PlayStation 4 owners eager to survive the dinosaur-filled wilds of ARK: Survival Evolved finally have a date to look forward to. Developer Studio Wildcard announced a release date Wednesday that is right around the corner, and the announcement was coupled with some nice looking exclusive skins.
ARK: Survival Evolved will launch for the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro on Tuesday, December 6. The base game plus the Scorched Earth expansion will be available via the ARK: Survivors pack at a $54.99 price. European players will be able to purchase the base game separately for €34.99 and the expansion for €19.99. North American players will have to wait until spring 2017 to be able to make a separate purchase.
In addition to both ARK: Survival Evolved and the Scorched Earth expansion, the ARK: Survivor’s Pack will include some PlayStation exclusive skins. Those that are able to tame a Giganotosaurus will have access to the TEK Giga Skin. Meanwhile, players skilled enough to defeat the Manticore in Scorched Earth will gain access to the Manticore Armor Set.
Update: Studio Wildcard confirmed the skins are timed-exclusive until the full release scheduled for Spring 2017. The Xbox One and PC exclusive skins will also be available on all platforms at that point.
Those with a PlayStation 4 Pro will want to go into the game settings menu for ARK: Survival Evolved and choose the “Detailed Graphics” options. This will give the game a resolution bump over the 720p the game runs at for the regular PS4 and add some additional graphical features. Pro owners will also enjoy a better framerate that hovers around 50 frames per second (fps) and can reach 60 at some points. This is a vast improvement over the current state of the console edition, which frequently runs well below 30 fps.
“I’m really impressed with the PS4 Pro’s level of performance,” Lead Developer and Studio Wildcard Co-Founder Jeremy Stieglitz said during an Extra Life livestream, as previously covered by the Inquistr.
“I think Sony has done a hell of a lot of good with that hardware. It’s the first time I can ever recall loading up a console and being like ‘holy s***, there is some serious power in this.'”
While this is an official release for the PlayStation 4, the PC and Xbox One versions of ARK: Survival Evolved are still technically in Early Access. This appears to be more of a question of semantics since Sony does not have an Early Access-style program. Studio Wildcard has added the minimum requirements needed for the game to be an official release, but it is still very much still in development.
The PC version of ARK recently received an update in November which refreshed the caves on The Island for the first time since it entered Steam Early Access in 2015. This put a fresh coat of paint on end-game areas in order to bring them up to par visually and improve performance while exploring the caves. This same cave refresh will come to the Xbox One in a patch planned for December 14. However, even more exciting features are coming soon.
The Tek Tier will be added to ARK: Survival Evolved in PC patch 253, scheduled for December 21. This adds sci-fi style gear such as Tek armor to boost up with jet packs, run super fast, pack a powerful punch, or see through walls. It also comes with plasma rifles, plus new T-Rex armor that lets players put a “freakin’ laser beam” on their head.
The 253 patch will also be the first real progression towards underwater life. Two new full-scale underwater caves will be added to herald the ability to build underwater bases in another PC patch planned for January.
PlayStation 4 owners should expect patches to run two to four weeks behind the PC version as that is the typical timeframe on the Xbox One. There are some occasions where the console version will get certain features or events first. The timing of patches for both console platforms will depend on the certification process for Sony and Microsoft.
ARK: Survival Evolved will remain in Early Access for the PC and Xbox One over the next few months. Studio Wildcard is currently targeting a full release for both platforms early in 2017. However, don’t expect any differences between the three platforms. The PC will remain the lead platform for ARK while the PS4 and Xbox One will follow.
Will you give ARK: Survival Evolved a shot on the PlayStation 4? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]