During the launch of the Microsoft Flight Simulator a week ago, the tech giant had remained noncommittal on whether it might eventually incorporate virtual reality support.
However, in a latest podcast with Avsim (via Reddit), the Microsoft Flight Simulator lead developer Jörg Neumann has promised that his team would now try its “darnedest”, its utmost best, to integrate a virtual reality mode into the flight simulator even though this was not initially intended. The about turn has been a result of the massive outcry from the community, many fans had been expecting a VR mode now that virtual reality is increasingly becoming a central part of gaming.
According to Neumann, support for VR wasn’t part of the team’s plan at all. But the team has been listening and they heard the outcry. Now the team will work towards trying its “darnedest to make it happen”. Neumann says he can’t commit on whether the VR mode will be available at launch at this point in time but the team is now strongly aware of the desire of the user community to have a VR mode and they are going to try and “prioritize that over other things.”
The Microsoft Flight Simulator was first unveiled during the E3 2019 for both Xobox One and Windows 10. The sim utilizes ultra-high-resolution aerial imagery pulled from Bing Maps and leverages on machine learning technology from Microsoft’s Azure cloud to generate 3D scenery from the captured images on a global scale. The flight simulation will also work offline although in this mode, the generated worlds are less detailed.
Early tests of the game simulator by games journalists have so far shown hyper-accurate map generation. Some reviewers have reported that the map generation has been so accurate that they are even been able to see their own apartment complexes from above. The sim is also reported to have very impressive graphical realism which reviewers have reported as the best for any simulator in the market. The graphics appear photo-realistic from the screenshots released so far.
To further add to the realism, even the weather data in the Microsoft Flight Simulator has been pulled from the live real-world conditions. The sim’s ambient AI also models real flights as they happen in real-time. The sim even enables users to experience natural disasters in real-time.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator represents the future of flight sims but to fully embrace the future, it will have to incorporate VR support. Users are moving with the times and it will be hard for them to move back to 2D viewports once they have experienced the magic of immersive flight simulation.