Nearing the end of last year, Microsoft revealed tentative SDK release dates for its upcoming Flight Simulator title. Then, earlier this month, the tech giant made the first Feedback Snapshot available to the general public, along with a release timeline for the second Tech Alpha that is just around the corner.
There is plenty more news to go around in this week's update. Not only has an SDK release date been finalized, but the Flight Simulator team has also opted to change the term "Tech Alpha 2" to the much more concise "Alpha". Updates in regard to the coming months have also been unveiled, along with a new Feature Discovery Series episode.
For starters, the release of Episode 5 brings an in-depth look at how the audio in Flight Simulator works. The previous episodes, in comparison, have discussed the world, the weather, the aerodynamics, and the cockpits so far. Moving on, the updated development roadmap showcases an initial look at upcoming episodes as well. As can be observed, the next couple will be arriving in February, and will be focusing on airports and instrument flight rules (IFR). Those interested in viewing this series, however, will need to sign up as an Insider.
As far as upcoming "Alpha" releases are concerned, the release timeline is still the same as was revealed before. Those who have been selected should expect invitations to start rolling out by January 20. Meanwhile, Tech Alpha 1 wave 2 prospects will be approached before the day is over (in PST time).
However, the big news in this regard arrives in the form of the SDK update, the initial version of which, as now confirmed, will be available along with the upcoming Alpha release. As such, Microsoft's third-party development partners will be able to access the in-game tools that, as described by the firm, have been "used internally for the development of the core simulator". This will allow for the creation and editing of planes, airports, sceneries, and even missions. Third-party developers who want to get in contact with the team can do so by emailing it here.
That wraps up the major Flight Simulator announcements for this week, with the next one slated to arrive around the same time next week. You can view community screenshots shared by Microsoft and read more on the announcements here.