Microsoft Flight Simulator returns as a mind-blowing cloud showcase

microsoft flight simulator returns as a mind blowing cloud showcase

Flight Simulator was one of the main surprises of this year's E3 briefing, with the aim of reviving the legendary high-flying PC series with Windows 10 and Xbox One. With 13 years since the last entry into the Main line, Microsoft supports the project with its newest technologies, ready to shake the genre with a complete generational leap. It's been a week since my time with Microsoft Flight Simulator, and I can't stop thinking about it. After three hours of practice, Microsoft sets the bar with its next ambitious exit.

Flight Simulator 2020 and its crazy ambition

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Flight Simulator positions a unique component at the heart of its latest update: the cloud. It is the basis of modern Microsoft from the consumer to the company, since the title intends to inject a ton of data into its Azure support services portfolio. The revival of Microsoft's longest-running franchise emerges as a rich culmination of geographic data, with more than two petabytes flowing through its systems. It is a vast experience that far exceeds the storage of an average PC, which requires help from the cloud infrastructure to serve the world.

The amazing Microsoft version of the modern Flight Simulator.

Cloning the real world with the required accuracy and fidelity is not an easy task, placing satellite data and artificial intelligence (AI) fundamental to this premise. Microsoft's own Bing Maps provides the baseline view to bird's eye view, elevated with photogrammetry, which translates 3D scans around the world. It accompanies landscape data for landscaping, foliage density mapping for 1.5 billion trees, weather records for real-time weather and air traffic tracking for authentic aircraft locations. By superimposing individual grass blades, ocean waves and city lighting, it offers a surprising end result, as reaffirmed by Microsoft's assets.

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Once handled through Azure algorithms and machine learning, the result is a precise and detailed reflection of the real world. This digital hoax retains precision accuracy up to centimeters, transporting the world's main cities, airports or even its backyard. And as it was taken out of Bing in real time, any future changes over time will be reflected in the game. It also opens the ability to navigate using visual flight rules (VFR) for reliable navigation by eye.

As Microsoft seems to prove that PC games are taken seriously, this could not come at a better time.

This magic is between Microsoft's internal flight simulator and Bordeaux-based talent, Asobo Studio. While more recently known for his work in A Plague Tale: Innocence, past efforts include Fuel, famous for its overwhelming 5000 square mile arena. The study also offered long-standing help on the first concepts of HoloLens and Kinect titles.

Microsoft's current public focus is on the fidelity of Flight Simulator, although the team has discussed adaptive transmission, altering the experience based on available bandwidth. While the top-level PC configurations and connections serve the results shown to date, the experience can reduce to possible bottlenecks. There is also a guaranteed full offline mode to please some returning veterans, either by running a stripped map or by caching sections of an established flight route. from Seattle, Washington Our time with pre-alpha construction started from the same place in the game, flying naturally over Lake Washington and the Seattle metropolitan area. Exceptional fidelity is demonstrated in the center, through residential blocks and ports, with a clear refinement of Microsoft during the project. We discovered that global hot spots reflect this detail, supposedly aided by 3D scans and additional modeling. Deviating from these areas will expose the shortcomings of an AI-driven approach, understandable given the scale of the world, but it is worth considering when the launch approaches.

microsoft flight simulator returns as a mind blowing cloud showcase

I'm not a pilot, but while Flight Simulator 2020 rides in its stunning views, it also announces changes in the game, probably welcomed by diehard fans. The latter shows an improved core physics engine, which is based on the solid foundation of Flight Simulator X through new aerodynamic simulations, collision models, among other improvements.

Microsoft brings additional depth to airplanes this time, led by significant advances for glass cockpits Fully simulated LCD touch screens emphasize interactivity, while synthetic vision systems (SVS) offer an animated 3D representation of the surrounding terrain . Pilots also receive an interactive checklist system, highlighting the instruments before departure. In layers with enhanced environmental effects, from dial lighting and reflections to rain-covered canopies, travel captures the tone, along with mechanics. Add VFR and you will get some significant changes in the way the new Flight Simulator plays.

Flight Simulator changes the game with the cloud

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With more than a decade since the last internal flight simulator, new rivals have entered the genre, taking advantage of Microsoft's absence. But this new step driven by the cloud is a company only viable with Redmond, given its large number of support services. The alignment with the company's new approach to the cloud and services under CEO Satya Nadella is impressive, with Bing Maps and Azure ready to be an unmatched combination between top publishers.

Xbox One users will remember that this is not Microsoft's first bet with the "power of the cloud," infamously linked to Crackdown 3 this year. With the basics of the cloud first in Cloudgine, which started midway through the project after an acquisition of Epic Games, the project never really recovered from success. The final version was a half-baked cloud experience and a shell of previous promises.

So what makes Flight Simulator 2020 different? Beyond a more fluid development, instead of downloading intensive physical processing to the cloud, Microsoft is using adaptive transmission to support the large scale of its world. Capable hardware (and bandwidth) is required to obtain the highest fidelity, without expecting miracles for low-end PCs or console hardware. And if it succeeds, it brings a new kind of title to the simply unfeasible world in previous years of disc-based games.

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But the last Flight Simulator falls into an ideal position, advancing on a proven franchise with well-defined limits. There is less pressure to change the gameplay from moment to moment with respect to your standard blockbuster title, allowing you to focus on simulation and raw technology. And as Microsoft seeks to demonstrate that PC games are taken seriously, this could not come at a better time.

Microsoft Flight Simulator addresses Windows 10 PCs in 2020, followed by a subsequent console debut on the entire Xbox One family. Registration for its Alpha Techniques tests began through the Flight Simulator Insider Program, which It is expected for testing in the coming months. The game is also scheduled for a Xbox Game Pass debut, expanding the internal rotary library of downloadable Microsoft titles.

Everything you can play

microsoft flight simulator returns as a mind blowing cloud showcase

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