This opens up the "full 400 Billion star systems," and those who've pre-ordered Elite: Dangerous can download and play single-player combat missions from this Wednesday, November 26th.
Over the weekend Frontier held a premier event for Elite: Dangerous at the, which was the official date ending the beta. This also saw the release of the Gamma build and the launch of the official iOS companion app.
"...on Wednesday 26 November all players who have pre-ordered the game can download and play the game’s single player combat missions in preparation for Elite: Dangerous’ 16 December launch, when players will influence the vicious power struggle to succeed the recently-deceased Emperor."
"The Gamma release implements the crowdfunding backer ‘starting positions’ that were part of the reward tiers, and opens the full 400 Billion star systems of the most advanced virtual representation of the Milky Way galaxy ever created for a videogame," boasted the studio.
Elite: Dangerous, as it has been discovered, is in fact an MMO space sim that requires an Internet connection. However you can ignore players and explore the galaxy as you wish.
"The game’s online, ever unfolding story starts with the 16 December launch with players participating in the vicious power struggle between the potential heirs to the recently-deceased Emperor, as the Federation and Alliance – the Empire’s rival galactic superpowers – attempt to manipulate the succession battle for their own advantage. Like every story in Elite: Dangerous’ shared galaxy, players will decide the outcome."
Elite: Dangerous releases on PC December 16th, with combat tutorials available November 26th.