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Old 10-02-2019, 07:15 PM   #9
Sailor Steve
Really feelin' it.
 
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: High in the mountains of Utah
Posts: 51,415
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They've finally released something. Over the last weekend MS invited several professional reviewers and YouTubers to Seattle (all at MS's expense) to play the first pre-Alpha release. Those who were there said that they got to spend half a day playing around with what they have so far. The second half of the day was spent flying (or riding in) a real Cessna just so they could compare the two. There were interviews and explanations. From what I could glean from the reviewers comments so far:

The terrain covers the whole world, including 40,000 airports, all using satellite images from Bing Earth. This requires 2 Petabytes of information. If you have that kind of storage you can always be offline. If you don't have that amount of storage (and who does?) you can download just the area you live in, or the area you've always wanted to live in, and stream the rest as needed. Option three, if you're comfortable with it, is to download nothing and stream everything. This gives a lot of possibilities, with option 2 being the one most players will likely go with.

So far there are only three planes available, but each one is said to have around one thousand contact points, which means every few inches of skin reacts to airflow on its own. One player said it was the first time ever in a sim in which he felt one wing begin to stall when the other wing hit an updraft.

The sky and clouds are fully volumetric. You can set your flight for any time of day and any season of the year. This does include real-time weather.

You can see for yourself the terrain and the traffic. This lead to one funny joke when one of the invitees pointed out that one of the buildings they hadn't got installed yet, one of the buildings still missing, was the very hotel they were staying at.

The reviewers got to play and all said they really enjoyed it, but they weren't allowed to record their escapades. MicroSoft did send them home with approximately one-half hour of footage. There are versions with voice-overs and sound-storms. I chose to post my favorite, which has a label in the top right hand corner showing what city if is. Enjoy

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