The team at Microsoft and Asobo Studio are back with a brand new developer stream that focuses on the near-term future of Microsoft Flight Simulator will look like. In the stream, we see Jorg Neumann (Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator), Sebastian Wloch (CEO / Co-Founder of Asobo Studio) and Martial Bossard (Executive Producer at Asobo) all talk about Sim Updates, World Updates and answer some of the questions from the community. Community Manager Jayne was also present hosting the stream itself.
The stream began with a brief recap of what Sim Update 13 brought to the table (the last time a developer stream was done). Famous Flyer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries MU-2 was also mentioned, along with World Update 15: Nordics and Greenland).
Following on from this, Jorg spoke about the Roadmap and how things have progressed during 2023. Jorg mentioned that the November ‘surprise’ was meant to be the collaboration between Microsoft Flight Simulator and the upcoming release of Dune: Part Two. However, due to the delay with the film, Microsoft also chose to delay the DLC release so it coincides with the film’s release.
Q&A Part 1
The first Q&A session focused a lot on achievements, missions, ATC and some of the aircraft updates. Some highlights from the session include information on the iniBuilds A320. A version of it was released in the beta, but following a series of tests, it failed to reach the standards required by Microsoft in terms of stability. Jorg said it had an application crash rate that was too high to pass certification. Jorg is confident the team will get there, but may just take a few more months to get right.
The team were also asked about whether we’ll see updates to aircraft such as the ATR-72. Jorg says that they work very closely with aircraft manufacturers, and we could expect updates in the future. Hans is also confirmed to be working on new updates for the plane to fix bugs reported in the forums. He also reconfirms that there will be more ‘expert series’ aircraft in the future, but wants to set the expectation that these planes do take time.
Another interesting point to note during the session is the fact that the in-sim Marketplace is now accepting applications from those who have been waiting for the team to help clear the backlog of products.
Future Sim Updates
The next section of the stream focused on Sim Update 14. The update will focus on stability, performance and memory improvements, along with fixing Game of the Year and the 40th Anniversary Edition aircraft. Furthermore, there will be an improvement in the atmospheric lighting. You can see some examples below.
People will also be pleased to see improvements to ground handling. Sebastian said there has been a lot of re-writing of the physics engine for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, but they have managed to bring some of the effects to the current simulator. This new simulation will allow airframes to respond to forces, including moving control surfaces, engine vibrations and more. This is set to come along with Sim Update 15.
Famous Flyer 8
Developed by Carenado, Famous Flyer 8 is going to be the Cessna 207. The team shared a few screenshots of the popular Cessna aircraft. It’s due for a release in just a few days.
Q&A Part 2
This section focused on Performance/Installation and also the World and Weather. Some notable answers from the team include the fact they’re looking at download speeds for the Content Manager. Another piece of news is that the team is confident that there are some areas of the world where they can fix popping area tiles. Colour-correcting water is also being worked on but is in an experimental phase right now.
A new city update is also on its way with the following cities looking to be updated: Zagreb, Kiche, Kadis, Brussels, and The Hague. When asked about Stockholm, the team said: “So, Stockholm turns out that the editing is extensive; there are a lot of bridges in Stockholm. So we’re going to give this a little bit more time, but the team is working on it. It’s coming, we have it”
Thanks to ursulatonto and F737MAX for the information and letting us know we had missed it originally.
World Update XVI – Caribbean
The next world update will be focused on the Caribbean. Expect new digital elevation maps, new aerial imagery, over 100 new points of interest, 7 bespoke airports and a range of new missions. The new POIs and airports are being developed by Gaya Simulations. The new airports are:
- MUCL – Aeropuerto International Vilo Acuña
- MDPP – Puerto Plata International Airport (Dominican Republic)
- MTCA – Antoine-Simone Airport (Haiti)
- MKJS – Sangster International Airport (Jamaica)
- TTCP – Crown Point International Airport (Trinidad and Tobago)
- MYEH – North Eleuthera Airport (The Bahamas)
- TFFS-Les Saintes Airport (Guadeloupe)
Q&A Part 3
This Q&A session was focused on some miscellaneous questions from the community. The first question was surrounding historical weather within Microsoft Flight Simulator. Whilst the team has looked into it, the data they are provided doesn’t fit in with their system. So this isn’t something that will come soon.
Another question that popped up was whether there would be updates for the current sim before Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 comes out. Jorg confirms that a Sim Update is planned just before MSFS 2024 is released to ensure there is some harmony between the two.
“We are getting close,” said the team on the stream. The awaited ability to edit airports to improve them for the whole community will be entering a close testing period very soon. The team will re-open a closed-alpha survey soon.
The roadmap for 2024 looks very busy for Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020). A bunch of new world updates, city updates, local legends and sim updates are all planned. Of course, there is also Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 releasing next year as well.
Sneak Peek at Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024
The team couldn’t resist one little sneak peek of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 to close out the stream. You can see this stunning shot of the Grand Canyon down below.
That wraps up this month’s stream. What was your favourite announcement from the hour and half discussion? If you wish to watch it in full, you can do so now on Twitch.