The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is quite a beauty and would have a powerful pull if made for VR. However, Microsoft has stated that the simulator will not support virtual reality at launch. This is according to a YouTuber Pete Wright who provided a hands-on access during a Microsoft-hosted event. He stated that the VR version of the simulator would “maybe” come at a later date and that it could be a “longer term goal” so users who were accepting to try out this eye-catcher on VR face uncertain prospects as to its future availability.
Pete Wright aka Frooglesim was invited to test the Microsoft Flight Simulator during a Microsoft press conference and to also ask questions about the upcoming game which is set to launch in 2020.
One of the questions was on whether Microsoft would release a virtual reality version of the flight simulator and Microsoft confirmed during the press conference that VR will not be supported during launch and might be incorporated “maybe later”.
In other words, while Microsoft is not ruling out VR support over the longer term, it still remains noncommittal on whether it will actually add the mode to the flight simulator at all. For the time being, it appears the virtual reality mode is currently not a high priority for Microsoft.
Impressive Landscape Simulation
The Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 10 and Xbox One was first announced at the E9 2019. The simulator leverages ultra-high-resolution aerial imagery of landscapes from Bing Maps. It then uses machine learning technology in Microsoft’s Azure cloud to generate the life-like 3D scenery from the aerial imagery (pulled from Bing Maps) on a global scale. The simulation also works offline although in this mode, it generates a considerably less detailed world.
According to reviews by games journalists, the map generation in the Microsoft Flight Simulator is so hyper-accurate that it captures the actual landmarks on the ground with a high degree of accuracy. One reviewer was even able to see his apartment complex from the map generation. The graphical realism in the game far surpasses that of any other sim that is currently in the market. Screenshots of the game also indicate a very photorealistic map generation as seen above.
Accurate Weather Conditions Simulation
The game sim also pulls weather data from the live real-world weather conditions. The ambient artificial intelligence models the real flights that are happening in real-time. It is even possible to experience natural disasters in real-time in the simulation.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator is truly cutting-edge and represents the next-generation of flight sims. The fact that it won’t be on VR any time soon will be a disappointment to many. In the meantime, fans looking for an alternative VR flight sim experience can try out Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) and AeroFly FS2 on Steam. There is also the VTOL VR that has been developed from the ground up specifically for virtual reality experience.