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Microsoft and Asobo Studio released a development update for Microsoft Flight Simulator, revealing a series of partnerships to be established with VATSIM, as well as details of the upcoming closed beta.
For those off the beaten track, VATSIM (Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network) is a free online hobbyist platform that connects players of various flight simulators on the market to a shared virtual world.
In practice, this means that players can communicate with each other, role-play, share radar data, and simulate air traffic control in a shared virtual airspace for a more immersive experience. As of 2018, VATSIM has 79,000 active members worldwide, working together to improve their flying skills and simulator experience.
A brief preview means that Microsoft will integrate VATSIM support from the Microsoft Flight Simulator, which will be launched on August 18. Taking into account the use of the term "partner series", Microsoft may show more details on how VATSIM will be integrated into the next SIM card, and may announce other related partnerships. We'll have to wait and see to understand exactly what this means for gamers, but for those who want to simulate real-world flight conditions with like-minded enthusiasts, this is certainly good news. Developer Update
also shows that Microsoft is working hard to prepare for the closed beta that begins next week on July 30. The publisher stated that it will publish the full build instructions at the time of publication. A new invitation is being sent out today and Microsoft will continue to do so until the closed beta is released. Those who receive invitations between now and then will be able to participate in advance through the preview version of the closed beta.
In order to complete the update, there are a series of game snapshots captured by alpha testers. If they are a measure of the expectations of the final product, Microsoft Flight Simulator will certainly be full of visual appeal and fulfill its promise of being the most realistic flight simulator to date.