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  1. Microsoft releases second Flight Simulator patch with a ton of fixes and improvements Microsoft released the first Flight Simulator patch early this month, bringing fixes to a bunch of installation issues and stability problems. The firm then detailed the highlights of the second patch last week which it said was in the final stages of testing, giving users an overview of the areas of the game to which it was bringing improvements. Now, the firm has announced that the second patch, version 1.8.3.0, is available for all users. The update delivers a ton of fixes that include performance improvements, UI fixes, updates to ATC, aerodynamics, cockpit visuals, General Aviation (GA) systems and avionics, and fixes to issues with airliner systems and avionics. A bunch of improvements has also been made to the FMC (Flight Management Computer), such as the fix for the issue with activating approach phase or preset cruise altitudes. There are other autopilot, auto-throttle, and FMA improvements that result in accurate mode changes, and more. Apart from aircraft specific improvements, the company has also brought enhancements to the marketplace, weather, content manager, and Bush Trips. In addition to today’s patch, the firm also noted on Twitter that all leaderboard data in the game will be cleared due to a maintenance activity today. The Flight Simulator team apologized for the inconvenience, suggesting that the leaderboard scores will not be recoverable for users. Here is the complete list of fixes in this patch: PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT Optimized cockpit screen display when screens are not displayed on screen. New option available to control cockpit screen update frequency. Tweaked CPU thread priorities to reduce interruption of frame critical threads. Optimized loading system to reduce overall loading times. Optimized heavy airport scenes impact on CPU. Reduced the amount of GPU overdraw to improve GPU performance. Memory optimizations to reduce software memory footprint and improve performance on memory limited computers. Overall performance optimizations. ATC Incoming ATC Azure speech has now three different voices. ATC voice gender is now based on the avatar of the pilot/copilot. Fix for the incorrect voice pack being used if the game is not localized in English and if the Windows Offline Text-to-Speech option is used. UI Filters and sorting have been improved in the marketplace. Manual cache layout has been improved and the download estimated time should now be correct. Improved support for gamepad navigation in many menus. Case sensitive search is now working properly in control screen. Search by axis in control screen has been fixed. Active pause button has been added in the toolbar. Pause button has been fixed in the Content manager. AERODYNAMICS Improved wind turbulence simulation to reduce horizontal turbulences. Added simulation of low rpm piston engine vibrations on cockpit. Added simulation of water particles (rain/clouds) density in aerodynamics => generates vibrations flying through clouds or rain. Fixed wet surface friction and braking distances. Fixed live weather wind offset in higher latitude areas (America, Asia…) that was causing the 3kts Wind bug. AIRCRAFT COCKPITS VISUALS AND ANIMATIONS Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX: AP buttons animations have been fixed. Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX, Beechcraft Bonanza G36, ICON A5: placards have been updated. Cessna 172 Skyhawk : compass texture have been improved. Zlin Savage Cub : tail wheel blur effect is now correctly triggered. Zlin Shock Ultra : arcs on airspeed indicator is correctly set. Zlin Shock Ultra : turbo mode has been removed from dashboard. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : MCP buttons visual improvements. GENERAL AVIATION SYSTEMS Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX : propeller sound has been improved when RPM is changing. Cessna Longitude : AP altitude and speed management improvements. Cessna Longitude : auto throttle is now inhibited during take off and until 400 feet AGL. Daher TBM 930 : yaw damper is now automatically turned on when the AP is enabled. Beechcraft King Air 350i : windshield deicing is now working. ICON A5 : « incorrect heading indicator » notification is now correctly triggered. Zlin Shock Ultra : flaps now operate mechanically instead of electrically. Zlin Shock Ultra : trim management improvements. Cessna Citation CJ4 : reverse thrust has been removed. Cub Crafter X Cub : IAS AP mode is now working properly. Daher TBM 930 and Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX : PT6 engines shutdown duration has been increased. GENERAL AVIATION AVIONICS Cessna Longitude : several knobs of the G5000 are now working. Beachcraft Baron G58, Beechcraft Bonanza G36, Cessna 172 Skyhawk G1000, Diamond DA40 NG : fixed missing ALT knob. Beechcraft King Air 350i : « menu » key is now working properly. Cessna 152 and 152 Aerobat : avionics state have been fixed using Honeycomb device battery switch. GNS 530 : flight plan display alignment has been fixed on the Garmin GNS 530. G1000 : automatically switches from NAV to LOC when needed. G1000 : ETE and ETA fixed wrong values. G1000/3000/3x : AP setup is no longer reset when enabling AP. G1000/3000/3x : fixed missing flight plan when the selected departure is coordinates on the world map. G3x : text size in « approach box » has been increased. G3x : approaches can now be selected and loaded. G3x : fixed bad information in nearest VOR page when unknown VOR is selected. AIRLINER SYSTEMS General : AP behavior improvements. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : rear wheels steering has been fixed. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : pressing the battery button now always display the ON part. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : improved flaps deployment and retraction sequences. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : fixed auto–throttle not giving back control to the pilot when disabled. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : center tanks drain first when decreasing fuel quantity via fuel and payload menu. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : auto–throttle is now automatically disengaged when landing. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : auto–throttle now engages correctly during take off roll when conditions are met. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : alt intervention no longer needs to be pressed again when not needed. Airbus A320neo : automatic speed management improvements. Airbus A320neo : alpha floor condition is now correctly triggered. AIRLINER AVIONICS General : weight is better taken into account for V speed calculations. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : FMC now allows to activate approach without going to route page. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : approach VREF speeds are fixed. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : empty rectangles no longer displayed on the FMA. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : runways are now displayed in correct order in the FMC. Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : cruise altitude no longer automatically filled in the FMC. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : LNAV and VNAV correctly displayed as armed in FMA when conditions are met. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : altitude target on MCP can no longer be set to negative values. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : auto–throttle mode no longer displayed on FMA when auto–throttle is disabled. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : fixed wrong flaps value displayed in the FMC take off page. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : target heading line on ND is no longer reset while in heading mode. Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner : direct-to flight plans can now be entered in the FMC. Airbus A320neo : target altitude can now be changed when AP is disabled. Airbus A320neo : armed modes no longer appear in boxes on the FMA. Airbus A320neo : flaps « FULL » indication instead of « F » on ECAM. Airbus A320neo : FMGS message « INVALID ENTRY » replaced by « NOT ALLOWED ». Airbus A320neo : FMGS now only displays arrival procedures corresponding to the selected runway. Airbus A320neo : FMGS now correctly displays ETA for approach points. Airbus A320neo : removed remaining waypoints on ND after selecting different approach procedures. Airbus A320neo : fixed heading bug alignment offset issue. Airbus A320neo : fixed missing runway in the perf page of FMGS when a departure runway is already selected. Airbus A320neo : fixed constraints flickering on ND. Airbus A320neo : FMGS block fuel indication now correctly initialized. MISCELLANEOUS Fixed freezes caused by glass cockpits. Travel to feature no longer disengages autopilot when used. WEATHER Fixed 225°/3kt issue with inconsistent wind in game. Fixed issue with weather persistency on flight restart. SERVICES Upgraded multiplayer servers. MARKETPLACE Rating display on bundles has been improved. Performance drop after downloading an item in marketplace has been removed. An addon purchased outside of the marketplace no longer has an impact on the “Installed” filter in the marketplace as it is considered as a “community” content. CONTENT MANAGER Addon purchased outside of the marketplace now also visible in the Content manager when online, and offline if downloaded in the community folder. 3rd Party content thumbnail display improved. Pause download during installation is fixed. LOCALIZATION Various typo fixes in multiple languages. ACCESSIBILITY Subtitles are now enabled by default. Subtitle option has been moved from Sound menu to Accessibility so users can set it during initial install. CAMERAS Remove rotation clamp on “Instrument cameras”. Pilot camera position can now be saved or reset. BUSH TRIPS Fix leg completion trigger. Completionist achievement should now unlock when all activities have been completed. WORLD Detected buildings that intersect roads are now excluded. Longer bridges are less prone to having a gap. UK city houses models should no longer appear in US suburbs. “In The Wild” Achievement can now be unlocked Overall, the update is a hefty one that fixes a lot of early issues and complaints with the autopilot, navigation systems, inaccurate FMA displays, and more. Other fixes such as the heading bug being removed from the Navigation Display (ND) when not in heading mode greatly improve the realism of the aircraft. Microsoft releases second Flight Simulator patch with a ton of fixes and improvements
  2. Microsoft Flight Simulator patch #2 highlights unveiled, release imminent Image via SimTom112 Last week, Microsoft Flight Simulator patch v1.7.14.0 was made available to all users. The focus for the update was primarily the addressing of stability and installation issues with the recently released title. The development update for the week of September 3 was made available a few days later than usual, bringing an updated Development Roadmap, version 9.03 of the Feedback Snapshot, and more. Today, Microsoft has announced that patch #2 for Microsoft Flight Simulator is finishing final testing and being prepped for a release which should arrive in the next 10 days. Highlights for the latest patch have also been revealed, alongside news on other deliverables. As far as the patch is concerned, some of the significant offerings that will be arriving through the update are as follows: Performance improvements ATC updates UI updates Aerodynamic updates Aircraft updates Cockpit visuals and animation updates General aviation system updates General aviation avionic updated Airliner system updates Airliner avionic updates Live Weather updates – (e.g. 225/3kt wind fixed, persistency fixed, etc.) Upgraded multiplayer servers Marketplace updates Content Manager updates Localization updates Accessibility updates Camera updates Bush Trip updates (e.g. completion trigger fixed/Completionist achievement fixed) World updates The list of changes this time around looks to be more detailed in comparison to the previous patch, and this is only an overview; the full patch notes will be made available when patch #2 is released. Image via SteffoHD Moving on, the Marketplace has been updated, bringing a selection of nine new airports to users, including the likes of Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport in Büren, Germany, and the Frasca Field-C16 in the state of Illinois, United States. The Kitfox STi aircraft has also been made available and some airports, landmarks, and aircrafts have been updated. With regards to other deliverables, the Feature Discovery Series and the Partnership Series are noted to have hit a few roadblocks. More information on these will be revealed with next week's development update. Microsoft has also remarked on its official Flight Simulator subreddit, r/flightsim, having crossed the 100K members mark. That is all from this week's development update. If previous releases are something to go by, patch #2 should be pushed out to users around September 16, though the officially stated window runs until September 20. Microsoft Flight Simulator patch #2 highlights unveiled, release imminent
  3. Microsoft Flight Simulator gains over a million players, biggest Game Pass launch yet Microsoft today announced that its latest iteration of Flight Simulator has been played by over one million unique players on PC. The title launched through Steam, Microsoft Store, and the Xbox Game Pass for PC service on August 18, and although sales figures or platform numbers weren't released today, it has also already become the biggest Game Pass launch for the company. The company had some interesting stats to share about the incredibly well-received title as well. Since the launch, the Flight Sim community has flown over one billion miles across 26 million flights. John F. Kennedy International Airport has taken the crown as the most popular airport, while the Daher TBM 930 is in the lead as the most popular aircraft. Microsoft Flight Simulator received its first major bug fixing update yesterday, which aims to take care of installation issues, crashes involving peripherals, among many other problems. Microsoft added that the launch was just the beginning for the simulator, saying "there is plenty more to come on our flight itinerary including world updates, sim updates, and future themed DLC." An Xbox One version of the title is in the works as well, though no release date information has been shared yet. Interestingly, this is not the only recently-released first-party Xbox title to breach the one million player mark soon after launch, with Obsidian Entertainment's survival game Grounded also breezing past that milestone. Microsoft Flight Simulator gains over a million players, biggest Game Pass launch yet
  4. Microsoft releases Flight Simulator patch version 1.7.14.0 Microsoft Flight Simulator was released for the PC on August 18. While the title had been in testing for a little more than a year, there were a few known issues at launch such as problems with the download and more. The firm also made available the first public SDK on August 21. Now, just as promised last week, Microsoft has released a patch for Flight Simulator that addresses a few known issues with the latest simulation title. The patch, version 1.7.14.0 should be rolling out to all users. To install the patch, users will have to simply close the game and re-open it. The firm, however, says that those that faced issues when attempting to install the game at launch should perform a clean install. The Redmond firm has also provided instructions for uninstalling the game, both for those that purchased and installed via Steam or the Microsoft Store. The team has also posted installation guidelines in a support article here. As for the patch itself, here are the fixes and improvements that are being made: STABILITY ISSUES The title will no longer crash when different input devices/peripherals are disconnected The title will no longer crash when the TBM 930 package is deleted INSTALLATION ISSUES The install process will no longer be blocked after a partial decompression of a package The install process will no longer be blocked when a local user account includes non-ASCII characters The install process will no longer be blocked after a failed connection to servers The install process will no longer display an empty onboarding screen under certain conditions The title will download a critical missing/deleted package to access the main menu even if the save data preference is set to offline (when an internet connection is available) CONTENT MANAGER The title will no longer automatically download packages that have been deleted through the content manager The content manager will no longer get stuck in an infinite loading state when checked offline The Creator name of the packages should now be properly updated SIMCONNECT Significant FPS drop when using Simconnect should no longer affect the experience OPTIMIZATION The performance of the title has been improved when the Display name plate option is set to active MARKETPLACE The correct currency is now properly updated in the marketplace Further updates to Flight Simulator and the deliverables planned for the next few months should come as part of the next development update, which usually arrives on Thursdays. In all, the performance improvements and stability fixes should be a welcome addition for those that have faced problems with the game. Microsoft releases Flight Simulator patch version 1.7.14.0
  5. Microsoft Flight Simulator's latest patch notes released Image via Simtom112 Last week, Microsoft Flight Simulator's first public SDK was made available, and a new Partnership Series update involving Bing Maps was unveiled alongside the first episode of the Around the World Tour. In today's development update, the list of items being addressed is not as diverse; however, release notes for the upcoming patch have been revealed. The following components are to be addressed in the upcoming patch, with crashing and installing issues being specifically highlighted: STABILITY ISSUES The title will no longer crash when different input devices/peripherals are disconnected The title will no longer crash when the TBM 930 package is deleted INSTALLATION ISSUES The install process will no longer be blocked after a partial decompression of a package The install process will no longer be blocked when a local user account includes non-ASCII characters The install process will no longer be blocked after a failed connection to servers The install process will no longer display an empty onboarding screen under certain conditions The title will download a critical missing/deleted package to access the main menu even if the save data preference is set to offline (when an internet connection is available) CONTENT MANAGER The title will no longer automatically download packages that have been deleted through the content manager The content manager will no longer get stuck in an infinite loading state when checked offline The Creator name of the packages should now be properly updated SIMCONNECT Significant FPS drop when using Simconnect should no longer affect the experience OPTIMIZATION The performance of the title has been improved when the Display name plate option is set to active MARKETPLACE The correct currency is now properly updated in the marketplace To install this patch, users will simply have to close the game and then relaunch it. As far as further deliverables for Microsoft Flight Simulator are concerned, the latest Feedback Snapshot iteration and an updated development roadmap are being prepared for a release in the following weeks. Version 8.01 for the former was made available a couple of weeks back, while the latter should showcase news on upcoming deliverables for September through November, as per previous updates. The latest patch will be arriving to users within the next seven days, presumably lining up with next Thursday's development update - exactly a week from now. Before the game's release though, Alpha updates were regularly released one day before the regularly weekly news was unveiled, so users should keep an eye out for earlier availability as well. Microsoft Flight Simulator's latest patch notes released
  6. Microsoft Flight Simulator has some amazing bugs, glitches, and mountain-high obelisks Flight Simulator has its up and downs Microsoft Flight Simulator produces some stunning realism most of the time, but there’s the odd occasion where things go hilariously wrong. PC players inside simulated airplanes have been scouring the globe this week and have discovered some rather amusing glitches. The biggest discovery is a giant mountain-high obelisk in Melbourne, Australia. The unusually tall building doesn’t exist in real life, but Bing Maps thinks a giant obelisk dominates the skies of northern Melbourne. Microsoft Flight Simulator utilizes Microsoft’s Bing Maps technology — streaming data directly from two petabytes of storage in the cloud — so it’s likely that this particular glitch is based on incorrect Bing Maps data. Some Flight Simulator players have been visiting the obelisk at midnight, eager to get some pictures of the giant structure before it’s inevitably removed. Giant obelisks aren’t the only things going awry in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game uses Azure-powered procedural generation technology to fill any gaps in the Bing Maps data. Landmarks and bridges can’t be generated with AI, so they need to be built by hand. That leaves some parts of cities looking a little odd if you look too close. Buckingham Palace turned into an office block. kraven420 (Reddit) Flight Simulator players discovered that Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Britain’s monarchs, has been turned into an office building. Similarly, the Washington Monument in Washington DC has also been turned into a narrow skyscraper. Over on the west coast, the game seems to be struggling with palm trees that line the streets of southern California. In Flight Simulator they’ve turned into weird angular structures jutting out of the ground like prehistoric shark teeth. Flight Simulator players have stumbled upon other places where objects are rendered crudely, including a bridge in Portland where trucks are glued to the sides. Some of the glitches could be down to the data streaming settings that players pick in Flight Simulator, though. One player discovered that TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida looks like it has been filled with grass with a sunken office-like building in the middle of the stadium. TIAA Bank Field in Microsoft Flight Simulator. We visited the TIAA Bank Field this morning, and it rendered in all its glory with all the data streaming settings enabled. It’s unlikely that Asobo Studio, the developers behind Microsoft Flight Simulator, fixed the stadium in less than 24 hours. Some of the visual glitches that people are experiencing could be related to internet connectivity to the streaming data used to power Flight Simulator, or simply due to players not enabling the full data download when the game is configured. The glitches are more amusing than they are game breaking, and you’re not likely to notice some of the inaccuracies unless you’re flying low or you know how many buildings are supposed to look in a particular city or area. I’ve spent hours flying around parts of the world I’ve never visited in Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s still a stunningly realistic virtual version of our planet, even if some giant obelisks are creating some virtual air traffic over Australia. Microsoft Flight Simulator has some amazing bugs, glitches, and mountain-high obelisks
  7. Microsoft's new Flight Simulator game is now available for PCs It was June 2019 when Microsoft first announced the return of its popular Flight Simulator franchise. As promised, the game is available for everyone now, although it's been in private alpha testing for quite some time. Now, general availability is here. To celebrate the release, Microsoft is releasing a free "Aviators Club" livery set that can be claimed through the in-sim marketplace. It's available between tomorrow and September 30 for anyone playing the new game. The first iteration of Flight Simulator launched in November 1982, nearly 38 years ago. While that in itself gives the game a storied history, that also makes it the longest-running software line that Microsoft currently runs. It even predates Windows, which debuted in 1985. There have been plenty of iterations over the years too, the most recent bring Flight Simulator X and Microsoft Flight. But the new Flight Simulator brings the game back to its roots all while pushing it forward, using modern technologies. It uses Azure AI and Bing Maps to stream the real world, and it also includes things like real-time weather. It's the real world you're flying over, so you can go fly over your house, local landmarks, and more. More features are coming too, such as virtual reality. Flight Simulator comes in Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe flavors, with increasing amounts of airplanes and hand-crafted airports in each one. Standard is included with Xbox Game Pass for PC. Microsoft had originally planned to make the game for Xbox consoles as well, but it's been quiet on the effort. If you want to check out the game, you can find it here. Microsoft's new Flight Simulator game is now available for PCs
  8. Microsoft announces release times for Flight Simulator, varies by region Last month, Microsoft announced that the new Flight Simulator will finally become available on PC for users starting August 18. The latest iteration of the simulator was announced during E3 last year, and pre-orders began on July 13, 2020. Now, the Redmond giant has provided the release times for various regions, providing users more information on when they will be able to begin downloading and playing the game. Those that pre-ordered the game from the Microsoft Store will be able to start downloading it on a rolling release schedule, meaning that the availability will differ depending on the region and time zone. The game is going live at midnight across 25 time zones around the globe, with users in countries like New Zealand already beginning to be eligible for the download. Here is the complete list of time zones and the associated countries for those that purchased the game from the Store: Time Countries 17 August 10:00 UTC Kiribati 11:00 UTC American Samoa, The Marshall Islands, Mauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, The United States Minor Outlying Islands, Wallis and Futuna 12:00 UTC Antarctica, Fiji, New Zealand 13:00 UTC New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu 14:00 UTC Australia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, The Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea 15:00 UTC Japan, The Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palau, Timor-Leste 16:00 UTC Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan 17:00 UTC Cambodia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam 17:30 UTC The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Myanmar 18:00 UTC Bangladesh, Bhutan, The British Indian Ocean Territory, Kyrgyzstan 18:15 UTC Nepal 18:30 UTC India, Sri Lanka 19:00 UTC The French Southern Territories, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 19:30 UTC Afghanistan 20:00 UTC Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Seychelles, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen 21:00 UTC Åland Islands, Belarus, The Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mayotte, The Republic of Moldova, Palestine, Romania, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine 22:00 UTC Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Eswatini, France, Germany, Gibraltar, The Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe 23:00 UTC Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Kongo, The Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Faroe Islands, Gabon, Isle of Man, Ireland, Morocco, The Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension, and the Tristan da Cunha, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island 18 August 00:00 UTC Bouvet Island, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Jersey, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo 01:00 UTC Cabo Verde, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 03:00 UTC Anguilla, Anguilla and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Dominica, Brazil (BRT), The Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 04:00 UTC The Bahamas, Brazil (AMT), Plurinational State of Bolivia, Canada, The Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, The Falkland Islands, Georgia, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, The Turks and Caicos Islands, The United States of America (Eastern), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 05:00 UTC Belize, Brazil (ACT), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, The United States of America (Central) 07:00 UTC Pitcairn, The United States of America (Western) 10:00 UTC The Cook Islands French Polynesia Those that opted to purchase the game from Steam will be able to access the complete download at 4AM UTC (4AM GMT, 12AM EST, 11PM CST (17 August), 9PM PST (17 August), 5AM BST). This means that some regions will be able to download the simulator before midnight. While the announcement does not explicitly mention the timelines for users of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers, it is safe to assume that the timelines for the Store purchases also apply to the subscription holders, since the Standard version is included in the subscription. Additionally, there is no information on when the company aims to launch the simulator on consoles. The game is offered in three versions: Standard ($59.99), Deluxe ($89.99), and Premium Deluxe ($119.99). The difference between the versions includes a greater number of airports and airplanes in the higher tiers. The latest offering from Microsoft leverages technologies from DirectX 12 and offers real-time weather and dynamic scenery. Microsoft announces release times for Flight Simulator, varies by region
  9. Microsoft Flight Simulator developer Q&A addresses top community questions and concerns Image via Flubberzwans Last week, Microsoft unveiled its collaboration with blackshark.ai on its upcoming Flight Simulator title and provided an update on the SDK. The latest Feedback Snapshot iteration was also released, though as has been the case in recent weeks, it only made its way to Insiders. With the final development update before Microsoft Flight Simulator's official PC release now having been posted, a bunch of new information has arrived through a developer Q&A session, along with more focused news on other deliverables. For starters, the previously teased partnership with the International Online Flying Network VATSIM has now been fully detailed through a five-minute video. Connecting to the VATSIM experience will simply require opening the vPilot settings, and then providing the credentials, callsign, and aircraft type. Microsoft stated that, "[...] with day one support, Microsoft Flight Simulator users will be able to experience the same immersive experience as VATSIM has offered the flight sim community for 20 years." Moving on, a developer Q&A session that was livestreamed on Twitch earlier today addressed top community concerns, including information on possible career mode options, pre-downloads, the Xbox release, and more. With regards to the former, Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, noted how gamers in the simulation genre were often already aware of how they meant to approach the provided sandbox, which is why the development team had specifically decided to opt out of making a career mode, keeping the game "a lot more open" and avoiding "arcadey missions". As far as a pre-download is concerned, Martial Bossard, Lead Software Engineer for Asobo Studio, stated that although the core components will be available to download on day one, further modules will be downloadable only through a unified platform in the form of Azure PlayFab. Through this distinction, the developer is aiming to place much more emphasis on user control, allowing users to personally decide upon and choose the content they feel is necessary to download. An Xbox release date is still nowhere in sight for now, though the community has been assured that similar Q&A sessions to address its concerns will be held every month. Information on further features that were touched upon, including planned availability for helicopters, licensed liveries, and more can be viewed in the full video above. Finally, wrapping up this week's development update, a welcome surprise has arrived in the form of a Feedback Snapshot finally being showcased to the general public. Version 8.01 takes note of the fact that all of the top community questions have been answered - aside from a campaign mode query, which has now been addressed through the Q&A as well. Almost all of the Alpha issues are currently being addressed, while some of the top wishlisted capabilities including AI traffic, virtual reality, and seasons, are being worked upon as well Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to be released on PC on August 18; it can be pre-ordered from Steam here, and the Microsoft Store here. The closed beta is going to end on August 17, 10 a.m. PST/ 1 p.m. EDT. Microsoft Flight Simulator developer Q&A addresses top community questions and concerns
  10. How Microsoft Flight Simulator returned to the skies A spectacular comeback for a Microsoft icon Share this story Share this on Facebook (opens in new window) Share this on Twitter (opens in new window) Share All sharing options Let’sLet’s play a quick game of word association: Microsoft — Windows? Excel? Xbox? All solid answers. But for me, for a while in the ‘90s at least, I would have immediately answered “Flight Simulator.” Microsoft Flight Simulator is the very first thing I can remember ever doing on a computer, sat on my granddad’s lap as we soared across blocky landscapes together with a Sidewinder joystick. It is one of Microsoft’s all-time iconic brands. It’s also a brand that the company has more or less ignored in the past decade-plus. The last release, Flight Simulator X, came out in 2006, and a few years later, its developer, Aces Game Studio, was closed as part of widespread layoffs at Microsoft. A 2012 free-to-play spinoff called Microsoft Flight was less than well-received. In just a few weeks, though, Microsoft is releasing perhaps the biggest upgrade to the series in its 38-year history. The new title, developed by French studio Asobo and simply called Microsoft Flight Simulator, is an ambitious attempt to leverage Microsoft’s Bing Maps data and Azure-powered procedural generation technology to render our planet in unprecedented detail. I’ve been playing a pre-release alpha version for a couple of weeks, and it’s frankly astonishing. This is a full-throttle effort from Microsoft to re-create the natural world and the magic of flight. And while it carries the weight of an iconic series, it feels like it came from nowhere. Why is Microsoft reviving Flight Simulator now? “After Flight Simulator X, frankly, I think we just got more and more focused on Xbox and essentially just divested the team at the time,” Microsoft’s head of Flight Simulator, Jorg Neumann, tells me. “Why did we take so long to come back? Honestly, I’ve been at Microsoft for a good long time, and the desire to make another flight sim was truly always there. And people talked about it in the hallways, but it was always, ‘What are we going to add? What do we have to say? You know, can we actually make a meaningful step forward?’” In more recent years, Neumann had been working on projects for HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset. A demo called HoloTour, which let players fly around Rome and Machu Picchu, marked the first collaboration with Microsoft’s Bing Maps team. “I remember the first time I put on the headset, the sights and sounds were so real,” Neumann recalls. “I mean, I’ve never been to Peru, but it was real to me. And even then, in early 2016 or something. I just thought to myself, ‘Man, if we could just do this across the entire planet, wouldn’t that be something?’” In 2017, Neumann got in touch with Asobo and asked if they’d be up for giving the project a shot. Using data of Microsoft’s home city of Seattle, which Bing Maps has rendered down to five-centimeter resolution with photogrammetry, Asobo took a few weeks to put together a demo of a Cessna flying downtown. Neumann then showed it to Phil Spencer, a VP at the time who is now the head of Xbox. “He just looked at me and said, ‘Why are you showing me a video of Seattle with a plane?’” Neumann says. “And then the plane turned, and we flew over the Microsoft campus where we were sitting at that exact moment. And he’s like, ‘Is this real time? Is this running?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, it is!’ And we knew then we had something special.” Showing someone a video of a plane flying over a photorealistic Seattle is one thing, but convincing the player that they’re flying the plane themselves is quite another. Despite Asobo never having developed a flight sim before, Neumann thought the team would be a good fit on technical grounds. Asobo had previously shipped Fuel, a 2009 open-world all-terrain racer that used procedural techniques and satellite data to create what was at the time the largest video game environment yet. “We spent a long, long time to ingest what it is to be a simmer, what it means to be a simmer, what the simmer wants,” says Asobo co-founder Martial Bossard. “So we embraced what it is to bring a sim to the community, from going to flight school and understanding exactly what it is to be in a plane. You just have to go to a flight club, and you can talk to these kinds of people. They’re so passionate about what they are doing. And you know, we were not beginners. I’ve got the same story as you — I started computing with flight sims.” Neumann is quick to point out that Asobo wasn’t starting from scratch. “I sent them the Flight Simulator X engine,” he laughs. “And the great thing was, they integrated the sim that we had one piece at a time. And pretty much from day one it worked. You know, sometimes you work on a product and for the first two years, nothing works. In this case, we could fly from literally day one and just bring up the different systems, which I think was key.” I will say this about Microsoft Flight Simulator in its current state: it is very much a flight simulator — no more, no less. The focus so far has clearly been on the flight model and the underlying technology, and I think that’s for the best. Flying with a stick feels great, and the visuals are unparalleled. The reactive weather and clouds are a particular highlight. This afternoon, I just flew over my parents’ house in overcast England and felt like I was home. To be able to do that in the same package that lets you look for animals while flying over the African savannah is something special. At this point, the detail of Flight Simulator’s world isn’t quite evenly distributed. Microsoft’s highest-quality data doesn’t cover all of the regions of the world, which means that a lot has to be tweaked manually, and unique objects like landmarks and bridges need to be built by hand because they can’t be generated with AI. I noticed this most when flying around my current home of Tokyo and spotting lots of famous buildings, but heading over to my previous city of Osaka and recognizing almost nothing. “I think we’re going to get there pretty much everywhere,” Neumann says. “Commercial planes don’t fly everywhere, and some areas of the world are considered a little bit more remote. But those are actually the areas I’m going to focus on because you know western Europe and the US is good, right? But we want to focus on other areas because we think people have not been there, aviation hasn’t really gone there. There’s lots of fascinating terrain. And I mean, I think we can really inspire.” “I spend a lot of time in Africa right now. I like flying around because it’s cool. And I just think we’re taking the industry of flight simming forward if we bring those areas up in quality because it’s been neglected. There’s all these third-party companies for decades now, they’ve made tons and tons of things, like a thousand airports or so have been modeled and 1,500 planes. But when you look at the geographical distribution of it, it’s not equal. And I think it should be — like really, this is going to be on my bucket list: ‘Make South America awesome.’ It is going to be on my bucket list.” For me, the thought of flying around a beautiful rendition of our planet has such obvious mainstream appeal that I’m a little surprised Microsoft stuck so hard to the stripped-down flight sim template. Despite the Bing tie-in, for example, you’re essentially taking off at one airport and landing at another with little in the way of basic map navigation. I found myself flying with Google Maps open on an iPad whenever I wanted to look for a particular landmark. Bossard says the focus was on producing “a sim for simmers first,” with Bing’s data initially used to help produce flight plans and work on technical airport navigation data, but the studio is looking at integrating it in other layers as well. Despite Microsoft Flight Simulator’s sim-heavy focus, though, it’s inevitable that this version will be checked out by a wide audience of people who have perhaps never tried a flight sim before. It’s launching on the PC version of Xbox Game Pass, for one thing, and there’s even a version for Xbox consoles following later — a first for the franchise. Microsoft also announced today that VR support is coming to the PC version, which could further expand the user base. How does Microsoft plan to introduce Flight Simulator to a new audience? “Carefully,” Neumann says, repeating Bossard’s “sim for simmers” language. “Because if you forget that and you start thinking about larger audiences or gamers and those types of things, you lose focus on what your kernel is. When we talk about what you just said, people that might be new to sims, we call them newcomers, not gamers. Because we specifically left the sim in its state of open sandbox, which is important to simmers. And instead of dumbing anything down, we left the simulation exactly what reality is like and went for assistances and tutorials and those types of things to help newcomers onboard.” I also wonder how Microsoft Flight Simulator will run on Xbox consoles from a technical perspective. I have a pretty good PC and a fast internet connection, which is important for streaming data, but I didn’t always get solid frame rates and visuals when running it at 1440p even on medium settings. On one flight, I took off from JFK and started to fly north from the southern tip of Manhattan. Everything looked great at first, but by the time I got to the Chrysler Building, some skyscrapers hadn’t properly rendered yet and looked like a slushy mess. This is still alpha software, so don’t take this as a review, but if you’re unsure of your PC’s capabilities, it might be a good idea to try out the Game Pass version first. “We basically tried to make this an accessible simulator,” Neumann says. “Some people are speculating that you need some sort of supercomputer to run it. That’s definitely not the case. There’s some pretty modest video cards and PCs. And I think it’s very similar on Xbox where there’s an entire spectrum between Xbox One and Xbox Series X. There’s continued optimization regardless, but Xbox is certainly reinvigorating our optimization efforts, is probably the best way to say it.” Microsoft Flight Simulator can’t please everyone. There will undoubtedly be die-hard members of the flight sim community who find that certain things are missing, while others new to the idea might find it overwhelming. But what Microsoft is shipping from day one looks like it will be an incredible technical achievement, one with a central idea so compelling that it should be easy to appreciate the release for what it is. And this is only the first step. “When I pitched this product, the thing that Phil [Spencer] said to me was, ‘Hey, Jorg, if we go in, we’re going to stay in,’” Neumann says. “We know we can’t just go make a product and boogie and do something else. That is not how this works. We’re taking on a responsibility here for a hobby, and people trust us and we know that. It is our oldest franchise in the company. It is older than Windows and Office. It has a special place.” “I often struggle with finding the right words — I think there is sort of an intrinsic human desire to fly. I don’t know if it’s flight or if it’s the perspective change, I don’t know what it is, but it’s something like that. There’s something really special about seeing initially where you live from a different perspective, and then going other places. It has nothing to do with the simulation, even. I can show it to my daughters. My dad is 91. Almost everybody can relate to it because it’s real. It is so close to feeling real.” Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Windows 10, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass on August 18th. How Microsoft Flight Simulator returned to the skies
  11. Please insert disc: Microsoft Flight Simulator will spread across ten DVDs 90GB package is a drop in the bucket compared to the game's cloud-streamed data. Enlarge / Not shown: Four more DVDs of game data, if you can believe it. Aerosoft 123 with 89 posters participating, including story author European players who want to play Microsoft's upcoming Flight Simulator reboot next month will be able to buy a physical edition of the game that is spread across a massive ten dual-layered DVDs. The retail package comes courtesy of the simulation add-on specialists at Aerosoft, which announced the publishing partnership with Microsoft and developer Asobo earlier this week. That physical package, which Aerosoft says should cost "very close to the price you pay Microsoft [for the digital edition]" will include over 90GB of data, the bulk of which are graphical assets for the airplanes and detailed ground scenery in the game. After installing the game from those discs, players will still be encouraged to download update files to the simulation itself, as well as stream copious cloud-based data like high-res satellite photos, geographic details, and live weather updates for an even higher level of realism. "This is very much a simulator that depends on the cloud if you want to use it to its full potential," Aerosoft community manager Mathijs Kok wrote in a forum thread discussing the physical edition. "If you use the sim offline you get a world that looks a lot better than [Prepar3d] or X-Plane, but you will miss the full high-def coverage of the world with a photo base and all that goes with it (correctly placed trees, etc.)," he added later. Including all that streamable data in a physical package "would mean not 10 DVDs but thousands of DVDs," Kok said. Despite all that online-exclusive data, though, Kok added that "the boxed version makes it possible for people on a slower Internet connection to get the sim installed without downloading the 'content.' So the simulator is in every way 100% the same. The boxed retail version just gets you a nice box, printed manual and about 90GB you do not have to download." The past and future of disc juggling The rise of popular downloadable gaming services like Steam means disc-based releases for major PC games have been a relative rarity for years now. Many titles that do get a "retail" release these days end up just shipping a box with nothing but a download code inside. But Kok still thinks there's an audience for this particular product. "Keep in mind that in many parts of the world boxed [flight sim] add-ons still do very well," he writes. "The boxed version of X-Plane we handled did extremely well, and we are super proud of that. As we learned that Microsoft Flight Simulator was a very large product (over 80GB) we knew that there would be a lot of people who could use a boxed version." First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. In the US, at least, an Ars analysis shows that average household download speeds have mostly been outpacing the increase in game download sizes in recent years. But that might not be the case worldwide, especially in remote areas where fast broadband is not as prevalent. For users who may not have DVD drives on their PC towers these days, Kok said Aerosoft plans to offer a "cheapo" USB DVD drive through its online shop. "I got one, under $20, and it works brilliantly," he said. And while the same 90GB package could be fit easily onto two Blu-ray discs, Kok says that's not in the cards for this title; while "DVD drives are getting rare in computers, Blu-ray drives have always been rare," he said. Flight Simulator's nine-disc release hearkens back to the era of late '90s CD-ROM gaming. Back then, pre-rendered games like Riven would be packed onto five CDs, while massive PlayStation RPGs like Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX were spread across four separate discs. Before that, the Amiga version of Monkey Island 2 was famously spread across 11 floppy diskettes that had to be swapped frequently during gameplay. These days, massive console games like Final Fantasy VII Remake and The Last of Us: Part 2 are seeing physical releases that include two Blu-Ray discs. Retail versions of games on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 might be forced to span even more discs—both consoles are sticking with the Blu-ray standard rather than pushing for some sort of new, denser optical disc format (while both systems will support 4K UHD Blu-ray video, there has been no indication yet of whether or not games might ship on this higher-capacity format). That assumes, of course, that physical discs continue to exist as anything more than a small niche in the wider game market. With Capcom recently announcing that 80 percent of its full game sales are digital, it's no wonder both Microsoft and Sony are experimenting with disc-drive-free consoles, just as Sony's Kaz Hirai predicted ten years ago. That's not a great sign for struggling physical game retailers like GameStop, which may be facing a world of nothing but zero-disc games relatively soon. Please insert disc: Microsoft Flight Simulator will spread across ten DVDs (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  12. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 system requirements shared Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is currently in the middle of alpha testing through the Insider program, enlisting members of the public for gathering feedback on the state of the game. While a confirmed release date has not appeared yet, fans of the highly anticipated title can now find out if their computers are capable of running it In a short and sweet announcement, the official system requirements were revealed today. Check out the detailed breakdown on the image below, which even splits the minimum, recommended, and ideal specifications into AMD and Nvidia (and Intel) sections: Considering the visual fidelity of the title, the recommended specification isn't that demanding, only requiring mid-range parts to run the game at, what we hope, 60FPS on a 1080p display. The 150GB of required HDD or SSD space may be a bit of a hard point for some users, though. Also, those bandwidth specifications are listed because the game offers to stream map data through Bing Maps while playing for a much more accurate and immersive experience. It is said that over two petabytes of data will be accessible from the cloud for this purpose. The latest Insider build, Alpha 1.2.10, brought in the Airbus A320 NEO for invited players to try out. Check out our ongoing coverage of Microsoft Flight Simulator to find out what's been going on behind the scenes with the title since its announcement last year. Source: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 system requirements shared (Neowin)
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