No Man’s Sky’s foundation in procedural generation means that Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 Neo could substantially change the game beyond surface-level improvements, developer Hello Games has proposed.
The more powerful edition of the console is expected to be revealed next month, with an October launch having been rumoured since April.
Among the hardware enhancements suggested by leaks and rumours is a CPU boost from 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz, plus a jump from the current 18-CU GPU running at 800MHz to a 36-CU graphics chip set at 911MHz. Memory processing rates will similarly rise from 176GB/s to 218GB/s, with an extra 512MB of RAM opened up to devs.
Hello CEO Sean Murray told the Daily Star that because No Man’s Sky is procedurally generated, rather than handcrafted, “more powerful hardware doesn’t just mean upgraded textures or a higher framerate”.
“It means we can fundamentally change the experience,” he explained. “We’re able to change huge things in the universe, because we have complete control.
"With more powerful hardware, we can have more trees [and] more leaves on those trees. The density or immersion of worlds, or new types of world, could exist.
“It’s a really fun thing to think about what impact more powerful hardware could have on our game and tech in the future.”
Despite Murray’s ambitions for the Neo, it’s worth noting that previous leaks regarding the new platform have suggested that Sony will restrict developers from offering content or features exclusive to the console, with a focus put on improving visual performance in relation to the machine’s introduction of 4K support.
Games released on the Neo will reportedly need to support the original PS4 via a ‘Base Mode’, with hardware-specific improvements accessed through a ‘Neo Mode’.