There's a lot happening in developer Adobo's stupendous Microsoft Flight Simulator between now and the end of the year, starting with Septembers's makeover for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. That, however, is just the beginning, with the developer having now confirmed two new aircraft, plus a competitive multiplayer mode arriving this autumn.
World Update 6, as we already knew, arrives on 7th September and aims to drastically enhance Flight Simulator's rendition of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Alongside visual upgrades, it'll introduce around 100 famous handcrafted landmarks, four new airports - Lübeck, Stuttgart, Klagenfurt and St. Galle - plus new discovery flights, landing challenges, bush trips, and more.
That "and more" was elaborated on during tonight's Xbox Gamescom Showcase, and takes the form of a new pilotable plane: the Junkers JU-52. This 1930s German aircraft arrives as part of a new series of paid DLC Asobo is calling Local Legends, introducing new planes well-known in the local area of each World Update, but which are perhaps less well-known to a worldwide audience. The Junkers JU-52 arrives on 7th September and will cost $14.99 USD.
But that's not it for new planes, and November brings a more forward-looking aircraft to Flight Simulator: the VoloCity, described as an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) air taxi intended for urban travel. This addition, part of Asobo's work with companies "shaping the future of aviation", is said to be the "first step" toward the introduction of helicopters.
Perhaps most unexpected of all, however, is the impending arrival of competitive multiplayer in the game. This will be added in the newly announced Reno Air Races expansion, which sees Asobo teaming up with the Reno Air Racing Association to bring the STIHL National Championship Air Races - "the world's fastest motorsport" - to Flight Simulator.
Asobo calls this the game's "first major expansion" and it'll bring, as Flight Simulator head Jorg Neumann put it during tonight's Gamescom showcase, "all the famous race planes of the world". It'll feature aircraft capable of flying up to 500 mph at an altitude between 50 ft and 250 ft above ground, and will let friends and strangers race together around the globe.
It's unclear whether this (or indeed November's VoloCity) will be paid additions, but hopefully Asobo and Microsoft will have more to share soon.