Big news from ORBX today, they have just announced a new set of photoreal scenery for the UK and Ireland, the best thing about this announcement is that the regions will be made available for all major simulators, this being P3D v4, FSX, X-Plane 11 and Aerofly FS 2
The only downside is that we may not see this release from ORBX anytime soon, as the project is neither in alpha or beta, currently, a lot of pre-alpha work has gone into it, and it has been revealed that X-Plane and Aerofly FS 2 will be the first platforms to get these new regions as they only support one season, whereas P3D and FSX will require more work to support their season capabilities
Normally Orbx does not announce projects until they are at least in alpha or beta stage and we have something to show. However in the case of this announcement, a lot of exploratory pre-alpha work has already been done and indeed I’ve shown some sneak preview shots already. Moving forward I think in the current climate of multiple sim platforms we will likely be giving more advanced notice of future projects.
What I can announce today is that we have secured pristine aerial photography for all of the UK and Ireland and this now paves the way for projects to commence in earnest. Jarrad Marshall will be announcing the name of these series of addons this weekend so I won’t reveal the Orbx product series name yet, but they will be made entire from aerial photography orthoimagery and not landclass based.
In addition to the Netherlands for FSX/P3D coming in a matter of weeks, we will be releasing photoreal regions for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Pacific Northwest USA and Germany in 2018/19. These will be released as a region each, allowing you to pick and choose which ones you want and also manage the footprint sizes on your drives. We may split Germany into halves to contain the installation size. The prospect of flying from Ireland to the eastern part of Germany in a contiguous photo based scenery is now very real.
The first sim platforms these UK/Ireland regions are to be released on will be X-Plane 11, followed by Aerofly FS2. This is because the pre-work has already been done and they will be summer season only. FSX/P3D will follow but there is a lot of work to produce 5 seasonal variations of each regions therefore extra development time will be required.
We will be producing a test compile somewhere in the Midlands soon, and we can then share a few further sneak preview shots.
These regions will be “install-and-fly”. Everything will be managed by OrbxDirect and FTX Central so you can focus on just enjoying the regions themselves. We plan to include every house, building, tree and structure in all of the UK/Ireland and the regions will also include (based on each sim’s functionality) night lighting, traffic, power lines, water masking, light houses, cityscapes, POIs, marinas, ships and thousands more 3D objects. Airports will be upgraded in the FSX/P3D version but we are not 100% decided on XP/AFS2 for airports at this stage. Those may follow in a service pack or we take a different approach (more details TBC).
So imagine doing an approach with scenery that looks like this:
This will soon be possible across multiple sim platforms and I am sure you are just as excited as we are about the prospects of seeing this level of detail in your favourite sim.
More information to come in due course!