Revealed during Xbox’s Gamescom Live Presentation, Microsoft Flight Simulator is introducing a new kind of update: City Updates. As the name suggests, these updates will focus on enhancing the scenery surrounding popular cities around the world using photogrammetry technology. The first five cities to be updated are located in Germany and are free to experience right now.
Hanover, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Bonn will benefit from this first update. Significant landmarks like cathedrals, stadiums, office buildings and even houses particularly benefit from these new kind of updates.
Photogrammetry tech is nothing new in Microsoft Flight Simulator; it launched with a few areas already making use of it. However, not every location in its world used the tech due to the process of collecting the data. As explained during the presentation, the Asobo team sends a recon plane up to take thousands upon thousands of photos from low altitude. The data collected then goes through a complex process of essentially painting a 3D mold of the planet, thus giving the illusion of jumping into a rendered version of the city.
World Updates have always added photogrammetry areas, so it seems that these dedicated City Updates will be patched in over time as more data is collected without having to wait for an entire World Update.
Asobo has not yet announced when more of these City Updates will release, but it will likely reveal more details before the year is out.
City updates mark the third type of update for Microsoft Flight Simulator. It is joined by Sim Updates, the largest and most complex, which adds enhancements and additions to core sim functionality. Then, there are World Updates, which bring scenery enhancements to different countries. The latest is the second edition of the USA, while the next one up is Canada.