Now you can “fly around the whole world” while sitting at home. Microsoft Flight Simulator overview

what is Microsoft Flight Simulator?

Flight Simulator is Microsoft's oldest software product that has scored a whole

audience of those who want to climb into the skyin a realistic way. With the most recent recording released in 2006, the technological leaps forward in the new edition are staggering. Not only has developer Asobo Studio mapped the entire world, but the team's attention to detail even makes those of us not interested in aviation keep an eye on the product.

When will be available Flight Simulator from Microsoft?

Microsoft Flight Simulator launches on Windows 10, Steam and Xbox Game Pass on August 18.

What does flying look like in a simulator?

You can fly around the world while sitting at home,visit any city or city on Earth and Asobo has tried and provided 400 cities in the world using Bing Maps telemetry. All this to add an unprecedented amount of detail. In addition, the team has handcrafted up to 30 airports (depending on which version you buy), and the remaining 37,000 airports are available through automatic generation via planetary mapping. In fact, the planet is so vast that it can take 14 years of continuous flight to see everything in the game. All of this data would be too much to download, so Microsoft transfers it to players using Azure cloud technology. If you have a slow connection or plan to stay without internet access, don't worry as you can download parts of the world.

When you're in the sky, the world looks likeamazing. This is due not only to the photorealistic nature of things on earth, but also due to 3D clouds and rain that accurately scatter light, realistic reflections from water and complex lighting in cities and suburbs. Perhaps the most impressive is the weather - you can set any weather you want, or you can check the current weather at that particular location in real time. The visuals in the simulator are unmatched.

No matter if you're flying through the clearskies, watching a thunderstorm nearby or dealing with a blizzard, a realistic aviation experience is the heart of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Using advanced aerodynamic calculations, the software ensures that you are dealing with various elements and variables that real pilots must consider every day. From a hot day with updates to realistic simulations of air masses that alter how your aircraft handles in different conditions, Asobo has kept a checkmark when collecting data for accurate simulations. The studio even went so far as to calculate how the air escaping from the propeller hits the tail of the plane.

Project ambitions

While Microsoft Flight Simulator is already impressive,Asobo has big product ambitions after launch. The current plan is to release something meaningful every month in the future. These updates could include free world add-ons like more handcrafted airports and landing issues, new simulation features, and paid DLCs for things like adding helicopters to software.

Why Microsoft is reviving Flight simulator now?

Since the release of Flight Simulator X, Microsoft has increasingly focused on Xbox, Microsoft Flight Simulator CEO Jörg Neumann said in an interview with The Verge.

Why did it take so long to return? To be honest, I've been at Microsoft for quite some time, and the desire to make another flight simulator was really always there. And people talked about it in the corridors, but there was always, “What are we going to add? What should we say? Can we take a significant step forward? "

Jörg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator

In recent years, Neumann has worked on projects forHoloLens, augmented reality headsets from Microsoft. The demo, called HoloTour, which allows players to fly around Rome and Machu Picchu, marked the first collaboration with the Microsoft Bing Maps team.

How did the project start to revive?

After Jörg Neumann put on the HoloLens headset for the first time to "see" Peru, what he saw so amazed him, he wondered - what if you do the same, but for the whole planet?

In 2017, Neumann contacted Asobo Studio andasked if they would be willing to give the project a shot. Using data from Microsoft's hometown of Seattle, it took Asobo several weeks to put together a demonstration of a Cessna plane flying downtown. Neumann then showed it to Phil Spencer, the vice president who is now head of the Xbox.

He just looked at me and said: "Why are you showing me the Seattle airplane video?" And then the plane turned and we flew over the Microsoft campus where we were sitting at that very moment. And he's like, “Is this in real time? It works?" I answered him - yes, it is. And then we already knew that we had something special.

Jörg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator

Show someone a video of an airplane flying overphotorealistic Seattle is one thing, but convincing the player that he is on the plane himself is another. While Asobo had never developed a flight simulator before, it had previously supplied Fuel, a 2009 all-terrain outdoor racer that used procedural techniques and satellite data to create what was the largest video game environment at the time.

Complexity of the project

For now, the details of the Flight Simulator worldnot quite evenly distributed. Microsoft's data doesn't cover all regions of the world, which means a lot needs to be manually configured. Unique objects such as landmarks and bridges must also be created manually because they cannot be created using AI.

However, the company is confident that this is a matter of time, and Microsoft Flight Simulator will be able to show more.

Who will be available for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Although Microsoft Flight Simulatorwith a lot of emphasis on simulators, it is inevitable that this version will be tested by a wide audience of people who may have never tried a flight simulator before.

Flight Simulator is currently running on the PC versionXbox Game Pass, and a later version for Xbox consoles. Microsoft also announced that VR support will be available in a PC version, which could further expand the user base.

Alpha version Microsoft Flight Simulator. User experience

This is how the work of the alpha version was described by the employee of the portal The Verge, Sam Byford, who got access to it.

I am wondering how Microsoft Flight Simulatorwill work on Xbox consoles from a technical point of view. I have a pretty good PC and a fast internet connection, which is important for streaming, but I didn't always get solid frame rates and visuals when running at 1440p even at medium settings. On one flight I took off from JFK and started flying north from the south of Manhattan. It looked great at first, but by the time I got to the Chrysler Building, some of the skyscrapers were still not rendered properly and looked like a messy mess. This is still an alpha version of the software, so don't take this as a review, but if you're unsure about your PC's capabilities, it might be a good idea to try the Game Pass version first.

How does the beta version of Microsoft Flight Simulator work and look?

Microsoft released the closed beta phase for Microsoft Flight Simulator yesterday. DigitalFoundry shared some performance impressions.

According to Alex Battaglia ofDigital Foundry, Microsoft Flight Simulator can run at 30-40fps in 4K at Ultra settings on NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti. Simply put, this simulator will require next-generation GPUs to get 4K / 60fps in Ultra settings.

However, Microsoft Flight Simulator comes withimpressive set of graphic settings. And yet the game requires high-performance CPUs. As such, Alex had CPU limitations in Ultra settings even when he lowered his resolution to 1440p. Fortunately, the AMD Ryzen 3900X can support 60fps at 1440p / Ultra settings.

Prices and differences

Microsoft Flight Simulator comes in three different price points: the bigger and better editions have more airports and more planes.

The Standard Edition gives you 20 differentplanes and 30 airports for $ 59.99 (or an active game pass subscription). From there, the Deluxe Edition ships with five more planes and five more airports for $ 30 and $ 89.99. The Premium Deluxe edition will set you back $ 119.99, but that's the only way to get some of the elite airports like Denver International Airport, SFO, Heathrow and more. Several premium aircraft variants are also covered by premium versions such as the SR22, Shock Ultra and 787-10 Dreamliner.

More details on the official website of the projectYou can also see the official website of the project

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