Microsoft's longest running software still in development today, contrary to what one might imagine, is neither Windows nor Office: it is Flight Simulator. Acquired in 1982 by SubLOGIC which created it in the late 1970s, it saw its latest X version debut in 2006. Recently, at E3 in June, it was announced what can be called a reboot.
The new Flight Simulator, with Bing Maps and Azure
It will arrive on PC and Xbox One in the course of 2020, but it will not bring with it only an updating of the graphic sector or an improved fidelity of the simulation engine. The title will be based on theAzure cloud infrastructure to carry out in real time the streaming of the data necessary for rendering every part of the world, relying on the aerial and satellite images present in the database of Bing Maps. Such a volume of information that, according to the Polygon editorial staff, would require around 20,000 Blu-ray to be fully installed locally.
It will be possible to take off from any of the approximately 40,000 airports scattered on the planet and visit every single corner of the globe, with weather effects and lighting calculated live based on what happens in the real world. No pre-rendered textures, therefore, but a digital version and freely explorable from the top of the Earth, which we imagine will attract the attention not only of gaming enthusiasts. The project is certainly ambitious.
These days some previews written by members of the specialized press who have had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with Microsoft and to test a first Flight Simulator demo. Reading them one learns that there is still work to be done, smudges to be filed, but that the structure of the title already seems solid and tested. There will be time to talk about it before taking off next year.