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Practical flight simulator: Microsoft looks different in the air from 20,000 meters



Pilots, thank you for choosing Ars Technica for your travel needs. Microsoft Flight SimulatorThe closed beta is set to take off as a prelude to its retail launch in three weeks, so we’re here to talk about a few things before we exit. Think of it as your incredibly long safety guides.

First, the developers at the French studio Asobo, who have been building this new game since 2016, have your game news. We’ll start with a summary of upcoming features and third-party partners, along with a devs perspective on what they’ve done since the game entered the closed alpha phase in February.

Second, we test MSFS” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” with ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘ ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘ ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘s” ” ” ” ” s ” ” ” ”, This alpha build was quite similar to what I tested in August 2019, which meant I didn’t have many reports until I completed the more complete update that came out about two weeks ago.

This is not technically a “check” because additional enhancements, fixes, and polishes will appear in the content for Windows 10 computers before it runs on August 18th. Marketing is really just the beginning. MSFS has been repeatedly described as a “ten-year” project, the content of which will grow and mature at every turn. When you press the retail start date, MSFS leader Jorg Neumann said: “It is not one and finished product. It’s a journey. It’s definitely a complete product. “

What it means: In terms of content, structure and graphics, version MSFS Going to enter a closed beta (and dominate your favorite YouTube channel obsessed with a flight in the coming weeks) is almost what you can expect to be on sale in a few weeks, which gives us a lot to talk about in this long hand – on.

And yet: Microsoft and Asobo have clearly left the development plan open, so today’s game is likely to be a little different from what we might see six months or later.

With all this he said: Fasten yourselves, relax, and sit down.

Steam! TrackIR! And one more …

If you are new to 2020 MSFS, you can catch up with my September 2019 feature about the game. Short version: MSFS It allows you to fly realistically across our planet and complement all known airports as a destination for takeoffs and landings, which is overflowing with a constant connection to approximately 2 petabytes (2,000,000 GB) of Bing map data provided by Azure Cloud Services. You can play the game offline in a pinch, and still enjoy a blurry but complete Earth in a pinch – or download your preferred flying targets before switching offline.

The release in August will take place exclusively on Windows computers, and Microsoft has previously announced its intention MSFS on Xbox consoles at a later date, this “later date” has still not been confirmed. It has not been decided which Xbox consoles will work with the game.

Despite this lack of reports, we have learned some interesting clarifications to support the PC ecosystem that fans are asking for:

Yes, MSFS will run on Steam – and won’t face delays. You can pre-order each version MSFS on Steam right now and this version will be unlocked on the same day as the Windows Store version (August 18).

Yes, if you pay for an Xbox Game Pass, you will be able to purchase upgrades to Deluxe or Premium MSFSbecause you will already have access to the basic version of the game (which otherwise sells for $ 60).

Yes, MSFS will support the TrackIR motion detection system, and the implementation of the TrackIR beta version went into trial version of the game a few days before this article came into force. (Previous statements suggest that the implementation of TrackIR will take longer, so we’re excited to pause for the closed beta period.)

VR v MSFS it is no longer virtual

In the end, this feature deserves a drum … yes, MSFS will support virtual reality headsets. In addition, the VR switch will be completely free without the need for additional purchases.

To our surprise, VR support has been announced ahead of other possible features, most notably Xbox support MSFSThe version without VR is already so demanding on CPU and GPU. (I’ll get to that in a moment.) So far, Asobo has put a version of the VR game in the slightly foggy “Autumn 2020” release window, and the news comes with one catch: when launched, this mode will only work with the upcoming HP Reverb G2 system.

After pressing Neumann and the rest MSFS The team refused to specify exactly what their VR implementation may require a limit per PC-VR system, especially since each headset on the market relies on OpenVR’s axis orientation challenges. (Indeed, this is exactly why Oculus headsets can be tempted to download Oculus-exclusive software.) The Reverb G2 also borrows the construction and design of Valve Index lenses. We hope, therefore, that the game’s VR mode removes these device-limiting symptoms and supports additional headsets shortly after launch.

The team was also unprepared to explain how manually monitored controllers can work in the VR version of the game. “It’s an iterative process,” Asobo told CCO David Dedeine. “We’re trying to find something versatile that will work no matter what device you use. I will say that we have interesting prototypes using advanced controls. Exciting things are happening here. I’m already amazed at what the team created. to improve cockpit interactions in the VR. It’s different from interacting with a mouse. What we have already experienced is excellent and will inform about the current version of the game. ‘ “

If you’ve seen a video of the game so far, you may be wondering how its detailed visual and massive views are reflected in VR requirements – as with two high-resolution displays (one for each eye) running at a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Asobo insists that the CoR regime should focus on something close to the “middle” graphic preference of the game, which in my opinion is quite high: sufficiently fluffy clouds, relatively dense landscape. He argues that this graphics fidelity will be reduced to things like efficient CPU rendering (“the way you calculate the right eye, then moving most of it to the left eye”) and the experience with a low-performance Hololens headset. “Hololens is a mobile device and [our projects for that] he forced us to finalize, “Dedeine said.” So our team is involved in this topic. “

Listing from Microsoft / Asobo


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