On the seabed of Megadomin I found a cave to the bottom of the world. It hypnotized and tempted me with its swirling brilliant colors, inviting me to discover what was inside. How I wanted to dive in to the delights. But it was a risk I couldn’t take; my air was out and the cave was too deep for a return trip with a significant O2 supply. I left that hole in the ground with the image of its entrance fixed in my mind. I will forever wonder what was inside and it will almost certainly go untouched.
I have a lot of these memories from my past two weeks of space backpacking, but each one of them comes with a caveat. I regret I didn’t see the things I saw in VR.
I want to write about No Man’s Sky today. What’s that? It’s not a VR game and we’ve already written about it twice before? Well this is my column and I can write about what I want so you’re getting more jargon about my hopes and dreams and you can like it.
Besides, when we wrote about why we think Hello Games’ procedurally generated universe was perfect for VR and then about what needed to improve so it could, we still really didn’t know much about it. We’d jumped between a few planets, and shot down a handful of ships, but we hadn’t got ourselves lost with supplies running low in a toxic desert or spent hours searching for Atlas Stones that add layers of mystery for the game’s lore.
I must have spent over 20 hours or so in No Man’s Sky by now and, unlike what seems to be the majority of the internet, I love it. I’ve happily spent entire play sessions just wondering around one planet, discovering their wildlife and heading to the bottom of their oceans. I think it’s a wondrous, fantastical trip of a game. But, my god, does it need VR support.
It’s not often I use PlayStation 4’s social features, but pressing the Share button has practically become second nature in No Man’s Sky. I see so many things I want to share, so many sights I don’t want to leave behind, most likely never to be seen again. Each time I find something new and amazing I gasp, but in the back of my mind I also know I’m missing out on seeing it in VR. I’ve walked through forests and over beaches in amazement, but knowing that I’m not on seeing them with a headset is always in the back of my mind.
The sooner that’s corrected the better. VR support hasn’t been confirmed for Hello Games’ space sim but no one’s said no yet, either. I need closure; with each passing system I get more and more agitated that I’m seeing so much without a headset on.
This week we’ve also seen multiple reports of dramatic drop offs in sales and player activity in the game. What better way to breathe new life into it than to promise everyone that the universe they’re in will soon come to life like never before?
If it is going to happen then Hello Games really needs to announce it sooner rather than later, as the jokes about trade-in fodder are already starting to reach the top of Reddit. People might not be completely drawn in by No Man’s Sky‘s focus on exploration, but they might warm to the concept in VR. Certainly those that are already committed to buying a headset in October would hang on to their copies if they new support was coming.
Rather than denying, Hello Games’ Sean Murray has dodged repeated questions about PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive support for No Man’s Sky. The lack of a firm no still has me thinking that it’s going to be announced at some point, but with the game’s mixed reaction it really feels like the number of people that will actually care about VR support is dwindling away. If it’s going to happen, then it needs to be sooner rather than later.
Maybe a bonus announcement for the upcoming PlayStation Meeting?