The next-generation of Microsoft Flight Simulator for PC will see the world premiere tomorrow Tuesday, August 18, 2020. It was first introduced on June 10, 2019, at Microsoft’s E3 conference by a short teaser trailer. Since then Microsoft has released trailers, feature episodes, and partnership series to keep the community fed. Some lucky ones even got access to the alpha version to give their help to the developers. Here are some of the top highlights as a recap for everyone to be ready when MSFS flies out of the nest.
Publisher: Microsoft Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Asobo Studio
Release date for PC: August 18, 2020
Release date for Xbox: Unknown
System requirements and recommended flight controls are listed in here.
- Standard – 69.99 EUR – Digital and Box
- Deluxe – 89.99 EUR – Digital only
- Premium Deluxe – 119.99 EUR – Digital and Box
Default planes are included between 20 – 30 depending on the edition. More default planes are coming from Microsoft as an update as well as helicopters and gliders.
Hand-crafted airports are included between 30 – 40 around the world depending on the edition, check out the full listing in here. More hand-crafted airports are coming from Microsoft with regular world updates.
- Due the boxed Premium Deluxe is sold out, boxed Standard can be upgraded digitally to Deluxe or Premium Deluxe.
- The entire Earth modeled using 2 terabytes of Bing Maps data and Blackshark.ai object placement technology to populate the world with 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, roads with vehicles, animals, etc.
- Terrain data is downloaded during in-flight but also pre-caching to hard drive is possible for offline flying.
- Bing Maps data and NAVBLUE air navigation database will be updated every few months.
- Deferred Rendering technology helps to speed up the graphics rendering a lot because there’s no need for total reconstruction of every element every millisecond anymore.
- A total of 37,000 airports on Earth is manually edited and included.
- Dynamic flight physics, each aircraft has over 1,000 simulated surfaces.
- 3D cockpit buttons, knobs, levers, and touchscreens are fully working, powered by Glass Cockpit in-game engine.
- Scale your level from full manual to full assist with interactive and highlighted instrument guidance and checklists.
- Real-time weather observations and forecast data to anywhere in the world by Meteoblue.
- Clouds are built from 32 volumetric layers, which makes them look far fluffier than the usual 2D pancakes we have seen on previous flight simulators.
- Rain showers and thunderstorm cells can be seen from distance before reaching.
- Weather engine uses 60 different layers of cloud data and 20 layers of other data such as temperature, wind, pressure, and humidity.
- Wind interact with terrain heights, generating ridge lifts as well as up- and downdrafts.
- Connecting to the built-in “One Shared World” adds your aircraft to a worldwide online space to fly with anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Every a few months there’s free updates and content refreshment coming out as well as paid DLC’s.
- Gliders and helicopters are confirmed to arrive later as an update.
- Shared cockpit functionality is planned for multiplayer pilots in a future update.
- Third-party aircraft and sceneries can be purchased from the in-game marketplace.
- Human-ATC and real-life aviation procedure needs are supported by VATSIM, IVAO, and PilotEdge networks.
Microsoft has told they will keep the next-generation of MSFS up to date for the next decade, including the upcoming Xbox edition and official updates every few months. There are going to be exciting years ahead and we will see how the other flight simulator developers react on the hype around the MSFS after launch.