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.