Microsoft Flight Simulator seems like a shoe-in for VR. Strapping on a headset to become immersed in the pilot’s seat feels like a logical extension of the experience many come to that series for. Thankfully, Asobo Studio feels the same way, saying that making the VR version has become a top priority for the team.
Speaking to Der Standard (by way of AVSIM), head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann says that the challenge facing Asobo is getting the VR capabilities just right for players. “Asobo and I have years of experience with VR,” he said. “We know what a lazy and a good implementation look like. We want to bring a good solution, for example by cutting off the cockpit from the rest of the world. Then you can move freely in it, and the world in the background does not start to shimmer. We have started with VR, but we want to do it right.”
Virtual reality wasn’t part of Asobo’s gameplan to start with, but after seeing a lot of fans talking about wanting VR support from launch after the first E3 trailer, the studio reconsidered. As such, having it from launch isn’t guaranteed, however the commitment to doing it right rather than just doing it quick is a sure sign when it does arrive, it’ll be worth it.
The new reboot of Microsoft Flight Simulator is using some impressive technology. Working in collaboration with Bing, the mapping capabilities are state-of-the-art, allowing for an incredible recreation of Earth that can, in theory at least, let you fly to your house in-game. Neumann provided an update on the world-building, saying that trains and ships are currently being added, and Asobo is squeezing out as much detail as it can.
“Basically, you can easily add snow. But you’ll also need things like snow clearance vehicles,” Neumann explained. “The snow must thaw sometime, then the rivers are completely different. But that’s also the case with animals. Bears are known to sleep in winter. Some animals fly south, others north. There we talk a lot about how far we can get.”
Microsoft Flight Simulator has another alpha due to start this month. If you’d like to give it a trial run, first get yourself a Microsoft account, then head here and sign up.