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Microsoft Flight Simulator is starting its VR beta very soon

VR has been on everyone's mind since Microsoft Flight Simulator was first announced. Even as someone who finds VR disappointing and nauseating, I'm still eager to strap an uncomfortable, expensive headset to my face and divebomb the Grand Canyon, though I'll certainly have a sick bag nearby. And it looks like we'll get to try it out soon. 

Feedback from the announcement is what inspired developer Asobo to work on VR support, and prior to launch the studio announced that the wait wouldn't be too long, with the goal being to have it ready for the HP Reverb G2 headset, which has been designed in collaboration with Microsoft and Valve. The headset didn't have a release date then, but now we know that the first pre-orders will be sent out in early November. 

Full VR support won't be ready in time for early adopters, but some players will still be able to crank up the immersion within a month thanks to an upcoming closed beta. 

In a developer Q&A, above, Microsoft Flight Simulator boss Jorg Neumann explained that the team has been working on VR support for over a year, but now it wants player feedback. The closed beta is expected to kick off in late October or early November, starting with Windows Mixed Reality headsets and expanding to other devices later. 

To get a shot of checking out the beta, you'll need to sign up to the Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider programme and submit your DxDiag, instructions for which can be found on the official site, and of course you'll need a WMR headset. 

Along with the closed beta news, Neumann also teased the second world update. The first tackled Japan and arrived this week, and the US is next on the docket. It's not been dated yet, but the plan is to release world updates every two or three months, so expect it to appear this year. 

Further away are features like seasons and shared cockpits. The former is something that was teased during development, but it's a big task and will take a bit longer to complete. The shared cockpit feature is in a similar situation, and while the team's working on it, the priority right now is making multiplayer a more polished experience. 

The good news is that you might get to test these features before they appear in the live game. Members of the Insider programme got to play early across several alpha and beta phases, and that's something that will continue, so keep your eye out for announcements about pre-release builds. 

Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.