Microsoft returning to Flight Simulator in 2020

IcePickFreak

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Not sure if there are too many flight sim fans here as I haven't seen this mentioned, and I somehow missed this was announced a few months back at E3. MSFS is part of what got me into computers in the 80's so I'm pretty excited about this. They're promising third party add-on support, and have said this is intended to be a simulator - ie more like MSFS than the failed Microsoft Flight. Apparently the difficulty will be scaleable as it's going to be released to console in 2021.

E3 Announcement trailer...


With that said, it's looking amazing so far. Satellite data (apparently streamed via your internet connection) and the weather and clouds look stunning.

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Have also seen evidence of sloped runways (huge thing for some airports), and a promising flight model with the release of a pretty convincing stall test video.
 
Hopefully they will expand upon the flight sim again and come out with another combat flight simulator. I was a bigtime cfs2 fanatic for many years. That would motivate me to actually buy a new game!
 
They announced on the FSInsider newsletter the impending release of the "first Tech Alpha build" for testing.
I signed up for it on Tuesday. I hope to get an invite, my cousin and i used to play MSFS way back in the day and it was a fun time. I remember flying out of Meigs Field Airport in Chicago, which no longer exists. Ahh those were the days........
 
If they can do a "survey" flight simulator with modern fighters based on this game engine and tech I'd be very interested.

Eagle Dynamics is only doing highly realistic study simulators. I don't mind those but they take too long to learn and I forget many functions if I don't play for a few months. I pretty much only use the LOMAC era planes (Flaming Cliffs 3). I like realism but some middle ground would be great, with some good gameplay aspects.
 
I signed up for it on Tuesday. I hope to get an invite, my cousin and i used to play MSFS way back in the day and it was a fun time. I remember flying out of Meigs Field Airport in Chicago, which no longer exists. Ahh those were the days........

For me it was FS4, running on a 386 that turbos to 16mhz. Its like $20 to buy Meigs Field addon for FSX on Steam. It would be great if they put it in this new FS.
 
Would like to see some interest in new flight simulators,especially combat.
 
It definitely looks like it's going to give XPlane a run for it's money. I had given up on FSX/P3D for XPlane (felt bad for all those addins, scenery, planes I paid for). But, I'm most likely jumping back to Microsoft with this one. I'm hoping I get selected for the tech alpha. It looks amazing. I'm glad they are back in the Flight sim market again (MS Flight doesn't really count...).

Shouldn't take a huge PC, either, as it'll be on Xbox One, as well.
 
If they can do a "survey" flight simulator with modern fighters based on this game engine and tech I'd be very interested.

Eagle Dynamics is only doing highly realistic study simulators. I don't mind those but they take too long to learn and I forget many functions if I don't play for a few months. I pretty much only use the LOMAC era planes (Flaming Cliffs 3). I like realism but some middle ground would be great, with some good gameplay aspects.

My guess is it'll be scaleable in that you'll be able to turn down the "realism" via settings. That's not all that uncommon in modern flight sims. Fighters are quite a bit more complex than civilian stuff because of all the radar and weapons systems. I suppose a combat sim can't be ruled out since MS has done it before. That's one of the few I never checked out though so not sure how it was.

A big draw for sims like this though IS the complexity - planning IFR flights, a good ATC, etc. FSX did ATC better than P3D or Xplane, at least when I last checked out either of them. That's not to mention the complexity of the larger planes. Once you understand the systems though, planes with the same types of engines are all similar, just the controls aren't laid out the same.

It definitely looks like it's going to give XPlane a run for it's money. I had given up on FSX/P3D for XPlane (felt bad for all those addins, scenery, planes I paid for). But, I'm most likely jumping back to Microsoft with this one. I'm hoping I get selected for the tech alpha. It looks amazing. I'm glad they are back in the Flight sim market again (MS Flight doesn't really count...).

Shouldn't take a huge PC, either, as it'll be on Xbox One, as well.
Yeah I'm thinking with the streaming satellite data for scenery it should actually take quite a load off the local machines running it. How well that works remains to be seen I suppose, but look how well stuff like google earth works (I imagine Bing has something comparable as well.)
 
MS hasn't produced a decent FS since FS2004. Overshot with processor expectations with FSX and then layed off the experienced development team. In the interim, MS has introduced such advanced concepts as no QA teams and continual updates, i.e. never actually finishing the product. I'm not going hold my breath - all sizzle and no steak comes to mind. I'm sure the MS MBA's are dreaming of DRM and DLC cooked up in H1-B boiler rooms.

I have fond memories of playing the original FlightSimulator on a PCJr in 1985. Graphics sucked by today's standards, but back then, it was pretty cool.
 
It definitely looks like it's going to give XPlane a run for it's money. I had given up on FSX/P3D for XPlane (felt bad for all those addins, scenery, planes I paid for). But, I'm most likely jumping back to Microsoft with this one. I'm hoping I get selected for the tech alpha. It looks amazing. I'm glad they are back in the Flight sim market again (MS Flight doesn't really count...).

Shouldn't take a huge PC, either, as it'll be on Xbox One, as well.

that or it'll force xplane devs to maybe hire a few people to speed up the process of switching to vulkan.. right now it's basically just 2 people doing it. once it goes to vulkan though i think they'll both be able to directly compete with each other. either way i'll still use both of them.
 
Be curious to see how this fares against DCS etc., if it follows the same 'pay per plane' model or if it's just all thrown in.

VR support is a must as well
 
Be curious to see how this fares against DCS etc., if it follows the same 'pay per plane' model or if it's just all thrown in.

VR support is a must as well

I wouldn't even mind paying per plane as long as all the scenery and airports on Earth can be streamed on-demand at 4K texture and model quality for free.
 
Be curious to see how this fares against DCS etc., if it follows the same 'pay per plane' model or if it's just all thrown in.

VR support is a must as well

Microsoft Flight Simulator pioneered the pay per plane concept so I assume it will be back to business as usual. Most of the planes are made by 3rd parties. DCS kept prices to $60 per plane whereas FSX tended to range from $40-100. Now some of the complex DCS stuff like the F-18, F-14 and F-16 are $80 though. Flight sims aren't cheap.

Part of the reason I'd like something more like LOMAC/Flaming Cliffs 3 based on this technology. They're still realistic but simple enough to learn a lot of planes and are cheaper to develop.
 
Be curious to see how this fares against DCS etc., if it follows the same 'pay per plane' model or if it's just all thrown in.

VR support is a must as well
The study sim level planes are generally third-party paid add-ons for stuff like this. You can expect to pay at least double the price of the game for study sim level airliners. Heck in the past, good scenery and stuff was third-party paid add-ons. Sims aren't the place to look for cheap entertainment. There's a ton of work that goes into the airplanes, all the control systems, the 3D model, the flight model, etc. Stock planes in any of these civilian flight sims aren't anywhere close to the level of the third party ones. I'd be, and likely the whole flight-sim community would be plenty happy with MS providing solid scenery, weather, and ATC and again leaving the highly detailed planes to the well known third party devs. I wouldn't expect and PMDG level stuff from MS themselves in any scenario.

I hope they'd be working on VR support too. It's gaining good traction in flight sims already, and IMO one of the best types of games for it. I don't have a headset but ahve wanted to try it out in a flight sim as I've heard it's a game changer, and this may likely be the title to finally make me fork out for one.
 
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I'm sure it was sarcasm. While detailed, the ships in Star Citizen are nowhere near as complex as a proper flight simulator. They may as well be Battlefront level of detailed when compared to a study simulator. The only other thing that would be impressive in Star Citizen is the persistent universe. Aside from that, there is nothing unique or technically impressive. Even then some other games like EVE Online did that many years ago.
 
the big schtick with star citizen's persistent universe is supposed to be the no-loading whether you're on the planet, in a base and flying into space. You can have a player walking around inside a station, waving thru a window that another player can see while in their spaceship flying around above the surface while they're on a planet and then take off into space and dogfight other players - have the player in one ship leave their cockpit, open the hatch door, jump out of their ship and land on the other ship, open the door, kill the other pliot and take control of their ship and venture to another planet and land and never once having a loading screen or new instance need to be joined after disconnecting from the old one.

Not in the simulating of flying or the complexity of the ships.
 
the big schtick with star citizen's persistent universe is supposed to be the no-loading whether you're on the planet, in a base and flying into space. You can have a player walking around inside a station, waving thru a window that another player can see while in their spaceship flying around above the surface while they're on a planet and then take off into space and dogfight other players - have the player in one ship leave their cockpit, open the hatch door, jump out of their ship and land on the other ship, open the door, kill the other pliot and take control of their ship and venture to another planet and land and never once having a loading screen or new instance need to be joined after disconnecting from the old one.

Not in the simulating of flying or the complexity of the ships.

Want to take bets on the number of players in an 'instance'? I'm thinking... 4... maybe. But I hope I'm wrong and it's hundreds.
 
the big schtick with star citizen's persistent universe is supposed to be the no-loading whether you're on the planet, in a base and flying into space. You can have a player walking around inside a station, waving thru a window that another player can see while in their spaceship flying around above the surface while they're on a planet and then take off into space and dogfight other players - have the player in one ship leave their cockpit, open the hatch door, jump out of their ship and land on the other ship, open the door, kill the other pliot and take control of their ship and venture to another planet and land and never once having a loading screen or new instance need to be joined after disconnecting from the old one.

Not in the simulating of flying or the complexity of the ships.
I can do all of that now?
 
With that said, it's looking amazing so far. Satellite data (apparently streamed via your internet connection)... looks stunning.

This is what I'm most curious about. There are 'photoreal' terrain packs available for FSX/Prepar3d, and it's not terribly difficult to make your own using data from Google Maps and the like. The problem is that there tend to be ugly boundaries in the satellite imagery and only one season available.
 
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This is what I'm most curious about. There are 'photoreal' terrain packs available for FSX/Prepa3d, and it's not terribly difficult to make your own using data from Google Maps and the like. The problem is that there tend to be ugly boundaries in the satellite imagery and only one season available.

You can make your own using Google maps with XPlane, too. (Ortho4XP). You can adjust things to get it looking pretty good. The biggest downside, and that I find with all photoreal sceneries, is that they are flat. The autogen sucks, and the utilities that try and put buildings, trees, etc. on top of that image really suck. From a higher flight level, they look absolutely fantastic, but I really like flying VFR, slow and low. Plus, terrain variation can stretch and blur the textures making them look worse. I love it when scenery creators build out from an airport for a little bit, so when taking off, it's not so flat and the buildings are there (PDX has an amazing free scenery out there that's very accurate).

So far, FS2020 looks like it fixes most of that. I'm really looking forward to it.
 
The biggest downside, and that I find with all photoreal sceneries, is that they are flat. The autogen sucks, and the utilities that try and put buildings, trees, etc. on top of that image really suck.

It sounds to me like that's basically what they're doing, they'll have a few hand-edited cities and something like what you would get from Nuvecta to automagically position autogen on top of the photoscenery everywhere else.

From a higher flight level, they look absolutely fantastic, but I really like flying VFR, slow and low.

P3D substantially increased the maximum resolution of photoreal terrain in v4.4. The high-res stuff I've made using Google maps data looks quite good all the way down to <2000 ft AGL. The files are huge though, 5GB+ per 200 sq miles.

I've been really impressed with Orbx and some other addons but good photoreal terrain is fantastic.
 
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