Asobo/MS announce new partnerships with PMDG and Orbx, Australia World Update in January

Is that a model of the Boeing 757 in Robert Randazzo’s hand?

Today’s Live Developer Q&A was filled with exciting news for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Happening just a day before the launch of the Reno Air Races expansion and the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator: GOTY Edition, the MSFS team continues relentlessly in pursuit of the best flight simulation platform ever built, and unveiled some truly thrilling news today!

The first bit of news is related to the next World Update, which will be the seventh since the release of MSFS. World Update 7 will be focused on Australia, a much-requested country by the community. As usual, this update will bring a bunch of new POI’s, new elevation data and aerial textures, and a significant number of photogrammetry cities, probably the biggest in any World Update to date. World Update 7: Australia will be released on January 25th. New Zealand is not included, but we’re pretty sure the team will be looking to tackle that in a separate and much-deserved update.

As promised a few months back, World Update will often coincide with a new aircraft release under the theme of Local Legends. With the previous Germany, Austria, and Switzerland update, the Junkers Ju-52 was selected as a famous airplane on that region. For the new Australia World Update, the new Local Legend will be the Southern Cross, a Fokker F.VIIb/3m trimotor monoplane that was flown by famed Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith, who in 1928 made the first transpacific flight from the United States to Australia. 

southern cross msfs
Some engine details of the Fokker F.VIIb/3m trimotor.

The Southern Cross is being developed by Orbx, a “new” development partner that is also based in Australia, as we know. A perfect match then! They are creating the Southern Cross with many in-depth materials about the aircraft, including pictures of the original cockpit. The plan is also to design a second, more modern cockpit.

The Southern Cross will be the first aircraft from Asobo/MS to include a user manual, a much-requested feature, especially for more detailed airplanes. Furthermore, it will be the first airplane to have an exclusive mission that recreates a flight the aircraft is famous for.

The stream had another unexpected and sensational revelation: PMDG is now an official third-party partner! Jorg Newmann (Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator) revealed that he has been talking with Robert Randazzo for a very long time, in a strict collaboration that has led to the release of the DC-6 a few months back. Console pilots that are fans of the DC-6 are in great luck, as the brilliant airplane from PMDG will be released on the Marketplace next week, opening the way for Xbox simmers to enjoy a tremendous simulation of the iconic propliner, a fully-featured version that should perfectly match the PC experience.

PMDG is now working in very close collaboration with Asobo for the development of many new airplanes for MSFS, such as the 737, the 777 and the 747. We already knew this, but Randazzo has revealed that the team currently has 14 products in the pipeline! One of these undisclosed products will probably be the B757, whose model Randazzo seems to briefly flash during the stream. Hype!

pmdg 757 msfs 3

pmdg 757 msfs 2

One final note for a third(!) new development partner. In order to accelerate the introduction of gliders in the sim, the MSFS team selected a new partner to work on that feature: FlightSim Studio AG, a Swiss development studio that has great expertise with gliders, even if they haven’t released any product yet for Flight Simulator. However, they’ve worked extensively with other teams to supply their knowledge on the matter.

The entire stream is pretty long, and as usual includes an extensive Q&A session and an incredible transparency from the MSFS team, who clearly and honestly communicate about everything that is going on behind the scenes.

Overall, some truly incredible news for MSFS! This end of 2021 is truly looking to be an exciting period for Flight Simulator, with countless updates, new features, a bunch of new airplanes, and most importantly, a clear commitment from all for a very promising future.

As usual, you can count on us to bring you the latest news on all these new updates. Stay tuned!

We leave you today with the latest official video for MSFS, a new episode under the Feature Discovery Series, this time dedicated to the Reno Air Races and all its details. Watch it below!