Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Alpha Testing Starts This Month

Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator Youtube ScreenShot

Next week, the technical alpha recruitment for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will come to an end. The developer has the alpha build almost ready to be released. Those who registered to participate on the alpha testing program will receive conformation on October 17. Microsoft will finally grant access to the Flight Simulator 2020 alpha build on October 24.

The company will run a second alpha in November. Recruitment for the second alpha testing program will begin near the end of October. Microsoft also started a subscriber-only vlog series for those users who sign up to the Flight Simulator’s Insider Program. These videos, called "Feature Discovery," showcase the development process of the popular piloting simulator’s latest installment.

The first entry in the vlog series explores recreating our world so you can choose to fly to any destination. This first episode of the Feature Discovery series shows the planet you’ll fly over. The big scale of Earth comes with a lot of data. The team will use 2 petabyte Bing-powered maps that include 45,000 airports, two million cities, and all the mountains and roads of the world.

Aside from Bing Maps, in order to generate even more data the studio also uses Microsoft Azure. This allows Flight Simulator 2020 to detect around 1.5 trillion trees in the world. Microsoft Azure also adds data that helps render the colors and shapes correctly, improving building generation, and adding missing buildings. In order to highlight the importance of Azure, the video entry gives an example of an island near New Guinea. With Azure, the housing and forestry look exactly as it does in real life.

You can choose to fly anywhere and the landscape will mimic the real-world location. This means that the pilots in Microsoft Flight Sim will be able to navigate just by looking around and using visual flight cues. Microsoft Flight Simulator uses adaptive streaming, so you will still be able to play even if your bandwidth for streaming isn’t so great. An offline mode that uses real-life data is also available so you can use VFR. Pilots can enjoy the same quality in the offline mode by choosing regions to pre-cache.

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