With just 8 days to go until the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the new sim is picking up considerable traction all across the gaming news media in ways that most simulators just never get to. This sim has the attention of so many more than typical and that’s produced some interesting news articles including one that details at least some of what Microsoft plans to do post launch for the sim. Let’s have a look at what’s out there!
A roadmap from Windows Central
In an article posted to Windows Central several days ago, new details (to me at least) were mentioned on just what the future would hold for the sim. Here are some of the highlights from the article:
- Free updates will include the latest in Bing Maps data which will refresh every 28-days as well as simulator and world changes where they plan to add new challenges and simulation enhancing features.
- Paid DLC packages that are intended to arrive every 2-3 months with the first one confirmed to be focused on helicopters (and possibly first reported by HeliSimmer.com). A follow up DLC pack could be focused on gliders.
- The helicopter DLC is likely to include more than just helicopters and also introduce helipads, missions, and other details to fill out the experience.
- Reiteration that VR is indeed coming to Flight Simulator.
All in all there’s some good information in there and worth a read on what WindowsCentral is reporting on the future of the sim.
Chasing a hurricane with EuroGamer
Martin Robinson from EuroGamer decided to chase the remnants of hurricane Isaias in the Flight Simulator beta and came away with some incredible images. Ignoring of course the human toll caused by such a storm, the possibilities of real time weather injection put together with possibly the best cloud visuals seen in a flight sim and you have some dramatic details that show off what the tail of the storm looks like.
I did something similar with this storm but because only some members of the press are able to post about their beta experiences I can’t say too much (wait until next week) but the experience here is very representative.
On travel and keeping pilots fresh by CNN
Paul Sillers, a writer at CNN, did a full feature on the new simulation and while many of the points are stuff that enthusiasts already know (the article is aimed at a more general audience of course) I think there are two interesting points that were covered in the article.
First, with the pandemic and the shut down of a lot of world travel, the new simulator and its world replicating engine are one of the few ways that any of us can really try and experience anything approaching travel. While there’s absolutely no replacement for the real thing (and I’m harbouring a serious case of wanderlust right about now) there is definitely the sense that this sim and its technology come at a time where many of us are stuck in place.
Second, Mr. Sillers provides an interesting update on pilots at the moment. An earlier article focused on how Flight Simulator might help with the pilot shortage and encourage more to take on the role. Now, with so many now furloughed, it seems that the situation has changed dramatically – now the sim (and X-Plane, P3D, Aerofly FS2 and others) is beginning to play the role of helping pilots stay current.
What have you read out there?
It’s genuinely an exciting moment for flight simulation right now as Microsoft Flight Simulator’s return to the market seems to have paved the way for a lot of people to rejoin the hobby or pay a visit for the first time. They may be here because of Flight Simulator but they may soon discover other simulation options out there that offer different experience as well. From X-Plane’s wide variety of experimental and study sim level aircraft (some of them free) to the faster paced combat of IL-2 Sturmovik and DCS World. There’s a lot to like out there.
These are just three articles in the wider press that may help draw people in. What have you been reading and hearing out there?