This is why you don't pre-order video games. Despite the arguments around review copies and the media, No Man's Sky PC port has shown that the lack of information and review copies available can leave consumers without vital information at a game's launch. And in the case of No Man's Sky, it most certainly seems that the review copies weren't sent out due to major performance and porting issues from Hello Games and Sony.
No Man's Sky has finally released on PC, and to say that it's released in a poor state would be an understatement. It is very rare for a game with this much hype around it to hit a Mostly Negative rating on Steam review algorithms this early on, and yet, No Man's Sky has apparently been able to do just that. This is despite a delay for the PC version from Hello Games, which you'd assume would have been to fix these kinds of issues, as opposed to adding 21:9 support like Sean Murray indicated that they did. Needless to say, the PC gaming community is upset at this latest example of a broken product being pushed on to them, and with the performance that No Man's Sky has been showing....I don't blame them.
Steam users are reporting a wide variety of issues, but I'll focus on some of the more common ones. First of all, many people are reporting significant crashes on launch. Many of the top reviews on Steam are indicating they can't even get in to play the game, as players are experiencing white screens and then repeated crashes. In addition, many big streamers/Youtube reviewers such as ACG, and TotalBiscuit are indicating massive hitches in gameplay performance, stuttering, and FPS drops all over the place. This is despite the powerful hardware being used in those cases using top of the line hardware such as GTX 1080s and Nvidia Titans. Some systems with GTX 980 are even experiencing FPS drops down to 10 FPS, which is unacceptable even on a console version of the game. What's most concerning about these are that the reports are that even on low settings with some of the more top of the line hardware are still not getting playable FPS values.
It should be noted that no review copies for the PC were given out (despite Sean Murray indicating they would be via Keymailer), and the internet detectives are already finding massive problems with the port and the implementation. I'd ask for Durante to come save this port, but I'm not entirely interested in the game to begin with. In addition, the PlayStation 4 version of the game had performance problems as well, as reported by Digital Foundry. So it's not like some of these problems are just isolated to the PC version. While the game did have reported crashes as well, it seems to be taken to a whole another level with the PC version of the game, as some people can't even get the game to start.
And the games roots from the PlayStation 4 may have been taken to a whole new level in this PC release. There are signs that the port wasn't optimized well, as the game uses libraries directly from Sony's library and ported it to the PC.
But on top of that, some of the choices that were ported over to the PC version make absolutely no sense. As pointed out by TotalBiscuit and on the No Man's Sky reddit thread: there's a half second delay where you have to hold down the button to move to the next list of six items in your inventory. While there's a lack of inputs on a controller and thus for the PlayStation 4, that's not the case for the PC. There seems to be no mouse wheel support in various menus, and there's questions about the FOV value's accuracy, as people are getting motion sickness from FOV values that are normally OK for them. Alt + Tab settings don't work cleanly either, as many users are having to either close the game or use task manager to give the game the context back. Everywhere you look, there seems to be more problems, and it only seems to get worse on closer inspection.
TotalBiscuit streamed the game for a reasonable amount of time this morning, and the following should indicate how bad he found the PC port to be. If it doesn't indicate the quality in which the port launched in, I don't know what will. Considering that Arkham Knight was pulled from the Steam store front due to its quality, No Man's Sky could end up with a similar fate.
Hello Games Sean Murray seems to be aware, and is offering some fixes via twitter for some people who are experiencing problems, citing the need to update drivers, and checking your system requirements.
It's been pointed out that those well above the minimum spec are experiencing massive issues, and many of the streamers/YouTubers who have reported issues have checked for updated drivers and the assorted requirements needed to run the game at the best of its ability.
We have reached out to Hello Games for comment on these issues, and will update this story as we learn more about it.
People indicate that review copies are a problem in the industry, but this is EXACTLY what review copies could expose in terms of problems. It was a giant red flag that the PC version of the game had NO review copies given to it, and while I understand that this was a decision by Hello Games and Sony, it just shows that you've got to be extremely patient when it comes to game releases now a days. And once again, say it with me. DO NOT PRE-ORDER VIDEO GAMES.