While previous versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator had increased the amount of included airports with every newer release, there were still some small community airfields and strips that didn't make it into the release. The last version of Microsoft's Flight Simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator X included over 24,000 airports that had animated and interactive features. This includes jet-ways, moving radar and beacons.
We should definitely expect many more highly interactive airports with more advanced features such as jet-ways that move up to the aircraft doors automatically - without using an external third party add-on.
The scenery and 3D objects has definitely improved greatly over the years, with the introduction of auto-gen, this has added an even more realistic level to the MSFS package. However, autogen is exactly what is says... automatically generated scenery; which disregards what the real world as we know it is like. Perhaps Microsoft will be using satellite maps and such features to create a more realistic simulation of the world as we know it.
At the moment, we are able to purchase ground textures that use satellite imagery, however they are usually huge files, some over 10 GB. Could Microsoft squeeze an entire world of satellite textures into a couple of DVD-ROM's?
We can expect great things from Microsoft Flight in terms or flight environment such as cloud textures, lighting effects, shadows and more thanks to the release of DirectX 11 on Windows 7. We anticipate Microsoft Flight to only be released on Windows 7 and Vista and not backwards compatible. We also expect you to have the latest graphics card and hardware to use Microsoft Flight at its full potential.
Clouds and lighting textures will be greatly improved using the new technical features of DirectX 11 and the latest graphics cards.
Microsoft's default aircraft have always been "standard" in terms of realism and technical features. If you are a true flight simulator user, you would know about the quality of more professional add-ons such as aircraft released by PMDG and Captain Sim. Could Microsoft step-up their game in terms of aircraft design? Perhaps we can expect some highly detailed, advanced aircraft for use straight after the install! Maybe we could see something new completely, with Microsoft including actual third party developer aircraft in the release. We can only wait and see until we have more details.
Screenshot from Microsoft Flight's teaser trailer video - This is all we can expect to see at the moment until further media and videos are released by Microsoft. Watch this space.
We have already featured a lot of content regarding Microsoft Flight here on the Fly Away Simulation website. Links here:
- Microsoft Flight Screenshots
- Microsoft Flight news and articles
- Microsoft Flight teaser trailer video
- Microsoft Flight forum
This article on the topic of Microsoft's next flight simulator release, Microsft Flight was written by in-house flight simulator editor Simon Borthwick.