Today Microsoft and Asobo Studio hosted a livestream showcasing upcoming plans for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
As usual, we hear from head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann, Asobo CEO Sebastian Wlock, and executive producer Martial Bossard.
Neumann started by mentioning that the simulator is continuing to break engagement records and there are now almost twice as many people swimming as there were in the middle of 2021.
We get a detailed roadmap for 2022 including world updates up to 17, Local Legend aircraft up to 7, Famous Flyer aircraft up to 5, and major releases including Top Gun: Maverick, helicopters, gliders, and two “surprises.”
We then see the first teaser trailer of World Update 8, focusing on Australia, which will include four airports including Longreach (YLRE), Mount Beauty (YMBT), Shellharbour (YSHL), and Paraburdoo (YPBO).
Plenty of photogrammetry cities will also be added including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Townsville, Bunbury, and Mackay. Interestingly, a new team has been launched at Microsoft to create more cities that will come in the future.
A new trailer and images also showcase the second Local Legend aircraft, the “Southern Cross” Fokker F.VIIb flown by Charles Kingsford Smith in the first trans-Pacific flight to Australia from the mainland United States.
Six variants will be included for the aircraft, with 11-12 liveries (still depending on licensing). These will include the Southern Cross itself (one version with the original cockpit and one with modern avionics), the Josephine Ford ski version, Friendship with floats, the single-engine transport variant, and the tri-engine transport variant with a variety of liveries.
Both the Australian World Update and the Fokker will come on January 31.
The first Famous Flier aircraft may not be the Antonov An-2 anymore because the team is still working with Antonov to acquire the license, even if the aircraft is already complete.
The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing will instead likely ship first, and it’ll be developed by Carenado. You can see a few screenshots below.
We then hear that World Update 9 will be Iberia (Spain and Portugal), including new 2m resolution digital elevation maps for Spain, six new cities, 99 points of interest, four airports, new missions, and more. It’ll come in March.
With it we’ll get the next Local Legend, the Dornier Do J Wal, that flew from Spain to South America in 1926.
Speaking of improvements to the core simulation, we get to see new engine starts for propeller aircraft and accurate simulation of the movement of the propellers accurately, including prop drag, feathering, beta range. Airflows around the aircraft and its surfaces will also be simulated accurately starting from Sim Update 9, including the native simulation of prop wash, deep stalls, shadowing, wake turbulence, wingtip vortexes, and more.
Some of these effects will start coming with Sim Update 8 and will also become available for aircraft developers, with more coming with Sim Update 9. An in-depth video on this will come on February 7.
We then get an updated feedback snapshot.
The developers also explained that the development team is working on improving the rendering of the clouds and they’re prototyping Nvidia DLSS, which is bringing very positive results. DLSS may come as soon as sim update 10 but could come later.
A beta for Sim Update 8 will be launched after World Update 7. Sim Update 9 is going to focus on stability.
About AI traffic, the developers noticed that they used too much legacy code from Flight Simulator X. A bunch of fixes will come with sim update 8, and then the system will be basically rebooted.
The ATR 72/42 is still in development but it’s going to be an “expert level plane” and it’s going to take the time required to achieve that level. Quality on this is more important than time.
Recently, we published our latest interview with head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann and we heard more about Microsoft’s plans for the next few months, including World Update Australia.
If you’d like to read more about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can enjoy our recent reviews of the Twin Otter, Auckland International Airport, Skiathos Airport, Athens International Airport, Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, Amami Airport, Bristol Airport, Marrakech Menara Airport, Great Britain Central, Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Kraków Airport, Fukuoka City & Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Chongqing City & Airport, Manila Airport, Santiago Airport, the Frankfurt City Pack, Key West Airport, the Okavango Delta, Bali Airport, London Oxford Airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the CRJ 550/700, the PA-28R Arrow III, Kristiansand Airport, Macau City & Airport, Bonaire Flamingo Airport, Milano Linate Airport, the Singapore City Pack, Tokyo Narita Airport, Yao Airport, the F-15 Eagle, the Paris City Pack, Greater Moncton Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport, Santorini Airport, Sydney Airport, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Reggio Calabria Airport, Bastia Poretta Airport, Munich Airport, Paris Orly Airport, Newcastle International Airport, Sankt Johann Airfield, Dublin International Airport, and Seoul City Wow. We also have a beta preview of Singapore Changi airport.
If you want to learn more about the game itself, you can read our review that will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s game.