You can now sign up to test Microsoft Flight Simulator in VR

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is an immersive beast of a PC game, and we can only imagine how immersive it might get in VR — but you might not have to imagine much longer, because Microsoft has just opened signups (via Eurogamer) for a closed beta of the virtual reality experience.

There are quite a few requirements if you want to be considered, though. Not only do you have to own the game, have a Windows Mixed Reality headset, be a registered Microsoft Flight Simulator “Insider” and sign an NDA, you’ll need a slightly beefier PC than the base game — with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or better sporting 8GB of VRAM, as well as 16GB of system memory.

And, you’ll need to prove your PC qualifies by submitting your DxDiag (press your Windows start button, type “dxdiag”, hit Enter) so Microsoft can confirm those specs and

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Big scary chasm opens up in Microsoft Flight Simulator reboot

(CNN) — Microsoft released its rebooted Flight Simulator program in August 2020, immediately wowing gamers with its hyper-realistic scenery, digitally distilled from satellite imagery.

The sim gives its users the ability to fly anywhere in the world, with our planet reconstructed with real-time weather conditions using Microsoft Bing mapping technology.

So it’s a little surprising that a huge terrifying abyss has opened up in the middle of Brazil.

Reddit user ReversedWindow appears to have been the first to report the freaky discovery and was brave enough to pilot an airplane down it.
Turns out it gets stranger: There’s a whole airport down there. The above YouTube video by Kwad Damage shows this remarkable journey to the center of the Earth, while the screengrab at the top is from PC Gamer’s Christopher Livingston’s adventure.

The airport in question is Lagoa Nova, which in the real world is a little airstrip in

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How ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’ became a ‘living game’ with Azure AI

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a triumph, one that fully captures the meditative experience of soaring through the clouds. But to bring the game to life, Microsoft and developer Asobo Studio needed more than an upgraded graphics engine to make its planes look more realistic. They needed a way to let you believably fly anywhere on the planet, with true-to-life topography and 3D models for almost everything you see, something that’s especially difficult in dense cities.

A task like that would be practically impossible to accomplish by hand. But it’s the sort of large-scale data processing that Microsoft’s Azure AI was built for. The company was able to push 2.5 petabytes worth of Bing Maps satellite photo data through Azure machine learning to construct the virtual world of Flight Simulator. You could say it’s really the cloud that brings the game to life. Azure also helps to model real-time weather. (That’s

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Best HOTAS Flight Stick For Use With Star Wars Squadrons And Microsoft Flight Simulator

The one-two punch of Star Wars: Squadrons and Microsoft Flight Simulator are making flight sticks a surprisingly hot market in 2020. HOTAS controllers on both PC and consoles are selling out, including the Thrustmaster Warthog stick-and-throttle combo. Some controllers are available through preorders or backorders, though, so if you’re okay with waiting for your new flight controller, that’s definitely a good option.

Thankfully, Star Wars Squadrons creative director Ian S. Frazier has said the Star Wars flight game should work with “any” HOTAS setup. However, it can still be hard to find a quality flight stick and even harder to find one that you can put your money down on. That’s why we’ve collected the best flight sticks you can order right now. We’ve also curated a selection of gaming headsets that feature excellent audio quality for better immersion as well as comfortable headbands and ear pads.

Also, if

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Columbia leads effort to develop a quantum simulator

Columbia leads effort to develop a quantum simulator
Columbia is one of 11 institutions nationwide to receive a Phase One National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator award for quantum technology. The program is designed to foster multidisciplinary, cross-sector research in emerging areas of critical societal importance. Credit: NSF

Quantum technologies—simulators and computers specifically—have the potential to revolutionize the 21st century, from improved national defense systems to drug discovery to more powerful sensors and communication networks.


But the field still needs to make major advances before quantum computing can surpass existing tools to process information and live up to its promise.

A multidisciplinary research team led by Columbia University is in a position to bring quantum technology out of the lab into real-world applications.

The team has received a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator award to build a quantum simulator, a device that can solve problems that are difficult to simulate on classical computers. The project includes

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This Microsoft Flight Simulator video highlights 40 years of PC gaming changes

Microsoft kicked off its virtual Ignite conference today with a look back at how Microsoft Flight Simulator has changed since its introduction in 1982. The nearly 40-year history shows just how much PC gaming has changed, to the point where Microsoft Flight Simulator can now accurately (most of the time!) map out the real world into a virtual one.

Microsoft’s video begins with Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0, which was originally released in 1982 for IBM-compatible PCs. It allowed players to fly a Cessna 182 across New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The beginning of the video also demonstrates just how much PC sound cards have changed over the years.

Microsoft went on to release Flight Simulator 2.0 two years later in 1984, improving the overall graphics and adding in crucial joystick support. The 3.0 version then arrived in 1988, with additional aircraft and customizable displays. Flight Simulator 4.0

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These custom PC builds are perfect for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a hit, and the game can even be taxing on PCs with the best graphics card, which is why we’ve put together a few build suggestions to get you on the right track. Whether you plan on building a new gaming PC from scratch or wish to upgrade an older desktop already in use, these PC builds surpass the requirements for Microsoft’s expansive flight sim.

  • PC build for 1080p
  • PC build for 1440p
  • PC build for 4K
Minimum Spec Recommended Spec Ideal Spec
CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

Intel i5-4460

Ryzen 5 1500X

Intel i5-8400

AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X

Intel i7-9800X

GPU

Radeon RX 570

Nvidia GTX 700

Radeon RX 590

Nvidia GTX 970

Radeon VII

Nvidia RTX 2080

VRAM 2GB 4GB 8GB
RAM 8GB 16GB 32GB
Storage 150 GB 150 GB 150 GB (SSD)
Minimum OS version Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909) Windows
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