This week’s Flight Simulator developer update contains a few interesting bits of information including news that Microsoft Flight Simulator has been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. There’s also a new feature discovery video out that explains a bit about how the ATC voice system works. This is also a great time to have a look at what’s coming up next on the roadmap.
Hall of Fame
Located in Rochester New York, The Strong National Museum of Play has been the host of the World Video Game Hall of Fame since 2015. Each year, several video games and video game series have been inducted into the hall of fame and this year Microsoft Flight Simulator has been added to the list.
Games are judged according to four base criteria. Icon status, longevity, geographical reach and influence. I’d say that a long lived series like Microsoft Flight Simulator easily connects with all four criteria. It’s certainly no passing fad.
Watch this short video recorded with Jorg Neumann.
More realistic speech with Microsoft AI
The next feature discovery series video is out and it’s a relatively short one that covers the partnership between Flight Simulator and Microsoft Azure AI’s cognitive services. The video describes the overview on how the sim makes use of voice data to provide for the ATC voices in the sim.
The voices are able to read out the ATC script and provide some level of immersion. Although there have been critiques of the ATC script itself (something that is being worked on), the voices themselves are pretty good and certainly less robotic than ones we’ve seen in previous simulators.
Next on the roadmap
Now’s a good time to check out and see what is coming next on the roadmap for Flight Simulator. Yesterday’s update gave it some insights on the testing process and that the closed beta with members of the community was going well.
Here are the next few major items on the roadmap:
- Sim Update 4 is scheduled for May 25th and is supposed to bring improved rudder modeling and an updated ATC script among numerous other updates.
- The next notable update is June 10 which lists ‘Trailer TBD’ on the list. I’m not sure what this is but it could be related to the impending XBox release.
- The week of June 24th will have a release of World Update 5 along with a trailer to showcase the new scenery. This package is focused on the Nordic countries and should be a very exciting series of places to visit.
- Another sim update is planned for mid July.
Jumping over to the feedback snapshot, there’s a long list of features that people want to see in the sim but the top few appear to remain priorities for 2021 in most instances except for helicopters which is something planned for 2022. Multiple screens, replay, and DX12 are all slated for 2021 and that third one, DX12, remains an interesting update to the sim and may even be tied to the launch of the XBox version. We’ll see what the team can do with the newer API.
A little further down the is sailplanes and gliders which is slated for 2022 as well but is notable in that the feature has already been started. This is an area that has inspired whole simulators in the past devoted to just gliding and I’m really interested to see how this sim might tackle it – especially seeing as it already has excellent weather, wind and turbulence modeling built in.
Needless to say, many exciting things are on the schedule. Check out the update at Microsoft Flight Simulator’s official website.