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Microsoft Flight Simulator VR to launch as free upgrade in late December

That includes both Oculus and Valve devices

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An aerobatic plane in a steep climb Image: Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The highly-anticipated virtual reality update for Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on Dec. 23 as part of Sim Update 2. The announcement was made during a regularly scheduled live developer update on Twitch. Previously, that VR component was said to be launching only with support for a specific Microsoft Mixed Reality device. Now, developer Asobo Studio says the update will be available for “all devices.”

A VR mode for Flight Simulator was first announced in July. At the time, the developer told Polygon that it was working in partnership with the team at HP to time its release with the launch of the new Reverb G2 headset. Asobo Studio also said that compatibility with additional VR headsets would not come until later, but that plan has changed.

“We are going to open the VR for everyone,” said Martial Bossard, executive producer at Asobo Studio. “Everybody will get access to VR now, and when I say everybody [...] it will also be open to all devices, including the Oculus family, Valve family, really every family of headset are going to be supported there.”

The VR experience will be seamless, Bossard said, and include the full pre-flight menu interface. That way players won’t have to remove the headset at any point during a play session. Sim Update 2 will also include two new tutorials for the Airbus A320neo jetliner.

An updated roadmap for MSFS. Image: Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios

Following the launch of Sim Update 2, Asobo Studio will begin finalizing World Update 3 for launch on Jan. 28. That free update will add additional detail and gameplay to the United Kingdom, including new landmarks, points of interest, and bush trips.

The livestream also included rough release windows for a number of fan-requested features. Replay functionality will be coming some time in 2021, while multiple-screen setups will be supported sometime in the next two years. Flyable helicopters are slated for 2022.

No word yet on when the game will be coming to Xbox devices.

A list of the top wishes from the MSFS community with votes listed and a rough release window. Image: Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios

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