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VR is a 'very high' priority for the Microsoft Flight Simulator team

(Image credit: Microsoft)

I've noticed plenty of people saying that they'll finally jump on the VR bandwagon because of Half-Life: Alyx, but there's another game that makes strapping a big ol' headset to your face an incredibly seductive prospective: Microsoft Flight Simulator

Last month, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jörg Neumann said that VR hadn't originally been part of the plan, but the reaction to the E3 reveal and the assumption that it would support VR straight away made Asobo Studio and Microsoft reconsider things. In a new interview with Der Standard (cheers, AVSIM), Neumann has now confirmed that it's a "very high" priority for the team. 

"Asobo and I have years of experience with VR," Neumann told Der Standard. "We know what a lazy and a good implementation look like. We want to bring a good solution, for example by cutting off the cockpit from the rest of the world. Then you can move freely in it, and the world in the background does not start to shimmer. We have started with VR, but we want to do it right."

Previously, Neumann said that VR at launch couldn't be guaranteed, and there's still no word on when it might appear, but I suspect most will be happy to wait if it means it works properly.  

Along with VR, the team is also adding more to its impressive digital facsimile of Earth, including trains, ships and lots of animals. Seasons are being considered, too. Apparently its easy to just add snow to the game, but in the real world there more to winter than just snow. It affects rives, vehicles and animals. 

"The snow has to melt at some point, then the rivers are very different," said Neumann. "But that's the same with animals. Bears are known to sleep in winter. Some animals fly south, others north. We talk a lot about how far we can do that."

Microsoft Flight Simulator's first alpha started on October 24, with another one planned for this month. If you've not played or received an invite, remember to become an Insider and register for the tests. All you need is a Microsoft account and then you can sign up here.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.