Microsoft Flight Simulator Detail Levels Tied to Internet Speed, Decade of Support Planned

Sep 30, 2019
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At E3 2019, it was revealed Microsoft Flight Simulator would be making its return in 2020. The announcement flew oddly under the radar, but the game, which is being co-developed by Asobo Studio (creators of the excellent A Plague Tale: Innocence) is looking pretty darn impressive. In case you missed it, you can check out the game’s debut trailer, below.

A number of outlets recently got to go hands on with the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, revealing some interesting new details about the game. You can check out over half an hour of new 4k footage courtesy of YouTube channel FSElite, below.

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The big new feature for Microsoft Flight Simulator is bringing to the table, is that you can fly literally anywhere in the world. No, really. The game uses satellite data from Bing Maps (perhaps the only time Bing Maps has ever actually been used) to generate the world, which it then populates with “living” elements like individual trees, wildlife, traffic, and running water. Over 40,000 airports from around the world have been recreated in particularly accurate detail. You can also use live weather data – if it’s raining in New York in real life, it will be when you fly over in Flight Simulator.

So, how is this wizardry done? The game uses something called “adaptive streaming,” which partially renders and streams the game’s world from the cloud. The better your bandwidth, the better your game will look, so you might want to finally upgrade to that better Internet package before you play. That said, you’ll also be able to pre-download parts of the world to play on when offline. If you want to know even more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, I highly suggest you check out PC Gamer’s full preview.

Microsoft is clearly confident about the new Flight Simulator, as they told Ars Technica they plan to support the game for a full decade. Hard to imagine where they can go after giving people the entire planet as their playground, but I suppose there are always new aircraft to add.

Microsoft Soft Simulator touches down on PC and Xbox One sometime in 2020. A pre-alpha version of the game will be playable as early as this year – you can sign up for that, right here.

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