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The development of game graphics over 40 years is demonstrated by the example of Microsoft Flight Simulator (video)


One of the most popular simulation games in the genre,whose history goes back to the origins of the entire gaming industry, Microsoft Flight Simulator has become a shining example of how computer graphics have changed over the past 40 years and the opportunities for gamers have expanded. At the regular Microsoft Ignite conference held in virtual mode in 2020, a short but informative video was presented that showed the dynamics of the development of the game.

The story begins with released for the IBM PC inNovember 1982 version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 and ends with an incredibly realistic Flight Simulator 2020 that uses the latest achievements of computer technology. Taking the example of frames with the first version of Flight Simulator 1.0, which supports RGB monitors in monochrome, you can see how rapidly computer graphics have changed over several decades. Then, watching the black-and-white screen, the player could make a "trip" on the Cessna 182 between the cities of New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago.


Already in 1984, Microsoft introduced Flight Simulator 2.0, which introduced joystick support and significantly improved graphics, added new locations and new types of aircraft.

The next version of Flight Simulator 3.0, was introduced in 1988 and saw the introduction of various aircraft types and the ability to customize the display. The fourth game in the Flight Simulator 4.0 series (1989) introduces elements of realism. To do this, the developers have added a random change of weather and introduced dynamically changing landscapes. Starting with this version, a modification for Mac is also released, for which many add-ons have been developed.

Starting in the fifth game in the Flight Simulator 5 series.0, introduced in 1993, the developers are shifting the emphasis to realistic flight. Work on improving textures continued in Flight Simulator 5.1 (1994).

Flight Simulator 95 enters the market in 1995to work under Windows 95. In this version, the frame rate is increased and the fleet of available aircraft is significantly expanded. Flight Simulator 98 in-game application offered a further improvement in picture quality.

The next modification of Flight Simulator 2000,released in 1999, is shrouded in mystery that has not yet been resolved by the special services. High-detail 3D graphics and a high-quality interface, according to one version, helped the terrorists in training, who sent captured Boeing to the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

In Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 from 2001years, the developers introduce a 3D model of the cockpit and continue to improve the graphics. The 2006 version of Microsoft Flight Simulator X became the final one before a long, almost fifteen years, break in the release of the popular aviation simulator. During this time, several modifications were made, including historical ones. Also in 2014, Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition was released, supporting multiplayer via Steam. The release of the game on DVD has begun.

This year the next one is finally presentedversion of Microsoft Flight Simulator, with photorealistic graphics, real-time weather changes and maps, as close to reality as possible, maps of almost the entire surface of the Earth. Most of the landscapes were developed using a neural network using satellite photos and Bing Maps.

Analysts predict that gamers will spend up to $ 2.6 billion on computer upgrades over the next three years to fully benefit from Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.

Source: theverge