Gamescom 2021 has started and there have already been lots of announcements from a wide range of developers, covering many modern platforms. For PC gamers, some of the most interesting or even exciting announcements are from Microsoft and its growing stable of development studios. The Xbox Wire has provided a summary of announcements from Microsoft revealed at this important annual gaming show. Among the highlights were segments about Forza Horizon 5, Age of Empires IV, Sea of Thieves, Wasteland 3, Dying Light 2, Crusader Kings III, and the news that cloud gaming is coming to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One in time for Xmas.
The other big news is that, to celebrate Gamescom, Microsoft has announced "several exciting updates coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator". The update news for MSFS can be neatly divided into four, and these updates include; the arrival of World Update VI, the introduction of Local Legend I: Junkers JU-52, the introduction of the Volocopter, and competitive air racing debuting via the Reno Air Races event. These updates will not all be delivered together, but as and when they are ready, before 2021 is out.
As with previous World Updates for MSFS, this one delivers new aerial imagery, high-resolution elevation maps, and points of interest - covering certain targeted regions. With World Update VI the regions getting the welcome attention are Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For sure there are going to be some beautiful mountain views delivered in the update, as well as more detailed airport data covering the likes of Lübeck, Stuttgart, Klagenfurt and St. Gallen.
A new introduction with the update delivery is of an aeroplane category called Local Legends. The first such introduction is of the Junkers JU-52, which is known colloquially as 'Tante JU' or 'Aunt JU' in Germany. To get this model and its handling right, Asobo used high-res scans and consulted Junkers engineers and pilots.
We also hear that MSFS is going to be introducing helicopters. To ease into this, the sim developers are starting with adding the Volocopter, a German eVTOL air taxi used for metropolitan flights.
Last but not least, the Xbox Wire blog says that the addition of Reno Air Races to MSFS is the title's "first major expansion," for simmers. Coming this autumn, MSFS flyers will be able to race against their friends or pilots from around the world, with the addition of competitive multiplayer to the sim.