Truly, we are living in an age of a Hello Games renaissance. No Man's Sky multiplayer is finally happening, properly this time, and the studio's founder Sean Murray made a rare appearance on Inside Xbox last night to reveal No Man's Sky's Xbox One release date as July 24. He also talked a little bit more about how the game's multiplayer component has been totally revamped for No Man's Sky Next, the big new update arriving simultaneously to Xbox One, PS4, and PC on that same day.
No Man's Sky Next will be totally free to all owners of the original game, as has been the case for every update so far, and will finally let players "explore the universe with your friends, or bump into random travellers."
Previously, players in the game were not even able to see each other, let alone interact, though last year's Atlas Rises update rectified that by having each spacefarer represented by a strange, glowing orb. This came as a disappointment to many who were expecting a massively multiplayer experience from No Man's Sky, but Murray assures fans that Next will finally deliver on those expectations.
"You can help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive." he explained in a blog on the Xbox website. "Your group can build anything from tiny shelters to complex colonies spanning planets, and everything is shared online for others to visit. Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies. Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks or maybe just scenic trails to share online."
The Xbox One version of the game also sports a fancy new box art (seen above) which puts the new multiplayer experience front and centre, and gives you an idea not just of how you'll look to each other in the game, but also how serious Hello Games is about making this a key component of the No Man's Sky experience.
Aside from the online stuff, No Man's Sky Next promises to change the game in big ways, though tangible details and gameplay footage remain fairly scarce for now. Hopefully Hello Games is ready to show off more of what's coming soon, all in time for that new, hotly awaited July 24 release date.
Let us know whether you'll be jumping back into No Man's Sky this summer, and check out our list of the best open world games to see where Hello Games' indie epic comes in the ranking.