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In context: Hello Games never stopped believing in its vision for No Man's Sky and never stopped working to make it a reality. It's hard to say when exactly NMS became everything Sean Murray had promised, but here we are, almost six years later, and the game is more than anyone ever thought it would be.
Since No Man's Sky's release in 2016, Hello Games has managed to develop 17 major content updates (not including the Halloween special update), four seasons of its multiplayer side game, Expeditions, and countless bug fixes and quality of life improvements. It has been two months since the last update and the last time fans waited that long for a patch, HG dropped the Frontiers expansion.
"Something is coming," I thought.
Indeed. Something is coming all right. All has been quiet on the No Man's Sky release page because Hello Games has been working on a Nintendo Switch port. The developer announced the news with a trailer during Wednesday's Nintendo Direct (below).
The trailer did not reveal many details. It mainly featured general gameplay but did not have the small print saying, "Actual gameplay captured on the Switch." So we should assume it wasn't. If you watch very closely, 15 of the 17 expansions are included. The two that were absent were Crossplay and Frontiers.
No cross-platform play makes sense on the Switch. It's probably not entirely straightforward getting the lower powered console to behave in multiplayer sessions with PCs and next-gen hardware.
The omission of Frontiers is also somewhat understandable since it's the most recent expansion, having launched on September 1. Updates have always been of considerable size, and HG just might not have had the time to fit Frontiers into its desired launch window. It is also possible that it is too much for the Switch to handle. Frontiers is about building large settlements, which can tax even more powerful hardware.
Expeditions were also conspicuously absent, but new seasons have been on pause for several months. The last season, "Revisited," was actually a rerun of the second Expedition, "Beachhead." It gave players a second chance to score the SSV Normandy SR1 frigate from Mass Effect. The last unique multiplayer adventure was "Emergence" back in October. So Expeditions could theoretically appear on the Switch whenever HG fires them back up again.
The saga of No Man's Sky has been a comeback story, not unlike Rocky. A small, virtually unknown studio called Hello Games had visions of grandeur, only to be beaten senseless by critics and gamers alike. But the can-do developer put in the extra work and effort and eventually won by knockout. Boxing metaphors aside, No Man's Sky's failure and then massive success is remarkable if not historic.
No Man's Sky will land on the Switch sometime this summer. My guess is that, barring any setbacks, Hello Games will release it around August 9, which is the game's sixth anniversary.