The next iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) was announced over the weekend, slated to arrive sometime on Xbox consoles and PC in 2024. While it’s disheartening an announcement promising VR support wasn’t made during its unveiling, the game is under development by Asobo, the very same that developed the VR-supported version released in 2020.

The company says Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is slated to bring the “most sophisticated, immersive and awe-inspiring flight simulator of all time,” powered by what the studio calls a “significantly evolved Asobo Studio engine.”

The studio is well versed in supporting PC VR headsets, as the team added SteamVR support to the PC version of the game in December 2020, or just four months after it was released on traditional monitors.

In a developer livestream in late May, Asobo revealed that its dedicated VR team has been disbanded to work on other aspects of the game. That may sound like bad newshowever it’s possible the studio is currently in ‘all-hands mode’ to develop the new title for its target platforms, which includes day-one availability on Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Windows 10/11, and Steam.

Microsoft’s head of Flight Simulator Jörg Neumann revealed during that livestream that somewhere between 10% and 15% of players on the 2020 PC version of MFS play in VR—a fairly consequential number of users. To boot, Neumann and executive producer Martial Bossard say they are among those VR players.

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The team says although MFS 2024 is going to be a standalone title, that “virtually all add-ons that work in Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) today will function in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024,” Asobo says in the game’s FAQ. “Add-ons that were purchased from the in-simulator Marketplace will not need to be re-purchased in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.”

So, while we don’t know whether VR support is coming for sure, promising to bring everything from the old to the new game is encouraging. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the game’s official website for updates and news of forthcoming VR support.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • GunnyNinja

    Not having VR would be like Oculus releasing the Rift S as a follow up to the CV1.

    • NotMikeD

      This statement says so much with so few words..

    • Paul Bellino

      yes, a total step in the wrong Direction.

  • NotMikeD

    Ah good, I look forward to yet another round of outraged simmers taking to the web in protest and Asobo needlessly dragging everyone through a frustrating period of aparrent indecision before inevitably backpedaling and eventually adding the VR support that SHOULD’VE been there at the start, and yet can only be truly enjoyed by the high-end hardware elite.

    • silvaring

      Honest question here, would it make more sense to add VR support for an abandoned platform that almost noone is using, or hold out support until a new Microsoft vr platform is launched?

  • Acurisur

    This is no different to the current sim – the core flight sim experience is their main focus, so VR took a while to get added to it. The sequel will be the same, the main sim will be the focus and VR will get added as a free update. There’s just nowhere near enough users who play the sim in VR to justify adding VR from launch (remember the sim is also on Xbox where no one has VR).

    Would I like the new sim to have VR? Absolutely, but it’s not up to me.

    • MasterElwood

      You are just making stuff up. *facepalm*

      • Kenny Thompson

        He may or may not be making stuff up, but the logic is sound.

      • Burt Reynolds

        We all are

  • eadVrim

    For me, MSFS in VR is the best virtual reality experience I’ve played since DK1.

  • Kevin Brook

    MSFS is awesome. I only play in VR. I’m not at all concerned by this announcement. I suspect all they are doing is releasing a new 2024 version so they have a AAA Gamepass title for next year to drive subscriptions and build the playerbase. It’s still the same engine, they could have just continued to update the existing sim, but that doesn’t give Microsoft a massive spike in interest outside of the flightsim community.

    MSFS will likely replace 2020 completely and Jorg will announce in July that all existing 2020 customers will get upgraded to MSFS 2024 base sim version for free, and only have to pay for the optional deluxe premium extras, such as the career missions.

    They make their money from Gamepass and in app purchases. They want to expand the amount of users to get these subs up and market place tills ringing.

    Can’t wait for the new version!

    • Dave

      Nice one Kevin, if a bit cyncical haha! Looking at the trailer, there is obviously a lot of mission content which can get in the way of other improvements but you can definatelty see the additions.
      1. Careers mode – exciting to see what 3rd party devs also do here.

      2. Introduction of Air blimps / Hot air baloons.
      3. Commercial airlines, this is also huge!
      4. Updated ground based procedural technology.
      5. Seasons.
      6. Improved collour saturation, much more realistic now.

      7. Ray Tracing from water reflections
      8. Lots of improvements to lighting, shadows and reflections, no highlighted reflections on the base of objects in the water which is huge for me.
      9. A number of additional planes to support the mission content, also includes racing which would now be against AI.

      This was what I gleemed from a short trailer, we’ll get hopefully a more formal update on features in the coming months. Anyway back to VR…

      • xyzs

        I think that they will keep calling it Microsoft Simulator in general and claim that their 10 years platform commitment is still true since all the ad-dons will continue working and be shared across versions.
        I think that they just want people to re invest 60 dollars again in the sim and get rid of technical limitations in 2020 holding them back.
        I personally think that 2020 is not looking great at all, I hope this new version will look much better (it’s hard to say in the trailers that always deceive people).
        I think they bump a new version to re hype the franchise, you are right. But they better do it good.

  • xyzs

    In 2024, a simulator without VR support would be stupid.
    Even more if the 2020 version had support…
    VR will be available on day one.

    • ViRGiN

      Definietly coming, and definietly not on day one.

    • Rob

      Altough I agree with you yhat a flight simulator should have VR support, the problem is that xbox and microsoft are not so much into VR. So I fear it wont be a priority.

  • Pab

    RTX 5090 required

    • grindathotte .

      My thought initially, but then it would not run on XBox. I’m impressed with the graphical improvements and the XBox may just force them to optimise for current hardware.

      • Rob

        He probably means 5090 required for VR. Flatscreen version might still run on xbox or less capable pc.

    • GmailIsDown

      32GB VRAM minimum

  • Kyokushin

    The fact that no one want to get is the VR died again when Elite Dangerous end its support for planetary on-foot experience.
    This game was locomotive for VR, since 2015 to 2019 VR growed again after the failure in late ’90 then its stopped and since two years we have nothing exciting, and the next big player of VR seems to be stepping off.

    • eadVrim

      Didn’t you read in this article that “somewhere between 10% and 15% of players on the 2020 PC version of MFS play in VR”

      • Kyokushin

        I have readed, and what then? Add two to two then you maybe get the point.
        Cancelation of VR support for leading titles is not the cause, but the result that VR is dying again.

        Thats my prediction as VR fan. I hope be wrong.

        • eadVrim

          VR is not dying and never will, maybe the hype around VR is getting weak. VR games on PC and Quest are still coming every day.

          • LMAO

            Well said!

  • Paul Bellino

    Unless they mention combat, this new version is pointless anyway. Plane parts when crashing have physics too and they do not do that very well.

  • Rob

    They now say that msfs 2020 will still be supported. They promised 10 years of support back in 2019. Hope they fulfill theit commitments. I am NOT looking forward to msfs 2024. Any VR support will probably come years later. After that probably take several updates to run fine. And only run at very high hardware. I bought a 2300 euro pc for msfs 2020 but wont do that again.

  • Dave

    I’m not sure what has prompted this article. The video was a teaser trailer, nothing more and nothing less. The angle of a new careers mode was suitable for an Xbox Showcase but it does nothing to tell us what features are the same or improved in the sim. We need to be a little patient, probably a good 14 months before we see a release. VR will be included 100%

  • Gildahl

    Well X-Plane 11.5 had excellent VR support that was far smoother and well implemented than MSFS, but pretty much ditched any love for it in X-Plane 12 (which is why I abandoned it and moved to MSFS). So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if MS is now ditching it for MSFS 2024 now that I have my 4090 and can run it smoothly. I can at least say that I’m not buying a single thing for MSFS until this is resolved as I only play sims in VR and if VR is going away, so will I. Well at least we still have VTOL.

    • xyzs

      True, my 4090 struggles with XP12 VR, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

      • Gildahl

        And the ironic thing is that I spent months participating in the XP 11.5 beta in which they promised Vulkan would vastly improve VR, and then actually fulfilled this promise when it finally released, with their devs having spent tons of time tweaking the VR experience until it offered an amazing and smooth experience even on my 2080Ti that was way beyond the old OpenGL API. In fact, it was at least twice as fast as anything I could get out of MSFS on garbage settings (which was still in its early days of supporting VR).

        Fast forward to XPlane 12, and they basically threw all of that leadership away in favor of, presumably, trying to compete with MS on visuals–when that is something they are never going to be able to do. To me, XP is all about flight model, performance, and VR. Sure, make some incremental improvements to visuals where those other things don’t suffer, but if you kill those three things, you’ve killed the very things that distinguish your product from the other one! During the XP12 early release the XP forums bashed me for complaining about how big a regression the VR support was, arguing that it was still early release and would be fixed, but alas! Meanwhile, MSFS improved VR dramatically (especially with DLSS) to the point where VR started to perform pretty well, even on my 2080Ti, and is now absolutely outstanding on my new 4090.

        Unfortunately, while I hope I’m wrong, I’m now suspecting that MSFS 2024 may be planning to to its VR support what XP12 did to its VR support. In the XP12 release video, they said “VR is not forgotten”, which I took as code words for “VR is not a priority”. Since MS has (apparently) disbanded their VR dev group and is saying nothing about VR being a priority in 2024, it feels like déjà vu all over again. I think the reason VR support is even as good as it is today in MSFS is because of demand from the community, so I would encourage everyone who is a VR fan to get on MS and Asobo’s case about this, and urge them to make it a priority in the new product.

  • bidou

    They didn’t add SteamVR support, they added OpenXR support. You can choose your runtime.
    This is a useless article by the way.