CCP has used its CCP Presents session at this year's Fanfest in Reykjavik to outline the future of both Dust 514 and Eve Online.
The PlayStation Vita companion app that will support Dust 514 is tentatively called Dust 514: Neocom. While this app won't be a full port of the console game, it will offer features such as market browsing, skills management, mail updates, loadout planning and a star map.
Fanfest attendees will be admitted to the Dust 514 beta during April, while additional waves of beta opportunities will be made available to players between April and June. The beta will be opened even further during the industry showcase E3 in June.
After launch, CCP and Sony will fully support Dust 514 as an eSports platform, with gladiator arena versions of capture-the-flag and solo deathmatches featuring prominently. Prefer to watch other players duel to the death? Both Eve Online and Dust 514 players will be able to spectate from within their respective games - and place bets on the victor.
Dust 514 won't just be a multiplayer game however - it was confirmed during the presentation that there will be a player-versus-environment component that consists of a survival game mode. This mode will see players face off against Dust 514's equivalent of Eve Online's rogue drones.
An expansion next year will bring variety in the form of more inhospitable planets in Dust - lava, gas and ice variations were mentioned. MTACs (Mechanized Torso-Actuated Chassis) will also arrive with this expansion, allowing players to add a mech warrior flavour to their combat.
The precursor patch to this summer's Eve Inferno expansion will feature revisions to the Incursion system, improvements to rogue drones, and the start of CCP's grand ship re-balancing programme. The main expansion launch will bring with it a revised war declaration system, new modules, improvements to Faction Wafare, improved turret effects and animations, and an improved inventory management system.
CCP's creative director Torfi Frans Olafsson took to the stage to outline the developer's grander ambitions for Eve that lie a little further in the future. With DirectX 11 support coming to the game in 2012, improved ship destruction effects were demonstrated. Revisions to the mining system were outlined, along with a promise that the increased complexity introduced to mining would result in appropriately greater rewards. An emphasis on the importance of collaboration between miners was also made.
CCP is committed to placing more of the universe into players' hands, with the aim that all services in the game - such as manufacturing and research installations - should ultimately be controlled by players.
Most interestingly, Olafsson touched on the potential for the avatar component of Eve Online. Players may one day be able to leave their spacecraft and explore valuable ruins that populate the universe. These will not be closed instances, and Eve's critical sense of danger at all times will prevail. A typically bombastic visionary trailer outlining the future of the game was used to close the ceremony - you can watch it below.