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No PlayStation Plus? No problem: ‘No Man’s Sky’ doesn’t need it

The launch of the PlayStation 4 in late 2013 brought with it a noticeable change to Sony’s business model. While the company had previously offered online play on its platforms for free — in contrast to the $50 and $60 subscriptions required to play on Xbox Live — PlayStation 4 users must have a PlayStation Plus membership to play just about any game online. The key phrase is “just about,” as one of the most anticipated games of the year, No Man’s Sky, will not require the service.

Speaking to Game Informer, a Sony representative revealed that a PlayStation Plus membership would not be necessary to play No Man’s Sky online, adding that an internet connection would still be necessary “for your discoveries to register with the universal atlas.”

Related: A geneticist’s ‘Superformula’ made No Man’s Sky real, but can Hello Games legally use it?

What’s still not clear, however, is how Hello Games managed to fit the entire game onto just a 6GB disc, especially considering that managing director Sean Murray said that most of that space is reserved for audio. We suspect that the file size could balloon once the game actually launches, and will likely take up much more than 6GB if it’s true that the majority of the game is available offline. Those 16 quintillion planets have to get stored somewhere.

We’ve reached out to Hello Games regarding the limitations of an offline mode and will update this piece when we receive an answer.

This information is all based on the presumption that No Man’s Sky actually makes it to store shelves, however. A disagreement surrounding the studio’s use of a patented “Superformula,” which was allegedly utilized for the game’s randomly-generated universe, has a small chance of delaying the project yet again. But with so little time remaining until its release date, we fully expect to play it on August 9 when it launches on PlayStation 4 and PC.