Something to look forward to: Microsoft’s incredibly immersive (and almost photo-realistic) Flight Simulator 2020 launched back in August, and it’s become pretty popular since — it’s even attracted a few enterprising modders, who have added everything from new landmarks to Godzilla into the game. To crank up the immersion even further, Microsoft is planning to release a VR update for FS2020 later in December.
According to TechPowerUp, this support already arrived in a limited capacity back in October — it was available to a handful of closed beta testers, and its system requirements were quite hefty. At the very minimum, you needed an i5-8400 (or a Ryzen 5 1500X), a GTX 1080, and 16 gigs of RAM.
Assuming those specs were targeting a lower framerate, we can’t imagine the experience of playing FS2020 in VR was very pleasant for testers with machines specced around that level. Fortunately, when the full SteamVR update arrives, Microsoft will reportedly introduce “new performance optimizations” that will knock the required specs down a few notches.
However, we wouldn’t expect any dramatic improvements — FS2020 is already an extremely demanding game. At 1440p, even the powerful 2080 Ti could only manage an average of 44 FPS at Ultra settings in our own testing, and the story only got worse at 4K. Granted, our benchmarks took place way back in August, so performance may have improved since the game’s release.
If you haven’t snagged FS2020 yet but you’re a fan of the franchise (or just flight sims in general), it’ll run you $60 on your PC platform of choice (a console release is set for next year). If that’s still a bit much for you to swallow, consider checking back during Steam’s Winter Sale, which will likely take place next month. It may get a discount then.