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Microsoft Flight Simulator: 22 October 2020 Development Update

Microsoft Flight Simulator: 22 October 2020 Development Update

Another week, another update from Asobo Studios on the development of Microsoft’s latest additional to the Flight Simulator franchise.

With an update on the long-awaited Virtual Reality functionality, the blog contains some great information on the future of the game (sorry, simulator). It starts, however, with an thank you to the key partners involved in the development of the platform:

  • meteoblue, provider of real-time weather data
  • Blackshark.ai, creator of procedural building generation, etc.
  • VATSIM, an online air traffic control and flying community
  • Bing Maps
  • Textron, where a close partnership resulted in the development of 10 of the 30 aircraft available
  • Gaya Simulations who develop airports and points of interest for world updates
  • Aerosoft, who sell the retail edition of the software and provide feedback on the SDK

In future blogs there will be more information on collaborations with other partners, namely Azure Cognitive Services and NAVBLUE – as well as “a few surprises”. We look forward to those!

There are now 65 approved partners who can develop and release official content for Flight Simulator. Most exciting in my opinion, IndiaFoxtEcho Visual Simulations who has spent the last several years releasing some of the best military aircraft I’ve seen for the Flight Simulator X and Prepar3D platforms. For Flight Simulator Dino has released for beta testing an Aermacchi MB-339A (can’t wait to fly this through the Mach Loop by the way!) and a Rutan Long-Ez, which is available for US$17.99.

Moving on to the ongoing Around the World Series, which looks at some of the fantastic scenery available, this week focusing on North America. Rather than describe it to you, we’ll let you take 3 minutes to watch.

What I think is going to be the most important feature of Flight Simulator, virtual reality (VR) support, is still in development. Emails will be sent out to VR testers in the next week or so as alpha and beta test builds are made available.

Initially testing will be for Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) users, with a second wave for non-WMR users. There’s a few WMR headsets on the market nowadays, sadly my Oculus Rift 2 isn’t one of them! I’ll just have to hope for an email as part of that second wave.

Hopefully another update on VR will be provided next week, and screenshots and videos appear in public soon after…

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