Sci-fi massively multiplayer ship simulator Elite: Dangerous is now in beta testing as promised, with the premium beta having come to a close.
Sadly this does not make the "regular" beta cheap, however, as buying access will come at the cost $75.00 USD
. The price isn't entirely steep though when you consider that the purchase also includes future beta phases and the eventual release of the game.
The Beta phase has now started with many significant additional features. There are now 55 star systems covering 38,000 cubic light year. Player to player communication by voice and text, friends management and matchmaking. Private group and online single player options. Fuel consumption and docking computers for safe star port landings. Plus an overview of trade route mapping and the beginnings of online mission systems.
Frontier Developments calls the beta a "significant milestone" in development of the space combat sequel, and offer a new beta trailer to show it off.