One of the most exciting aspects of Microsoft Flight Simulator, especially for fans, is that Asobo not only communicates its plans for the immediate future but listens and keeps track of community requests and feedback. Since the game’s announcement, one of the things players have been asking for is the addition of fighter jets. With a separate bit of content set to debut alongside the new Top Gun next year, the Game of the Year Edition sees the arrival of the very first fighter jet - the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Basically the sort of plane you need a callsign like Iceman or Maverick to pilot.
“One of the features that kept popping up [in community requests] was jets,” Jorg explains. “There are some from third parties in the marketplace, but we felt like it was important to provide something in the base version.” Compared to regular planes, adding a fighter jet into Flight Simulator presented enough of a challenge that the team had to make sure the game could handle that sort of speed.
“We had to make sure that engine was ready so that you can go over Mach 1 (1234.8 km/hr), and not only that but go over the terrain at that speed,” Jorg continues. “That puts pressure on the streaming engine, so we did all of that optimisation. There was also quite a bit of research we had to do for fighter jets, work out Sonic Booms and things like that. We’ve spent a lot of time just on this one plane, it's been in production for a year and a half if not longer. But, we wanted to get it right and that’s important to us.”
Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet: Our first military jet and a highly requested feature from the community. The Top Gun: Maverick expansion will release with the movie next Spring, but we wanted simmers to have the opportunity to test their need for speed this holiday.
VoloCity: We partnered with well-known German company Volocopter, which is working on an eVTOL called “VoloCity”, a vision for an urban air taxi. We worked closely with the Volocopter engineering team to develop an authentic version of the prototype aircraft for the simulator. This is our first aircraft that can perform pinpoint landings and is a teaser of what you can look forward to in 2022 when we intend to launch helicopters in the sim.
Pilatus PC-6 Porter: This legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft is a highly versatile plane from Switzerland and comes with several cockpits, cabins, and landing gear variations. It is the result of our close collaboration with the manufacturer and the development efforts by famed developers Hans Hartmann and Alexander Metzger resulted in a great and fun new aircraft with exception capabilities in the simulator.
CubCrafters NX Cub: Yakima-based CubCrafters recently introduced a nosewheel option for their flagship CC-19 XCub Aircraft, popularly called the NX Cub, which we are pleased to introduce to the flight sim audience to further enhance our bush flying and off airport options.
Aviat Pitts Special S1S: One of our most popular planes gets a single-seat option with the release of this aircraft.
Germany - Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP), Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA), Kassel Airport (EDVK)
Switzerland - Lugano Airport (LSZA), Zurich Airport (LSZH), Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO)
United States - Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF), Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX)
Based on the popularity of the recently introduced Discovery Flights, we are adding an additional 6 locations (Helsinki, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mecca, Monument Valley, Singapore, and Mount Cook) to this popular series.
To further expand the onboarding experience, we are adding 14 new tutorials, introducing simmers to Bush flying (in an Icon A5) and IFR (in a Cessna 172).
We are also pleased to introduce several highly requested features by the community: an updated weather system, early access to DX12, and a dev mode replay system.
New Photogrammetry Cities
As part of our ongoing collaboration with Bing Maps, we are pleased to add a number of new photogrammetry cities: Helsinki (Finland), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), Brighton, Derby, Eastbourne, Newcastle, and Nottingham (UK) and Utrecht (Netherlands).
Where's the first place you'll fly to in Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?— Xbox ANZ (@XboxANZ) July 27, 2021
Retweet and reply below for your chance to win this limited edition Xbox Series S x @July suitcase to celebrate the console launch of @MSFSofficial! pic.twitter.com/RcCKb1yepC
Speechless... "This is your captain speaking... and I have nothing to say but... wow" pic.twitter.com/zcnWlR2b9C— AusGamers (@ausgamers) July 27, 2021
World Update 3: United Kingdom & Ireland features high-resolution 3D photogrammetry for the renowned cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, London and Oxford, five new meticulously hand-crafted airports (Barra, Liverpool, Land’s End, Manchester-Barton and Out Skerries), visual and logistical improvements to 85 more area airports, and improved digital elevation information across the U.K.
In addition, we’ve added compelling architectural elements throughout the region, ranging from British manors and Victorian homes to countryside stone structures, castles and churches – and even some drive-thru restaurants. In addition, over 70 custom landmarks and points of interest bring stunning new levels of detail and fidelity to some of the world’s most famous landmarks and bridges, regal palaces, breathtaking cathedrals … and, of course, football stadiums.
When Microsoft announced that there was a new Microsoft Flight Simulator game coming in 2020, many were left stunned. Not only by the fact that one of the longest franchises in the industry was making a return -- the series hadn’t seen an official release in over a decade at that point -- but specifically, that announcement trailer. It delivered exactly what a flight simulator could look like in the modern era -- beautiful, breathtaking, cutting edge.
Flight sim’s return would see it land with its cargo hold full of high-end visual effects, real-world data, satellite imagery, photogrammetry, and all manner of tech wizardry.
“I’ve told this story a few times, but the first time I showed the game internally at Microsoft to Phil [Spencer] and the Xbox team they didn't recognise that it was a game at all,” Jorg Neuman, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator tells me. “They thought I was showing them a video. That was the first indication, where we felt that we had transcended something. In the many meetings I had with Phil after that, he said time and again, ‘Man, it just doesn't look like a game’.”
Today, we’re excited to share that Microsoft Flight Simulator will come to life on the Xbox Series X|S this summer. Simmers on Xbox Series X|S can expect the same level of depth as the PC version, allowing you to experience the most authentic and realistic flight simulator we have ever created.
From light planes to wide-body jets, you’ll test your piloting skills against the challenges of real-time weather including accurate wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, rain, and lighting – all in a dynamic and living world. With the power of satellite data and cloud-based AI, you’ll travel the entire planet in amazing detail with over 37 thousand airports, 2 million cities, 1.5 billion buildings, real mountains, roads, trees, rivers, animals, traffic, and more.
The update features an upgraded digital elevation map across the entire country, high-resolution 3D photogrammetry for six prominent Japanese cities (Sendai, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Tokyo, Utsunomiya and Yokohama), and six handcrafted local airports (Hachijojima, Kerama, Kushiro, Nagasaki, Shimojishima, and Suwanosejima). Additionally, players will also be able to try their hand at executing a trio of exciting new Landing Challenges set at Japanese airports.
A year ago, "nathanwright120" made an edit to @openstreetmap , adding a tag that indicates that a building in the suburb of Fawkner in Melbourne, Australia, had 212 floors instead of 2. All his other edits of openstreetmap seem legit, so it appears to have been a typo... (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Mwh1LBu3ap— Liam O 🦆 (@liamosaur) August 20, 2020
In Microsoft Flight Simulator a bizarrely eldritch, impossibly narrow skyscraper pierces the skies of Melbourne's North like a suburban Australian version of Half-Life 2's Citadel, and I am -all for it- pic.twitter.com/6AH4xgIAWg— Alexander Muscat (@alexandermuscat) August 19, 2020
The latest instalment in the long running Flight Simulator series from Microsoft continues the trend of being as focused on ensuring the propeller on a Cessna 152 is the same dimension, size, and weight of its real-world counterpart as it is presenting the sort of distance and scale we rarely see in digital form. In 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator leverages technology that feels as much of our current place and time as it does the immediate and distant future.
From small towns to large cities, high-resolution satellite imagery is then processed by sophisticated AI to let Skynet-by-the-way-of-Azure cloud computing recreate structural and environmental shapes, heights, and detail without the need for an individual to go in and spend months modelling Sunshine West in Melbourne. It’s impressive to say the least. But again, throw in scale – as in the entire planet Earth – and the mind boggles. Especially when real-world weather tracking and entire systems that ensure clouds look and behave realistically, in addition to how wind affects your craft depending on which side of the mountain you’re flying, are also in place.