These guys never quit: One of the hardest-working developers out there, Hello Games, has continued plugging away at its flagship passion project, No Man's Sky, for nearly seven years. It's remarkable for any developer to continue improving a game for that amount of time without involving microtransactions.
So far, the studio has subsisted on its initial sales on PlayStation 4, with the occasional bump from ports to Nintendo Switch, Xbox consoles, PlayStation 5, and PC. These boosts have helped the team deliver over 20 major updates, including two in the first part of this year – Fractal and Interceptor.
On Thursday, Hello Games surprised the community and everyone else by releasing No Man's Sky on Mac! The studio announced the plans about a year ago at WWDC 2022 without a launch window. So the turnaround time was pretty quick. The game is already available on Steam, but Sean Murray said he is working with Apple to get it into the native Apple Mac Store as soon as possible.
As one might expect, the Mac version will contain all seven years of content – something the team struggled with on the Switch. It wasn't a half-assed effort to quickly (and cheaply) port it to Mac hardware, either.
The team rebuilt the game from the ground up to take advantage of Apple silicon and the Metal 3 platform. However, to stem the FOMO Intel-based Mac users might feel about the news, the team went the extra mile to make the game compatible with older Apple hardware. So you won't have to upgrade your 2015 iMac to enjoy NMS. It doesn't even have to be a top-of-the-line Intel Mac, but there are some limitations we'll point out in a moment.
"Expect fast loading times using the Mac internal SSD," said Murray. "Consistent performance across the full range of Macs is possible through MetalFX Upscaling. Metal 3 support allows No Man's Sky to achieve console quality graphics whilst maintaining battery life on laptops and lower end devices."
Additionally, those who already purchased No Man's Sky for PC through Steam can grab the Mac version for free. Players don't even have to worry about losing their progress when switching from one platform to another since the save system is platform-agnostic between Windows and macOS.
"No Man's Sky for Mac is free to millions of players who already own the game on Steam. And for users who use both PC and Mac, cross save is supported between both systems, allowing players to jump from a PC to a Mac laptop, or from a Mac mini to Mac Studio."
While console versions don't share this cross-save functionality, the macOS port is crossplay enabled, just like all other versions. So whether playing on a console or a computer, hooking up with friends on any system is still a cinch.
No Man's Sky will run effortlessly on any Mac with Apple silicon, whether the most powerful desktop or the most modest M1 laptop, including the low-horsepower MacBook Airs. Intel Macs are a bit more picky. Users will need at least an Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 20GB storage, and a Radeon Pro 570X 4GB Graphics Card. That last spec disqualifies all Intel laptops since they use Intel Iris Plus iGPUs. It also requires macOS Monterey 12.3, but that shouldn't be a problem for anything but some of the older Macs (pre-2017).
Murray closed out by teasing that another major content dump is coming soon. So the HG team truly has been busy churning it out this year.