Image Credit: Laminar Research
The sim world is about to expand by quite a bit, as Laminar Research’s X-Plane 12 continues its development rollout. The team behind the new flight sim has provided an extensive development update that includes confirmations of systems and features that have been finished, as well as other interesting tidbits. Laminar also confirmed that the next milestone for X-Plane 12 is indeed getting it ready to release to the public as an Early Access title.
In this phase, it will be available to everyone, meaning it won’t function as a closed-alpha release. This will release digitally on Steam first , and will “later on” come as a DVD release for those who prefer a physical release. Whichever version you get, they’ll cost the series’ standard price of $59.99 USD. Interestingly enough, these Early Access keys for X-Plane 12 will also grant customers access to its predecessor.
Lots in the lineup
As far as systems lighting up green, Laminar Research has completed some major features in the game. These include the rain and snow shaders for airports and global scenery, animated jetways, FMOD implementation for airport vehicles, static aircraft traffic, the new weather engine, and ATC systems. It still has work to do on things like finishing up the flight mode and various aircraft models like the Airbus A330, among other features.
This dev update also confirms a lot of other stuff about X-Plane 12, such as how it’ll feature 3D wakes for boats/seaplanes, 3D trees and have cross-compatibility with Ortho scenery photography packs from X-Plane 11.
Laminar has yet to detail exactly when we can expect the sim. But the point of this update was to emphasize that the next time the team talks about X-Plane 12, it should be preparing players to hop in their virtual cockpits shortly after.
As work continues to put the finishing touches on X-Plane 12, Asobo continues to make improvements to Microsoft Flight Simulator. That sim just received its World Update 9, and three major payware add-on airliners have also released. Having both sims on the market at the time will only drive efforts on both sides to keep making improvements and upgrades to ensure consumers get a great experience.