On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans

In an audio interview with AVSim, talks with Microsoft's Jorg Newman and Asobo Studios' Sebastian Wloch about the upcoming revival of Microsoft Flight Simulator. An interesting element of this is highlighted by VentureBeat, where they note the discussion touches on how this oddly did not initially include plans for VR support until the prospect was raised by gamers. Word is this may not make it into the game for launch, but they seem committed to adding it as quickly as possible:
“Right after the E3 trailer came out there was a lot of people making that exact assumption, that ‘Oh yeah, this better be supporting VR right from the get go.’ It honestly wasn’t our plan. But we are listening, and we heard it, so we will try our darnedest to make it happen. Whether or not we’re going to pull it off for launch, we can’t commit to that at this point in time, but we are aware of the desire […] We will try to prioritize that over other things.”
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Re: On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans
Oct 14, 2019, 23:34
Kxmode
 
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Re: On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans Oct 14, 2019, 23:34
Oct 14, 2019, 23:34
 Kxmode
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Oct 14, 2019, 20:16:
Kxmode wrote on Oct 14, 2019, 19:04:
The thing is VR, not AR, is the best enhancement for a flight simulator.

That's not at all clear on the basis of first-gen headsets. Some issues:
* VR headsets are less sharp and have less clarity of image as compared to a 4K monitor. This renders instruments and displays harder to read and, in a combat sim, other planes and ground targets harder to distinguish. This was my number one complaint with trying out an Oculus with DCS: it was felt comparable to downgrading back to a 1080p display.
* Peripherals become harder to use. I do not have an extensive peripheral setup, just the Warthog HOTAS, but the switch panel integrated into the base of the throttle was basically unusable without taking both hands off the controls, using one to raise the headset a bit, and then glancing down with my peripheral vision to manipulate a switch with my other hand. The fact that the switch panel was rendered in game was little help unless the switch I wanted was at the edge of the panel.
* Head tracking has been a solved problem for about 15 years thanks to TrackIR and VR offers little real improvement. TrackIR isn't perfect, but once you have well calibrated input curves, and so long as direct sunlight isn't shining into the tracker's FoV, then it works very well.

What VR has to offer over a standard setup is immersion and depth perception, but right now it is simply less usable than the alternatives, albeit still a really cool experience. As the displays improve, I could see VR eventually becoming preferable to a 4k monitor + TrackIR. Until then though, it's a tough sell for a hobby where you never have enough pixel density.

1. Augmented reality means you're looking at a three-dimension objects placed into your field of view (likely the room with your computer). You can't immerse yourself in a flight simulator with augmented reality. Virtual reality, on the other hand, puts you into a fully immersive environment.

2. I'm sorry, but your statement that "VR headsets are less sharp and have less clarity of image as compared to a 4K monitor" is wrong, and here's why. Valve's Index "uses a 1440×1600 LCD panel for each eye for a combined resolution of 2880×1600." 4K-UHD is 3840×2160 (this is the more common resolution for gamings) and true 4K 4096×2160 (this is the more common 4K resolution for movies and broadcasts). The index gives you a screen dimension that is 1000×560 less than 4K-UHD. When you're eyes see an image at 2880×1600, you will notice the better visual fidelity.
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