The latest development update for Microsoft Flight Simulator, under development by Asobo studios, has a number of updates about the sim including future update plans, new screenshots, and a note about some update delays. We’re also getting to see more and more of the GUI for the sim. Let’s have a look!
The opening segment of this week’s update apologizes in advance for any delay update slowdowns. The studio doesn’t mention it by name, but the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) around Europe has seen companies scaling back production, temporarily closing factories, events being cancelled, and sporting arenas cleared of everyone except the players and essential staff. It seems that Asobo Studios is taking no chances as well and while it sounds like they aren’t stopping development, their responsiveness and updates may be delayed. Could they be working remotely? It’s something that businesses world-wide are considering.
Here’s the statement:
In light of recent health concerns, we’ve asked the team to focus on their health and well-being. As a result, our normal development updates will be scaled back over the next few weeks as we continue to monitor the situation. On behalf of the entire team, we express our sincere apologies for the impact this decision has on our community. We will do our best to continue providing status updates, and look forward to resuming regular postings in the near future.MSFS TEAM
This delay out of the way, the latest update details a long list of future plans still coming in future updates.
- Timeline update for pre-release build testing (e.g. Alpha, etc.).
- Update on a new Alpha build that is coming very soon.
- Update on next round of Alpha invitations.
- Feature Discovery Series Episode 8 (still tracking to a March 12th release).
- DR Roadmap update preview for April/May (this is going to be worth paying attention to).
- Feedback Snapshot update preview.Partnership Series update.
- SDK update.
- Feature Discovery Series update.
Episode 8 of the Feature Discovery series will be very interesting as its slated to tell us more about multiplayer in the new sim. I’m hoping for next gen features but as of yet we don’t know what they plan to do – could a worldwide system with shard-based flying based on location be something on tap for the sim? That’d be very interesting but I may be setting my sights too high. As it is… the competition isn’t very strong on multiplayer anyways but I’d love to see something amazing here.
New aircraft and locations
Yesterday, the official Twitter and Facebook accounts posted their ‘Wing Wednesday’ update with a new screenshot from Gaffer7773 – a Tech Alpha tester. This time it shows off Cape Town, South Africa helping to emphasize the worldwide nature of their rendering technology.
Next, new images show off in more detail the newest aircraft to be revealed for Flight Simulator.
This is the Beachcraft Bonanza and if I have my recognition done right, is the latest version of the venerable line of civilian aircraft – the G36. A six person, single engine GA aircraft capable of 176 kts of speed, and a 920nm range, the Bonanza is both a very familiar aircraft of aviation legend as well as a modern one too. A G1000 based avionics system rounds out the modern take on this legend.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this aircraft in the new sim, but it’s the most we’ve seen of it so far.
Some more GUI
More and more of the GUI (graphical user interface) is appearing in MSFS screenshots. We’re seeing a clean virtual instrument arrangement that appears on some exterior screenshots (which can surely be hidden). These are useful for those who want to do a little flying from the outside of the plane – something that more serious sim pilots may scoff at but that new virtual pilots and gamers who may dip their toes into something like this for the first time will find essential to the experience.
The design appears to be clean and simple with some nice, yet subtle, background blurring to separate the scenery from the instrumentation. It borrows a little from the GUI being used in modern Windows 10 apps as well and it looks like a fairly timeless direction for the series to go in.
That’s all for now. Read the latest update here and look out for that next feature video!