Astroneer launches in Game Preview for Xbox One and Windows 10 on Dec. 16

Astroneer, a new space exploration game, is set to launch into game preview for Xbox One and Windows 10 on December 16. On launch, the game will also support Microsoft's Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, meaning you can buy the game once and play on both platforms for no extra charge.

Initially revealed in late 2015, the game's visuals look stunning thanks to an art style that is quite the standout. As for the gameplay, it sounds promising if you're into exploring beautiful environments and manipulating the ground beneath your feet. From Xbox Wire (opens in new tab):

Astroneer is a game about independent space explorers prospecting the stars for fortune and glory. This is a game about discovery and mystery, as you uncover rare artifacts and the resources you need to find, on vast worlds where every cubic inch of space can be explored. It's a game about creativity, as you use your tools to dig, build, sculpt, and shape the very ground to serve your needs, whether utilitarian or aesthetic. It's a game about solitude, as you enjoy the beauty of your surroundings as you might on a long hike or camping trip. It's also a game about cooperation, as you invite your friends to share the experience with you in multiplayer co-op.

Of course, the game is entering the Game Preview program, so it's bound to feel incomplete with oodles of bugs, glitches and other kinks that will be worked out over time. However, If you're interested in getting in on the game early, the first alpha release will be available starting December 16 on both Xbox One and Windows 10.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Oh, this is so going to be bought day1 ..
  • Would have bought it for both platforms even if it didn't support Play Anywhere.  No-brainer since it does. Instant purchase.
  • Has a no mans sky feel to it, but looks 10 times more fun.
  • 20 times! I dont have to worry about hostile robots killing me ;)
  • The mechanics of it remind me a lot of Slime Rancher. Sucking stuff up and base building. From everything I've seen so far, it appears to be an excellent game for smaller children too. Can't wait to play this one with my daughter as well.
  • Downloaded and played a little bit this morning before heading out just to check it out. The controls take a bit of getting used to. Even then it's somewhat frustrating. For instance, having to use the right thumbstick for moving the tool around, but also needing it to change the camera view. Oh, but if you exit the tool to change the camera view, when you go back to the tool it automatically defaults to the original position over the shoulder. When you open the backpack, it's right in the center of your field of vision and makes it difficult to remove and place stuff. You have to be standing in just the right orientation of where you're going to place stuff so you can just move from one to the other. Otherwise you have to open the backpack, grab what you want, close the backpack, and then place it. If you want to move multiple items, you have to open and close the backpack multiple times or just drag it all off onto the ground and then place it. They don't tell you you have to be in the tool mode to use buttons on the backpack or on the base machines and use LT to select them. The controls menu only shows controls for mouse and keyboard. Obviously the game was designed for PC and playing with a gamepad was an afterthough. There has to be a better control scheme than this.
  • I'm wondering how much will the game cost?
  • Available for $19.99USD on all platforms.
  • This has been on my radar for a while. But then again so was No Man's Sky which I ended up buying on release and....the rest is history.
  • This should be way cheaper of a mistake, if it happens to be a mistake :)
  • Have you seen No Man's Sky lately? The Foundation Update brought tons of new content and awesomeness!
  • It's like paying for a beta that might never ends! Or a pre-order with no true release date or refunds!
  • You could always just wait for the full release, then. It's just another option for you. I think it's a great thing for smaller developers to allow them to put more into their games than maybe was possible without an early income stream.
  • but what he's saying is that there isn't even a full release either!
  • Yeah but he doesn't know if that will happen. Plenty of early access games have been released as full games.
  • if someone buy this for me I will love them forever. I'm a pretty girl
  • Will the xbox one/windows store players be siloed off from Steam? I'd like to buy it to play with friends, and would love to get the windows store version, but only if I can play with people who have the Steam version as well.
  • Minecraft?
  • LOL a beta that never ends, is that not Windows as a Beta oh sorry service..
  • Been like that for every OS since for ever on win it was called service packs.... Nothing nez here just more streamlining and more reactivity than ever before... Been on win since 3.1 and I much prefer win today as a "service"... Same goes for office it's even better there 5 licences always up to date for a 100bucks that's a steal we never got before
  • Is this game going to support cross-platform gaming?