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Why Isn’t Microsoft Confirmed for FlightSimExpo 2020?

Microsoft Will They Exhibit

Yesterday, we partnered with FlightSimExpo to reveal the initial list of exhibitors confirmed to be attending the show in Las Vegas this upcoming June. Just shy of 40 exhibitors were confirmed to attend including software developers, hardware developers and a huge range of various communities.

However, there was one big name missing from that list that I’m sure many simmers were anticipating on seeing. That name, of course, is Microsoft.

Cast your minds back to June of last year and you may remember that Microsoft shared with the world that Flight Simulator was back – in a big way. The initial announcement took place moments after the conclusion of FlightSimExpo 2019 in Orlando when the trailer dropped during Microsoft’s keynote presentation at E3 in LA. Many people questioned why Microsoft wasn’t at FlightSimExpo announcing it to the core audience. Considering the scope and scale of the title, it made sense for the first reveal to take place at a huge gaming convention.

Since then, Microsoft has proven that they are fully engaged with the community – quoting many members of the community and inviting media partners, flight sim enthusiasts and influences to Seattle to try the new simulator. However, it does raise the question of why so far we haven’t seen a firm commitment from the team yet at North America’s biggest flight sim specific show.

When I spoke to Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator during X019 he told me that he is aware of shows such as FlightSimExpo. This is unsurprising considering the amount of engagement we’ve seen via their blogs and interviews with us.

It is important to note that E3 2020, a huge focus for Microsoft as a game developer, does take place from Tuesday 9th June to Thursday 11th June 2020. Only a single day separates E3 and FlightSimExpo 2020, so that may have an influence on the decision.

Of course, the organisers at FlightSimExpo are keen to get Microsoft onboard. Microsoft is certainly engaged with the FlightSimExpo team, but just haven’t yet fully committed to the show. During the premier video yesterday, highlighting the event and initial exhibitors, a member of the FlightSimExpo social team confirmed the following statement:

“Thanks to our various connections in the industry, we’ve been in touch with the right contacts. They’ve expressed an interest, but we aren’t 100% of the way there yet”

Despite the fact that Microsoft, nor Asobo Studios, are in the initial line-up for FlightSimExpo 2020, there’s still plenty of time for them to still get on the list and be at the show. Exhibitor applications close on May 1st 2020, so perhaps Microsoft is waiting to see the community’s reaction to the initial line-up and people asking where are they?” 

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PMDG January Info Update Thread – 737 NGXu 600/700 Expansion, 777 Update and More

Pmdg 737 Ngu P3d 10

PMDG issued a rather lengthy statement the other day on their forums with regards to various items and products. They spoke about an upcoming NGXu update, additional information on PMDG Global Ops, along with further update information on their 777X update.

Starting with the Operations Center V2, Robert Randazzo from PMDG said that version 2 of the utility will be rolled out to all users very soon. Currently, it’s only available to those who own the 737 NGXu, but an update in the original ops center will inform users that version 2 is ready to be installed. The new OC will be fundamental for the upcoming PMDG Global Ops and is also important for the installation of liveries. It is made clear that once the roll-out is complete, V1 will no longer function as before.

In more exciting news, Robert touched on the upcoming 737 NGXu 600/700 expansion pack by confirming that the plan is to release by the end of January. Beta testing is underway and that users can expect pricing to be “a bit lower than what you expect.” The expansion will include both aircraft, along with performance data for both types. For refernece, the expansion pack will contain the 737-600 and 737-700 all with the various types of winglets. PMDG is also evaluating customer demand for cargo varients along with the BBJ/BBJ2 package.

It should also be noted that the PMDG NGXu Base Package will also see an update upon the release of the 600/700 expansion pack which will bring additional changes and fixes, including fine-tuning the flight model.

The PMDG 747 Queen of the Skies II will also see an update soon, with a new update about to be pushed to the testing teams. The update will add the pushback tug (introduced in the 737 NGX) and also a significant change to the ground physics model. Robert gave a more detailed account of what those changes mean for users of that aircraft type.

As for the PMDG 777-200LR Base Package and the PMDG 777-300ER Expansion, the team said that there will be a major update for the product coming soon. In approximately two weeks time, the testing teams will get their hands on a new build which will include additional ground handling physics, PBR to the external modelling and more.

For those hoping for an EFB, Robert did say that the work is underway but won’t be included in this update. Interestingly, Robert also added that when the EFB data is added to the 777 series, the 777-200ER data will also get added. “Run with that as you may” he then followed up with.

The final item on the agenda is to do with the long-awaited PMDG Global Operations product. Having been shared back during FlightSimExpo 2018, the are now saying that in the coming weeks, a number of community members will be given access to the early access period of the application. The PMDG team has already decided to cherry-pick from their forums based on community reputation amongst other things. If you haven’t been selected, PMDG said that the team will widen the testing process as things progress.

Robert goes on to talk about what people can expect and that the work has taken longer than expected.

That wraps up everything that was said in the forum post. You can read the full entry on the PMDG forums here.

Thanks to James Bone [KDFW] on our Discord for the tip.

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