Microsoft Flight Simulator: From Hurricane Laura to Chernobyl. Hunt for the unknown

A week after its debut, the latest Flight Simulator continues to make headlines thanks to the surprising resourcefulness of its users

by Francesco Serino

A week after its debut, the latest Flight Simulator continues to make headlines through its technical prowess, as was largely predictable, and thanks to the surprising resourcefulness of its users, ready to meet in the most unlikely places on the globe or tempting fate in the eye of hurricane Laura, one of the most devastating in recent years.

The Microsoft simulator in fact proposes a replica of the planet earth not only in a 1: 1 scale but also extremely dynamic, lashed by weather perturbations updated in real-time and furrowed by the same planes that are currently flying over our heads, as well as those piloted. virtually by users. In this simulator, faithful reality and fantasy without chains meet in an experience that leaves its mark, and which consequently can create situations of extraordinary intensity. Right now, by loading the software, you can see hundreds of small green dots near the eye of cyclone Laura, above the Louisiana skies: they are the users who are putting their cloche skills to the test by braving the winds of this mighty and lethal atmospheric phenomenon,

Proof

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We did it too, on the other hand, it is impossible to resist such an opportunity, all spectacle and zero risks, remaining effectively nailed by the tension in front of the scientific as well as a procedural spectacle that has slowly unfolded in front of us, while we slowly climbed to altitude on the small but agile four-seater chosen for adventure. Cutting the huge black clouds, which make the sky a milky wall apparently impenetrable, forces the anti-freeze systems to be activated to prevent the engines from freezing; but just like sitting on a real airliner, tense from the turbulence of any storm, the best comes when you overcome the obstacle and leave the disturbance behind. With the reassuring rays of the sun finally on the face, as the ice slowly melts from the thick glass surrounding the cockpit, the spectacle is now below us: white towers of steam graze the wobbly wings while even further down, clouds like caves light-up electric pulling us at them with voids of air that can take your breath away even here, in their harmless digital format. It’s not just the weather challenge that attracts Flight Simulator users.

Hunting for inaccessible places

In the preceding days, another totally unpredictable phenomenon prompted more and more people to land on Little Saint James, 283,000 square feet in the US Virgin Islands where the ambiguous suicidal businessman Jeffrey Epstein is said to have organized many of his parties. Fortunately, there are also those who use the Microsoft simulator for more classic trips: Sunday morning, in good weather, there were many enjoying the view between our lakes of Bracciano and Trasimeno, perhaps, even more, those busy flying over the Alps. Among the most popular exotic destinations, we find Easter Island, but there are also those who take the opportunity to fly over inaccessible places such as Pripyat, the city of Chernobyl, and mysterious North Korea.

The latter Flight Simulator is the first major fruit of the courageous strategy implemented by the new management, where classic competitors such as Sony and Nintendo have been replaced by much larger prey Google and Amazon. Flight Simulator is clearly a setback for the two opponents who have been trying to enter the gaming world for some time but with big problems and poor results.

  • Laura Hurricane
  • Chernobyl
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Amazon
Flying over Hurricane Laura in Microsoft Flight Simulator

The challenge won by Google and Amazon

Flight Simulator exists because Bing exists, Microsoft’s Google Maps which thanks to the simulator is rediscovering new popularity and a new flow of investments; Flight Simulator exists thanks to the cloud of Azure servers on which Microsoft is focusing almost everything (and on which Sony will also rely), used here for streaming the different petabytes required by the amount of geographical data necessary for the photorealism of the title. Flight Simulator is also the result of an intelligent scouting operation, which has allowed Microsoft to discover companies dedicated to machine learning such as the Austrian Blackshark.ai, or to the development of graphics engines and video games like the French of Asobo Studio. , both essential to achieving this result. With Flight Simulator, In short, Microsoft has succeeded in creating a product that no other competitor today would be able to develop; a product that can function as a game, a marketing tool for its services, and as a proof of concept of an all-digital future, where the cloud is a hotbed of ideas, a source of power and an invisible substitute for home computers and dedicated consoles.

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