Get your virtual barf bag ready.
Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed via a joint press briefing with developer Asobo Studio that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will in fact be receiving official VR support, beginning with the upcoming HP Reverb G2 later this year.
According to Microsoft, VR support will be free to all owners of the game. Support will arrive first on the upcoming 4K VR headset upon its launch this Fall, followed by additional VR devices sometime at a later date. According to video game publication Polygon, Asobo Studio is working on compatibility for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index.
“The very first piece of feedback that came out of [our announcement at E3 was], ‘Oh my God! This is going to be the best VR thing ever. They better have VR!’” said Microsoft Flight Simulator head, Jorg Neumann, during an interview with Polygon. “We immediately said, ‘Yep, we’ve got to do this now.’ We put a team on it, and and then partnered with HP.”
Arriving August 18th on Windows PC, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 offers players the chance to pilot dozens of real-world air crafts across a 3D simulation of the entire planet. The game uses a combination of artificial intelligence, photogrammetry, machine learning, procedural generation, and over two petabytes of Bing data to generate a near photo-realistic recreation of the Earth, including all of its 37,000 airports.
According to Asobo, each and every player will have access to all 37k airports, regardless of what version of the game they purchase. The only difference being that several of these airports will look better for Deluxe and Premium players.
Here’s a breakdown of all three versions and what they include:
- Microsoft Flight Simulator ($60) – 20 handcrafted planes and 30 handcrafted airports.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Deluxe ($90) – 25 handcrafted planes and 35 handcrafted airports.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium ($120) – 30 handcrafted planes and 40 handcrafted airports.
“The premium build or deluxe build is not a barrier,” Sebastian Wloch, CEO of Asobo Studio, said. “People that have the standard are not going to be blocked; every airport in the world is there. Basically the entire planet is seamlessly present and you can fly, land on any airport on the planet. … The airports are all there, they have aerial photography from Bing, they’re all very realistic, but the buildings are automatically generated by AI and procedural building generation.”
As if that weren’t cool enough, Microsoft Flight Simulator is able to track real-world weather and air traffic data in real-time. This means virtual pilots can fly side-by-side with actual flights and through real storms as they’re happening.
Microsoft Flight Simulator launches August 18th on Windows PC. Those subscribed to the Xbox Games Pass will have day one access to the standard edition with an option to upgrade to Deluxe or Premium. Asobo will continue to support the game post-launch with a series of free and paid DLC. Smaller updates will be released every month, along with larger, game-changing updates every two to three months. One such update will see the introduction of helicopters, adding a whole new layer of gameplay to the experience.
Image Credit: Microsoft