More testers, more partners for ‘Flight Simulator’

Microsoft’s promotion of the new Flight Simulator continues with a small series of updates and some interesting pieces of information coming to light as development on the new sim moves forward. We’ve learned a bit more about the alpha test invitations, the SDK and the partners that they are bringing in, and some very cool new screenshots from some of the alpha testers.

More testers, more partners

Microsoft is, according to their most recent update, is sending out another round of alpha test invitations starting today and going through until next Tuesday. I know that will have a few of you anxiously looking at your inbox. So far I haven’t been so lucky but who knows, maybe that will change (not that I’ll be able to report on it very much).

The word that we have heard from multiple testers, anonymously, is that the test is already looking quite good and that their impressions confirm what we’ve seen in the promotional screenshots – that Flight Simulator has next generation of flight sim written all over it and that it’s already quite impressive despite it’s alpha test nature.

We’re also learning that along with more testers, Microsoft is also opening the door to more partners and that their SDK has opened the doors up to more creation possibilities.

Currently, we’ve got over 30 partners with access to the SDK. The feedback has been incredibly beneficial to the team as we continue to work hard on upcoming features.

Flight Simulator developer update on February 13th

Although 30 partners sounds like a lot, I’m also kind of not too surprised given the large developer community that has built up around FSX, P3D, and X-Plane. It’s also encouraging as it almost certainly ensures a healthy third party developer community that will extend the Flight Simulator experience over time.

Finally, there are some cool screenshots available via the latest update. Here are just a few.

For the rest, check them out here.

Airports next week

I am eagerly awaiting the next ‘Feature Discovery’ series for Microsoft’s new Flight Simulator that is due next week. The focus will be on airports and I think we’re going to get a pretty good look at just how detailed airports in Flight Simulator will be and then what we might end up seeing from third party developers to help further detail airports or add more airports to the sim later.

It should be a VERY interesting video. Look for that next week!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. AnonSimmer says:

    As an Alpha tester I’ve got to say that it is innovative in a lot of areas, mainly weather, visuals and scenery.
    But, it feels like the team that develops it isn’t really into flying itself, or doesn’t have any experience with other flightsims. There is a glaring lack of support for all kinds of hardware. Most prominently trackir. Fortunately there is a lot of input on the forums about that.
    What is clear to me already is that fs2020 will be the future of civil aviation flightsims. They should look at DCS and IL2 however to get a feel of how modern flightsims should feel with trackir. The days of using a hat switch to look around are long gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks for sharing your insights. I have high hopes that they will yet bring in features like TrackIR. I’ve learned that DCS and IL-2 seem to be amongst the best at doing IR headtracking while X-Plane has the feature but the implementation is very basic and I’m hoping that MSFS will have something more like DCS or IL-2 as you say.

      They did say something about a new kind of headtracking technology during an early Q&A as well. But nobody jumped on that – at least not yet.


    2. Francesco Kasta says:

      These are bad news! Considering that Track IR is friggin ANCIENT tech, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for VR support anytime soon then.

      Does it really look as good as in those pics at least?


  2. PHANTOM1 says:

    Just curious ANONSIMMER, since I haven’t gotten an invite for Alpha yet – does the view switching allow for using the mouse (scroll for zoom, x/y for pan)? Agreed though that TrackIR would probably be better than that, but definitely reserve the hat(s) for MFD/AP functions instead. Does also seem to explain the delay since I run a Warthog throttle, VKB stick and MFG pedals… Either way, thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ANONSIMMER says:

    @Francesco Kasta
    Yes, it does look really good. Especially the weather. When you fly in to and out of rain showers, feel the turbulence.. That feeling is amazing. There are 3 types of scenery, the photogrammetry which looks amazing unless you get too low. then there is the procedurally generated which looks a whole lot better than the old FSX. And then there are the custom airports. These are not up to the level of ORBX and the other high-end 3rd party devs.
    All in all, I enjoy flying in the sim, and for now I don miss any 3rd party addons scenery wise. I did some flying in PNG, and for bush flying this sim will be awesome.

    Yes mouse look works. There are some ppl who have edited some files and have been able to use their trackir in a simple x/y mode. It’s a workaround, not a solution however.

    What I am afraid of is that the focus is more geared towards the Xbox public instead of the hardcore simmer. That is being reflected in the lack of view and control options.
    On the other hand, these days all the games have a long support cycle. So things could change for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Francesco Kasta says:

      Good to know, thank you!

      “I am afraid of is that the focus is more geared towards the Xbox public instead of the hardcore simmer. On the other hand, these days all the games have a long support cycle. So things could change for the better.”

      This arcade-y thing worries me. Let’s just hope they learned their lesson from 2012 Microsoft Flight. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Given the most recent videos talking about flight model fidelity and avionics, it doesn’t look arcade to me. More serious than that BUT with gameplay on top that could be used with the Xbox casual cohort.

        We’ll see what they come up with.

        Liked by 1 person

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