Elite: Dangerous is an always online single player MMO space simulation game.
The gameplay consists of simulation space combat, trading and adventuring. The player is free to make their own choices in order to make their way in this game. One player may try their hand at being a pirate while another at collecting bounties.
Pro Built with future expansion in mind
When Elite Dangerous come out, development won't stop. To build a game with the huge scope of Elite Dangerous, not all of it can be done at once, so the developers have adopted an approach of incremental improvement. Various game play elements are being designed as a foundation for later features. For example, although planetary landings aren't going to be available until a later update, the engine has been designed to be able to support going from lightyears away to meters away.
Pro Exploration at every level of detail
Full exploration of the galaxy is planned, allowing you to be able to jump from star system to star system, and fly around within a solar system from planet to planet, eventually going all the way down to a planet's surface at a 1:1 scale in a later update. Planetary landings will require a lot of details to be developed and designed, but you can still see the level of detail shift in action when flying into a planet's rings, where getting close enough show the individual asteroids within, which you can then interact with through mining, or by having a battle among them.
Pro Very realistic representation of space & star systems
Elite Dangerous uses publicly available real world star maps that we have of the Milky Way consisting of 150,000 star systems. Although in the current beta, full access to the entire galaxy is limited, in the final game, you will be able to visit any of the 400 billion stars in our galaxy on a 1:1 scale. Stars that we do know of are properly mapped in place and are of the correct type given the information we have about them. Stars we haven't collected data on are procedurally generated which allows you to explore any of the 400 billion of them.
Star systems are intelligently simulated using the "Star Forge", a generator that simulates the creation of a star system forming from its nebular cloud to determine what celestial bodies appear and what orbits they have. This feature leads to many varied and unique star systems possibly with planets that can co-orbit around each other, or with binary star systems, and infinitely more possibilities.
Con Really complicated to learn
Looking up faqs and trade routes from first hand users will be the norm for figuring out many aspects of Elite: Dangerous. On top of this notes will have to be taken, which is made more difficult by the fact the game does not support in game not taking. So a pad and paper is recommended to remember all of the minutia of the game.