Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 PC Closed Beta Starts On July 30th
Asobo Studio has announced that Microsoft Flight Simulator will go into closed beta on July 30th. Invites are currently going out for Alpha 5 as well so if you’re part of the Xbox Insider Program, you can expect the beta to work the exact same way. Of course, all alpha players will receive access to the closed beta when it becomes available. If you are currently an Alpha tester then you are automatically granted access to the Closed Beta, however if you’re not an Alpha tester then new invitations will start to be sent out soon. A neat little video on Youtube by the user simply named as Flight Sim showcases the kind of gameplay we might expect from the full release:
The team clarify that, “If you are currently an Alpha tester, you will be automatically granted access to the closed beta,” and that “If you are not currently an alpha tester, we will be sending out new invitations for the closed beta participation” to those that have already applied. It’s not known how the closed beta phase will affect the strict NDA that alpha testers are currently under.
Ahead of the closed beta, the closed alpha has been updated to alpha 5, which focusses on fixing glitches, tweaking flight dynamics, individual aircraft, multiplayer, peripheral support, weather and much more. Even within the alpha testing stages, the game has looked sublime, with fantastic dynamic weather effects and the entirety of the world to fly across.
A key aspect not to be overlooked is the need for tons of hard drive space and a solid internet connection. The game will dynamically stream data from the Azure cloud, filling in a lot of the details of its recreation of the real world as you fly around. Thankfully it seems that lower quality data is possible with just a 5Mbps connection, but ideally you’ll want at least 20Mbps, if not 50Mbps. Though the specs quote 150GB, don’t expect that to be the initial install, as Asobo have previously explained that the game will cache a lot of the world data so you won’t necessarily be streaming the same airport or city multiple times if you fly over it again.
Meanwhile, a new update has hit the ongoing alpha tests too, with Alpha 5 build 188.8.131.52 bringing improvements to the flight model, changes to specific planes and airports, and squashing quite a few bugs reported by the community. Find the full changelog here.
Microsoft Flight Simulator’s 2020 return could be a disruptive contender in the space, featuring over two petabytes of Bing Maps to provide a 1:1 representation of planet earth. Further fused with terrain data, foliage mapping, and systems like real-time weather, the project promises accuracy on a near-incomprehensible scale. We’re expecting more on Microsoft Flight Simulator and its closed beta over the days ahead, potentially tying into the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase on July 23.