No Man’s Sky, developed by indie studio Hello Games, arrives on shelves next month and promises players near-endless opportunities to explore and experience new planets and environments. Billed as an epic space exploration adventure with emergent gameplay, players embark on a voyage through space and time, searching for valueable materials, new planets and creatures, or the truth… whatever it may be. The game is massive – it contains almost an entire simulated universe, and it’s theoretically impossible to visit every planet and star system before you die.

No Man’s Sky arrives on the PlayStation 4 on 9 August, but the PC version releases on 12 August, and may end up being the better pick for gamers looking to enhance the experience with better graphics options and the possibility of mods appearing (as typically happens on the PC platform).

Minimum System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 / 8.1 / 10 (build 10240) 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i3 [very likely a Core i3-530 or similar]
  • RAM: 8GB system memory
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB
  • HDD: 10GB free storage space
  • Audio: DirectX 9.0c supported audio card
  • LAN: Internet connection required

The system requirements are a bit strange, especially given the insanely crisp visuals that we’ve seen from the game in previous teasers and walkthroughs. I’m hazarding a guess that the game is OpenGL-based as well, judging by the GTX 480 recommendation as well as the fact that it’s clearly not a DirectX 12 title. That may complicate things somewhat for AMD Radeon owners, as the company’s historical performance in OpenGL titles has been largely at the mercy of the developers. If No Man’s Sky is an OpenGL game, then there’s also the possibility that it appears on Apple OS X/MacOS or Linux platforms, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on those developments.

However, it’s quite likely that the game runs well on a wide spread of hardware, so that means most gamers will be able to enjoy it. The low GTX 480 requirement means that some recent discrete graphics at the low-end, like the Radeon R7 360 or the GeForce GTX 750 will be more than enough to power this game along at high settings. The only real limitation is the core count, which seems to be stuck at four threads. Plainly put, if you’re going to try launching this on a dual-core CPU, you’re gonna have a bad time.

What’s also fun is that the entire game – the entirety of it, music included – only takes up 6GB of drive space. Because the game’s world is procedurally generated, not a lot of resources are required to render the game worlds that you’re exploring, and this allows Hello Games to make it as lean as possible. This game also has stunning visuals that don’t overwhelm you. Just take a gander at these screenshots!

Excited yet? No Man’s can be pre-ordered on Steam for the princely sum of R599. By pre-ordering the game, you get access to a free starter ship called the Horizon Omega, which sports an advanced hyperdrive and better weapons to give you a leg up in the early game while you’re trying to survive. There is technically a multiplayer component to the game, but unless you’re in possession of a star map AND your friend knows where in the galaxy he/she is, teaming up will become a mission in itself.