release, could one day be explored in VR. Developer Hello Games is gauging interest in VR support for No Man’s Sky in a player survey intended to find out what the game’s community wants next.
If you missed the drama surrounding No Man’s Sky’s 2016 release, let me give you a quick primer on its storied history. It’s a space exploration game which was promised to allow players to explore a vast universe thanks to a procedurally generated foundation which was to said make an endless variety of star systems, planets, plants, and animals for players to discover. Along with some other key promises, that didn’t quite turn out to be the case, and the game was met with harsh criticism at not delivering on the ambitious expectations set by its developer.
After several free updates and a major expansion called No Man’s Sky ‘NEXT’, which launched in July, the game has shaped up into something closer to what was originally promised, and generally seems to be making players happier than at launch.
So where does VR fit into this? Well, as a ‘set your own pace’ exploration game that includes walking, shooting, flying, and (now) multiplayer, all inside an expansive universe, No Man’s Sky seems like it could be a great fit for the immersive capabilities of VR. Enthusiasts have been asking for VR support since well before the game even launched.
Here we are more than two years after the launch of the game and No Man’s Sky unfortunately still lacks VR support, but with the ‘NEXT’ update now out of the way, developer Hello Games is asking their player community what they want to see next.
Spotted by Redditor Ezio926, an official Explorer Feedback Survey from Hello Games aims to gather information about players’ experience with the game, their favorite activities and modes, and asks which new features players would like to see the most. “VR Support” for No Man’s Sky is listed among 10 options, including the likes of “More base building depth,” “Enhancements to underwater exploration,” “Larger multiplayer lobbies,” and more.
The survey doesn’t allow players to indicate whether they’d like to see No Man’s Sky on PSVR, Rift, Vive, or other VR headsets, but the developer would likely make that assessment after seeing how much interest there is in a VR version of the game.
There’s no telling, even if there turns out to be lots of player interest in VR, how feasible it would be for No Man’s Sky to support VR, nor how good it could turn out to be. Having not been built for VR in the first place, the game’s expansive universe could be challenging to optimize to hit the minimum frame rates and resolution required by VR headsets, and it would be plenty of work to revamp the game’s interaction model to make good use of motion controllers, not to mention redesigning the game’s various methods of locomotion to be comfortable for VR. That said, we’ve seen successful ports of non-VR games to VR before; Skyrim VR (2017) and Fallout 4 VR (2017) play reasonably well, despite being adapted for VR long after their initial development.