Microsoft Flight Simulator’s cockpits are absolutely lavish

Microsoft Flight Simulator is looking to be an impressive return to the storied series, and a new video shows off how much work is going into making the experience of sitting in a virtual cockpit a convincing one. From the rendering of the materials covering the seats and control surfaces to the behaviour of analog instruments in the dashboards, there’s a lot to like in this taste of what’s to come in Flight Simulator.

It’s easy to come away impressed just from a first glimpse of the newly rendered cockpits, but stick around as the video explains what’s going on behind the scenes. Sure, there are the shiny leather seat covers and flight yoke wraps, but there are also dynamic shadows cast across the instrument panels and dials that behave the way they do in the real world.

Lead software engineer Martial Bossard explains some of what’s going on. In older-style analogue cockpits, the battery-powered display dials change depending on the condition of your aircraft’s electrical equipment, and oil pressure readings change based on the ambient atmospheric temperature.