If you haven’t taken the time to join the technical alpha recruitment for Microsoft Flight Simulator, you might want to get on that as the recruitment phase comes to an end next week. That’s actually good news, though, as those chosen will be able to take off for the first time on October 24th. Right around the same time a second recruitment phase will kick off for a second alpha test phase that will take place sometime in November.
The really interesting thing about Microsoft Flight Simulator is that this edition will be the best ever produced. From what we’ve been told, Bing maps has given the development team 2 petabytes of map data for more than two million cities, 45,000 airports, and all the mountains and roads in the world – literally. This is downright amazing as you’ll actually be able to fly to Tokyo, pass over the Nürburgring as you cross back over Europe, and then fly right over your own house. You’ll be able to navigate by looking around if you know the landscape; that’s how detailed Microsoft Flight Simulator really is.
The development studio is also using Microsoft Azure to create more data, which means that the world around you will be procedurally generated right down the each individual tree (1.5 million in total) and each blade of grass. Of course, this means that most of this data will be streamed to your computer as you play, but fear not – even if you have a shoddy internet connection – you’ll be able to play offline just as well since there’s a built-in region caching feature installed.
To sum up what I just said, even when you’re 10 miles high, there will still be individual blades of grass beneath you and, to make it even better, if something in the world changes, it will change in the game too. It’s mind-boggling to think about, but Microsoft Flight Simulator is taking the term “simulation” to a whole new level. Even if you’re not part of the Insider program, you can see the first episode of Microsoft’s Discovery Series the shows off more of the game and what it’s about below.