No Man’s Sky may still not be the game it was promised to be, but the last two years have proven that, given enough love and care, any game can rise from the ashes. better still, No Man’s Sky will finally make its Xbox One debut, along with a massive update called No Man’s Sky NEXT, which finally adds the multiplayer components that were promised from the start.

No Man’s Sky NEXT is described as “the biggest update to the game yet”, which might sound like a tough feat considering how Atlas Rising was dubbed “the biggest” update at the time. Then again, the addition of “yet” might mean even bigger updates in the future! Whatever the case may be, it really does seem huge.

Sean Murray, Hello Games founder, went on stage during an Xbox Insider stream, where he announced that the game would come to Microsoft’s console, along with the same multiplayer update the rest of the world will get. The update includes full multiplayer support, which means that players will actually be able to see each other for the first time since launch and even share resources and bases.

No Man’s Sky can be mysterious and lonely and I love that… it’s very sci-fi

Sean Murray states that however mysterious and intriguing the science fiction aspect can be, Hello Games recognises that playing with friends “is another type of science fiction”. He says that it then falls in line with stuff like “Battlestar or the Star Trek away team… [which is] fun, emergent, intense, and funny in a way that [Hello Games] have always wanted No Man’s Sky to be”. No Man’s Sky NEXT is just the next step in taking the game in that direction altogether.

In terms of what exactly NEXT would offer, Sean Murray states that the universe will now become a fully shared experience. He says that players will “be able to explore the universe with friends, or bump into random travellers”. He also says that players can help others stay alive, or prey on them to stay alive instead. Friends can build “anything from tiny shelters to complex colonies spanning planets”, where everything is “shared online for others to visit”. Murray also states that players can fight as pirates or loyal wingmen in “epic space battles” — another nod to bringing the game in-line with its original promise. There will also be exocraft races… then again, players have always been able to build “anything really” since the Atlas Rising update.

No Man’s Sky NEXT is the fourth major expansion for the game and will be a free update to all existing versions of the game. It will be available on 24 July 2018, along with the Xbox One release.

[Sources: Engadget, Eurogamer, The Verge, Windows Central, YouTube]