Microsoft Flight Simulator Is Getting Free VR Support For Christmas

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Is Getting Free VR Support For Christmas
Image: Kotaku

Microsoft Flight Simulator still brings every PC on earth to its knees, but it’s steadily been getting more content since its August launch. But the biggest gift will drop just before Christmas — literally December 23 — in the form of free VR support.

The Asobo Studio team announced the release of the VR patch via a stream this week. VR support had been mentioned back in July, although all we knew at that time was that it wouldn’t be ready for launch.

But if you’ve got a VR headset — any kind of VR headset — then you’ll be able to fly around the world from December 23. It’ll be part of what’s being called “Sim Update 2”, and executive producer Martial Bossard (what a name) said all the menus will be rendered in VR.

Having the menus rendered in VR — which wasn’t the case for recent Flight Simulator alpha builds — means you won’t have to take off the VR headset to get into a flight. You can just fire up the game, pop the headset on, and then control everything you need to from within there.

Bossard also added that the December 23 update will focus on improving the experience for bigger aircraft, with two new tutorials being added for the Airbus A320. Microsoft Flight Simulator shipped with an exhaustive tutorial for smaller aircraft, but flying large passenger jets is also a huge part of the Flight Sim experience.

Beyond December, the next world update in January will also add improvements to the game’s autopilot system. The United Kingdom will be the content focus for the key January update, according to the official development roadmap. Beyond that, most of the work will go towards further optimisations, SDK and third-party support.

Flight Simulator, for my money, is still one of the best games released this year. I’m curious to see how it’ll actually run in VR though. Most headsets need to run at a minimum of 90 FPS for visual stability, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of cuts and visual adjustments Asobo Studio makes to keep the gaming running at that threshold. 4K VR flight is probably going to be out of the question, I’d venture.

And for those wondering in the back: there’s still no word on when Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox.

Comments

  • “And for those wondering in the back: there’s still no word on when Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox.”

    Answered my question before I asked it

    • Quite frustrating really..

      Why the holy heck has Microsoft not pushed at least an Xbox Series S/X version out of the gate. I have my Series X (PS5 will wait for Ratchet & Clank release) and there’s no doubt that PS5 owners at the moment can play with their new shiny toy and say ‘look at this NEW game I’m getting to play on my NEW console with NEW features’ while XB has ‘well.. our OLD games look prettier and load nicely’..

      Getting Flight Simulator out onto Xbox in early 2021 would be a great treat for XB supporters. As soon as Halo Infinite was delayed, this should be been a priority, given it’s an exclusive to MS and has gotten great reviews..

      • It runs like garbage on RTX 3080/3090 systems, and until they fix that there’s no way this game is running relatively smooth on consoles without pixels the size of dinner plates.

        Plus they have to work out how the control scheme will function on console. Mouse/keyboard/Xbox controller works fine on PC, because you have that all in range, but a controller alone on an Xbox would be completely unworkable. You literally wouldn’t be able to fly certain aircraft, so they have to figure that part out too.

        • In terms of controls. I think they’d keep it similar and have m+K support but have the option for more basic controls on the controller if you only used that, similar to any other game with flying

  • Interesting. We just got the Vive cosmos. I run a 2070 with 32gb ram and a ryzen 3600. Even if I have to run it at 3/4 detail, it’s a bloody gorgeous game, and my father who’s now 71, has suffered this year through not being able to travel. I just know, something like this would really tickle his fancy and probably alleviate *some* of that depression of not being able to get out into the wild blue yonder… maybe just a tiny, tiny bit.

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