Microsoft and Asobo Studio have released a development update for Microsoft Flight Simulator that includes an upcoming partnership series with VATSIM and details about the upcoming closed beta.
For those who are not up to date, VATSIM (Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network) is a free online platform for enthusiasts that connects players from the various flight simulators on the market to a common virtual world.
In practice, this means that players can communicate, play role-playing games, exchange radar data and simulate air traffic control in a shared virtual airspace to achieve an even more comprehensive experience. As of 2018, VATSIM had 79,000 active members worldwide who worked together to improve their flight skills and simulator experience.
A short teaser trailer implies that Microsoft will integrate VATSIM support into Microsoft Flight Simulator from the start on August 18. Given the use of the term “partnership series,” Microsoft is likely to reveal more details about how VATSIM will be integrated into the upcoming Sim, and other relevant partnerships may be announced. We’ll have to wait until we know exactly what this means for players, but it’s undoubtedly great news for those looking to simulate real-world flight conditions with like-minded enthusiasts.
The development update also shows that Microsoft is working hard to prepare the closed beta for launch on July 30 next week. The publisher says that it will publish full build notes at launch. New invitations are being sent out today, and Microsoft will continue to do so until the closed beta starts. Those who receive invitations by then can get started early with the Closed Beta Preview Build.
The update is rounded off by a selection of in-game snapshots taken by alpha testers. If they are a measure of what you can expect from the end product, Microsoft Flight Simulator is sure to be a feast for the eyes and will live up to the promise of being the most realistic flight simulation yet.