-Everything you know about upcoming Flight Sim from Microsoft-


Resource contributor
I suspect that what their AI is for... to get rid of us :D
Yes, you are right. Just looking at Google Earth today. The airports are almost ready. If they are very smart and do something about AI to remedy some distortions, manage the sharpness of the textures. Then hand those AI made sceneries to human to refine something more.... We can loss our job to AI.
No one is losing no job to any AI, not now at least.

I happen to know other developers and myself included who work on the side on 'contract' with companies that ask us to develop specific airports to be created and ported to platforms other than P3d/FSX. These are the type of platforms you might see being used by training devices for commercial and military aviation. Since we are in NDA, this is the most I can say. So far Microsoft hasn't offered to the industry that type of content to be used on those platforms. That industry is far more profitable than the thousands of enthusiasts that are in this community. If Microsoft has been holding high definition airports just for enthusiasts and keeping that industry away from it I would be thrilled to now, that industry is way too lucrative.

So far on the video, which is I agree beautiful, you can spot some things that would require the hand of a seasoned developer. For starters that jetway at KLAX is far from being the types used at that airport. They kind of held out showing more detail of their airports, I take it that the video only showed the most 'interesting' parts of what it will have, and I am sure will be great but nothing that will take developers out of business.

So far, nothing can better this for a serious simmer like me:

Getting ready for my PMDG777 flight, from KMIA to SCEL made by LatinVFR, using GSX as my ground handler, my copilot will be by FS2crew, flight weather by Active sky, and not to mention my uptodate AI traffic by Flightone.

The success of this is in part made by us, and I am sure Microsoft will understand that.

So get ready to learn and sit back and relax folks!


Resource contributor
Sounds good to me, Ricardo. Thanks for the information.
I bet, FSniners would not go to the new Sim. We just have one another platform to support.
We probably do not see bgl file again, ever!
Last edited:


Resource contributor
Looks very pretty, and I’ve got a monster bucket of popcorn to go with the coffee. We know next to nothing right now!


Resource contributor
About all that I can add is that I hope it keeps the door open to third-party developers, and that Microsoft have watched and learned from the Dovetail Games fiasco. Imagine, a PC / console combined platform that we can develop for - the customer base has the potential to explode given the number of console users out there. Everything else right now is up for grabs really, and I suspect the next year will be filled with endless speculation. Still, it looks fantastic and I'll definitely be in the queue for my copy :)
Just my personal opinion , but I am getting the idea that this is aimed for the Casual Market. Launching at E3 and running through xbox live. Something in the line of Flight Sim World ..., witch owned the entertainment part of the license sold By Microsoft.
If thats true we should be happy, not only are we getting another platform to develop for, Flight Sim 2020 can act like a gateway drug to get more people into serous flight siming. Growing are market even bigger.


Resource contributor
Don't forget, it is also directed at the XBox which is a notorious closed environment. MS are not going to have two dev streams; their normal modus operandi is to develop for the XBox and then port to the PC.


Resource contributor
Don't forget, it is also directed at the XBox which is a notorious closed environment. MS are not going to have two dev streams; their normal modus operandi is to develop for the XBox and then port to the PC.
I'm in agreement.
The first thing I notice, is that the font is exactly the same. They sold the game to Dovetail, but apparently not the name of it, "Flight Simulator." That could cause some brand confusion. Significant to me, because MS is fastidious about erasing logo's and endorsements that do not directly serve their interests. To me it implies that they feel like they've lost the prominence they deserve in the flight sim community and they intend to repossess the success that it took Dovetail to generate.


To me, the scenery looks a lot like that LIDAR/Google Earth stuff. I am picturing a system like FSET and then they run it through the Azure filter to standardize colors and add geometry.


In the view of the San Francisco Embarcadero, you can see an odd "sheen" around some of the ships. The zoomed in dock in the upper left reveals that those are likely 2d images of ships on the water, that have been obscured and covered by what are almost certainly, default models of fishing trawlers. The lowest one is clearly the outline of a catamaran, the hull design of the boat that actually parks there. There are no fishing trawlers on the Embarcadero, those boats tie up over on the other side of Pier 39. The area depicted is the ferry terminal area and those docks secure ferries, charter and cruise ships, as in the image below showing the "Hornblower" charter yachts. So maybe a little more machine learning for the Azure neural net, but whatever.

Moving to the Space Needle, we see more evidence of the LIDAR type rendering, the trees in the lower left never resolve beyond indistinct blobs and the cars in the parking lot, strongly appear to be 2d.


Beyond Microsoft's trademark of whitewashing every possible endorsement they haven't sold, this scene looks odd to me. The greasy "shadows" make it look like the details are superimposed. Those generated shadows make a nice effect at distance, like over by the baggage carts, but up close, the two ramp workers look pasted in. They also look like they might be identical to any two in the group of three.
The render quality between the two jetways is remarkable. There seems to be a render "focus," at the center of the view and the quality drops toward the edges. You see this in the jetways, you see it in the trees by the Space Needle and you see it in the render of the red condominiums in the Embarcadero view - a kind of conservancy of render resources.


I do not believe I saw any tiled, or "class" scenery. The video showed many quick scenes, that changed with the beat of the music. Not a lot of continuity, but an amazing variety. Two scenes happened in quick succession, The quick glimpse of Courchevel, which appeared to rival the quality of the best addons of the area and right after that scene, the A320neo had visible heat distortion, behind those optional new engines.
Going back to Courchevel and The Pyramids and downtown San Francisco and downtown Seattle and on and on - altogether some heavy scenery, a gig or so at least, for each one to be properly represented - by current standards. If the simulator were made solely from the scenes we've already witnessed, it would be too massive to ship. Bandwidth appears to be the new bottleneck and if you live in the sticks, you might as well get used to gliders.

I see little stoke for developers here. We had our chance to pay homage to the altar of MS and we telegraphed our loyalty by mobbing to the steely eyed indifference of LM. Imo, "community provided content" was a way for MS to say, "we gave you the whole world (20% or it) and left the details for you to fill in! - and then they watched on, in horror, as we loaded the sim up with every cross endorsement we could come up with. Developers even got their own, fictional communities, that enthusiasts would glom to and spend money on. Did anyone model MS headquarters? Turn that into some sort of flight sim paradise? No? Ok then, lesson learned.
Last edited:
My assumption is that they use AZURE services for querying and generating GIS data such as roads, buldings etc, which are then rendered at runtime. I doubt they're doing "accurate" buildings everywhere as that would be too much to handle even for them. My guess is that they're offering a bunch of high-definition cities using AZURE and devs will be able to harness the tech to generate scenery more easily. I see a subscription-based add-on model coming right at us and I have to say I'm rather happy, given the possibilities.

AZURE also allows for text-to-speech and speech-to-text generation, so I believe their ATC system would be upgraded with voice recognition so you can talk to it and more natural-sounding and expandable ATC services.

I was also happy to see Courchevel, which makes me assume that we'll see proper curved runways??? The other runways seemed flat, but one can hope.

Graphics are mediocre...


Resource contributor
I agree, it does seem to be "streamed" satellite data, which presumably would mean no seasonal textures as per X-Plane, unless Azure can filter those too. That also would mean another title with a permanent Internet connection, which would explain the Gamepass requirement ( it does seem like a requirement in the video, rather than an option ). I did notice that in the savannah shots every blade of grass is there, which must mean the use of procedural generation of some kind akin to that used by Outerra. Hard to tell just how much of each is being used at any one time, or what kind of hardware they shot this video on ( no doubt extremely high-end ).

I dunno, given the way it looks and the incredible potential, I'd take it regardless. I generally hate having to be on-line just to enjoy a game I've already purchased - the whole "not physically owning what you've paid for" sometimes seems a bit off to me, but if they can make a sim look as good as they're promising with this video, and add the potential for real-world weather and live AI across the globe, it's got my vote :)


Resource contributor
My assumption is that they use AZURE services for querying and generating GIS data such as roads, buldings etc, which are then rendered at runtime. I doubt they're doing "accurate" buildings everywhere as that would be too much to handle even for them.
It is a very valid observation. The question arises, how might one qualify a building as accurate, for inclusion? In the example of the Embarcadero, we have the lowly ferry terminal, exactly reproduced in size and proportion, albeit with a mediocre photo texture and the docks are exactly true to reality. Also the red roofed condominiums are just as they appear in reality. It seems unlikely that MS loaded a proprietary model of either of those structures into the simulator. Yet several hundred yards away, we have the iconic ferries, which almost certainly would not be represented in any geographic data base, because they move about, replaced by factory fishing trawlers, the likes of which are found in Alaska, not the Embarcadero.

That particular detail is so glaring to someone familiar with the area and considering MS also had ferry models in FSX, it seems obvious that the operative term they fed the AI was, "boat."
BS. 4G and lower networks will still be available.
Sure, most of us will stay with 4G, and just let 5G be there for others to enjoy. How many of us prefer 3G instead of 4G nowadays?

Consumers drive demand and preferences in this 'analytics driven society'.
I think based on the information and images thus far from this, where this sim will 'shine' will be in satellite imagery/agn in 'certain' areas, I doubt the entire world will be covered by hd satellite imagery, even if you take a look at BING and their imagery either is low resolution or outdated. Even google has difficulty in filling gaps, and even google's AI buildings lack in many areas.

I fear that the high expectations of this sim might, just might get too many people excited for something that won't deliver as much. I believe there is certainly potential here and I am sure it will be great in many respects but thus far unless more info is out, its still premature to assume that this is groundbreaking and revolutionary.

Says it a guy who has been with MS since MSFS4... lets see and hope this is good.
Guess you are longer at it than I am, Ricardo. My first was only FS8.
But I am really, really astonished that MS comes up with a new FS after they have sold their licences to others and then suddenly come up with something quite new but still based on the original Microsoft Flight Simulator for the most part (as far as I can see from the scant information available).
Have they made a deal with Google???
If I were LM or the guys from Dovetail (do not recall exactly who they are), I would sue MS and I guess they will.
Prepar :))) yourselves for some lawsuits if you ask me.
But then again, too much speculation from our side because we do not know anything for sure yet.
Face it, everything is based on a promotional video that only highlights some things that could be innovative for all we know but are not sure of:(.


Staff member
Resource contributor
If I were LM or the guys from Dovetail (do not recall exactly who they are), I would sue MS and I guess they will.
Dovetail simply had the rights to use the contents and techniques of previous Flight Simulator incarnations. They did not have exclusive rights. I'm thinking Dovetail bailed on their simulator as the idea Microsoft was developing a new simulator appeared. It would be hard enough to compete with P3D... impossible to compete with Microsoft. Their decision to stop development was rather abrupt and unexplained.

LM has the rights to develop a training simulation using the old FSX code. I doubt Microsoft would develop an educational or training simulator with this new incarnation.

I hope we get an SDK. I hope developers are allowed to review or develop content in the beta phase. I hope I win the lottery.
I can only hope that MS will truly deliver something more solid than Flight.

P3D and X-Plane are both quite proven platforms now, but a bit of competition can always make things more interesting.
I hope we can have a Pilot inside the plane and not only control the plane. I know jumping from the cabin of a airplane with a parachute and land in the middle of nowhere can get boring pretty quick... but change position with other crew on a airliner on a long flight or maybe land and get out of the plane to see the damage sustained after a rough landing in first person can be a lot more interesting.