Star Citizen may not be "out" as an official, packaged product... yet. However, that hasn't stopped Roberts Space Industries from teaming up with Intel to bring gamers an exclusive ship for Star Citizen through a hardware partnership with the product maker.
The news rolled out during this year's Citizencon 2017 that's currently taking place as of the writing of this article in Frankfurt, Germany. According to an article on Polygon, gamers who purchase the 480GB version of the Intel Optane SSD 900P for $599 will receive a special key to access the exclusively designed Sabre Raven.
The ship was actually specifically designed at Intel's request, and you'll only be able to get it by purchasing the SSD. For those of you who are completionist and absolutely must have the Sabre Raven, there's a cheaper alternative to acquiring the ship by purchasing the 280GB version of the Optane SSD for $389.
The Sabre Raven is said to be a variant of the Aegis Sabre, but it has a special livery and is said to be one of the fastest ships in its class as a combat fighter. You can't get a proper look at this particular variant of the ship over on the official website, but it's very sleekly designed from the close-up images available. It's also slightly lighter than the other two variants of the Sabre, and it has a few other slight tweaks to its systems, including slightly better shields and weapon systems.
You aren't able to purchase the Sabre right now, with the site showing that it's unavailable. However, the notice on the site states that the Sabre variants may be ready in the PTU version of alpha 3.0 of Star Citizen.
At the moment alpha 3.0 is going through the "Evocati" test phase, where around 800 backers have been selected to offer feedback and suggestions on the game as well as help play-test to find bugs and glitches that the QA team may have missed. This has prompted for Cloud Imperium Games to spend time hammering down and ironing out the bugs before alpha 3.0 is ready to move into the public test realm, also known as the PTU.
According to Polygon, the ship and this promotion is only tied to the MMO version of Star Citizen and not the single-player campaign known as Squadron 42. The former is more of a persistent universe where players will be able to venture about a procedurally generated universe, engaging in a variety of missions while acquiring new ships, equipment, friends and enemies alike. The latter is a single-player story-driven campaign mode that's supposed to be the spiritual successor to the Wing Commander games.
Previously the Sabre was purchasable from the site, according to Polygon; after striking a deal with Intel, the ability to acquire the Sabre from the RSI website was made unavailable. Gamers will be able to play-test the alpha 3.0 build of Star Citizen over the weekend to get a feel for some of the vehicles. More ships and transports will be made available whenever alpha 3.0 is released for the public.