One of the more interesting things about Prey is that it's set in a world in which US President John Kennedy was not assassinated. He lived, he served out his presidency, and the world evolved in a very different direction because of it. We got our first taste of that alt-history setting at QuakeCon, and now Bethesda has revealed a little bit more about how Talos 1, the orbital station on which Prey takes place, ultimately came to be.
Kennedy's survival kept America's focus on its space program, and it is thus much stronger in Prey than it is in our dull, grey, “real” world. That not only enabled the creation of Talos 1 at a relatively early point in the history of human space exploration, it also had a real impact on how the place looks: The game is set in 2035 but the station was built in the 1960s, and its evolution over time will be visible as you move through its “neo-deco” decor.
As for why it's such a swanky joint, it's a corporate creation, and every smart company knows that you have to put your best foot forward when you're trying to recruit the best and brightest. (Also, it looks really cool.)
Prey is set to come out sometime in 2017, and will let you turn into a coffee cup.