For X-Plane fans, today is a big day as X-Plane 12 is now officially available for sale on the X-Plane official website with Steam store access due any time now. Let’s have a look at the launch and round-up some news that has been coming out through the day.
Ready for flight
Early access for X-Plane 12 is now available for the general public which includes the sale of the new sim via the official X-Plane website. It’s also available in demo form. The tag line on the website says, “Weather, clouds, trees, wind, light, seasons – completely reimagined.” This should give you a good summary of what X-Plane 12 is all about.
The purchase page goes on to talk about some of the key features of X-Plane 12:
- Photometric, HDR Lighting Engine
- The 4D Weather Engine
- Seven New Aircraft – A330, Citation X, SR22, RV-10, PA-18, R-22, Lancair Evolution
- Volumetric 3D Clouds
- Seasonal/Weather-Specific Visual Effects – Snow, Variable Vegetation, Ice and Rain
- New 3D Forests, Water, Vegetation
Requirements for the sim have been published for quite some time now and are listed here. Notably, X-Plane 12 now uses Vulkan API version 1.3 for graphics rendering only. AMD and nVidia GPU card users should be fine going back several generations. Intel integrated graphics users don’t appear to be supported.
You can try it out for free thanks to a demo version of X-Plane 12. This comes packaged with most of the content of X-Plane 12 minus most of the scenery and it has a 15 minute time limit per flight. Enough to get a taste of things before you buy. That’s available from their website here.
If that has you interested, you can then use the very same installer to turn your demo version into a full featured X-Plane 12 with your purchased license key. Of course you can buy it right away too by visiting this page on their site.
Rounding up some news
The first news item is that X-Plane 12 is indeed destined to arrive on Steam. For those wanting to make use of that platform, the steam release is currently in progress. Steam Store staff need to review it before it goes live. So far, we’ve heard from the X-Plane team that it is in the review process but its not live just yet.
Meanwhile, developers like CowanSim are busy making their products available for the new sim. The relatively new H125 is live and ready for download.
Volanta has been updated to version 1.3.9 which, you guessed it, includes X-Plane 12 support.
Over on X-Plane.Org, the Maule M-7-235B by vskylabs holds the distinction of being the first exclusively X-Plane 12 aircraft to be sold on the store.
ToqueSim showed off what some of their aircraft are going to look like once they arrive in X-Plane 12. The developer had previously committed to updating their recent releases such as the Cirrus SR20/22 series and BN-2 Islander series to the new sim.
There’s also some good YouTube content popping up from various content creators that are worth looking at to get a good sense of the sim. Here are just a few including well known creators Q8 Pilot, flightdeck2sim, and a great showcase by The Flight Sim Deck. Have a look!