Soaring into the sky in a comprehensive VR update.
It’s already been a remarkable year for Microsoft Flight Simulator, a technically dazzling, wonderfully detailed celebration of all the aviation stuff that occupies the mainstream system, but the best is left to the last. The long-awaited VR update that fell earlier this week does everything you could hope for, and a little more.
As it goes on, I won’t be able to go into details until the beginning of next year, and apologies for the lack of recording – I spent yesterday in a tangle of cables while interfering in the awkward job of installing new headphones, as well as getting entangled in rows of Christmas lights wood – but suffice it to say that Flight Sim in VR works like a treat, an addition that takes it all to the next level.
Having originally planned to perform on the Reverb G2, where I tried it out, it’s commendable that the update is now available in all headphones. In fact, this update is convenient to use, while VR mode is turned on or off at any time at the touch of a button. It requires quite a bit of volume, of course – by running at 3070 I’m not able to get close to full G2 optics resolution while maintaining a stable number of frames per second – but it’s easy enough to find a sweet spot where Microsoft’s Flight Sim’s glow isn’t too diluted.
And what you get is immeasurable. In its own way, it’s similar to what you gain by playing a racing game in VR, only it now helps approach the runway with your nails, not the top corners. It helps you see the irresistible details of the cockpit and cockpit of the Microsoft Flight Simulator (there’s something almost spiritual about seeing the interior of the 747 in VR for the first time), so it’s a shame there is no VR controller support that could allow you to mess with controls. That should come in a future update – but that means the confusing task of flying a commercial airplane is a little more complicated anyway, unless you know where to find all those important key connections while wearing VR headphones.
Because the passenger is fun enough, and even in smaller planes it is possible to jump out of the pilot’s seat and return to the window seat. Just watching the world pass by us is one of the greatest pleasures of Microsoft Flight Sim, something more true than ever when you push your face into the virtual glass and look for traces of the landscape between the clouds.
That heightened sense of emotion known to those indulging in long-distance relationships exists in all its glory – which could explain the tingling I felt as I drove the A320 Airbus home through a snowy French village on Charles de Gaulle’s driveway, an amazing view of the wider world that is truly started to feel something like Christmas. Which is very soon so I apologize for being short. What a handy gift from Microsoft and Asoba – and I can’t wait to find out more.