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Laminar Research have now released a huge upgrade to their flight simulator with X-Plane 11.50, which brings in lots of rendering changes and advancements.

A massive release, since they completely rewrote their rendering engine to provide Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac). This should provide X-Plane 11 players with smoother frame rates, with far less stuttering and better performance overall. For the Linux version you need at least NVIDIA 440.26 and for AMD they're supporting the 'official AMD GPU drivers' along with amdvlk but they didn't state any particular version.

Pictured - X-Plane 11.50 on Linux.

What else does it bring in? Looking over what they've done it adds:

  • 498 new airports
  • 1,742 airports had either no scenery or 2D-only scenery in 11.40, but have 3-D scenery in 11.50
  • 2,427 airports gained some new scenery
  • Tons of bug fixes

That's a huge amount that went into it, all in addition to a much more modern and performant rendering engine.

It may take a while for things to settle down, especially when it comes to all the addons since a lot of them need updating for the new systems. According to the release announcement, it's a staggered release. With the standalone you can manually check for an update, whereas on Steam it's still in a Beta branch but it seems they will push that to the main install for everyone tomorrow.

You can pick up X-Plane 11 on Steam and their website.

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iiari 16 Sep
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Quoting: EhvisI don't think that is realistic. The resources that need to be put into it are way beyond the total size of the flight simming market. The only reason microsoft can do it is because they can leech of their bing maps. And even then I'm highly suspicious about them actually covering the cost. At least X-Plane is an open platform with a large community that brings us stuff like Ortho4xp that allows us to do it ourselves.
Well, I think that MSFS for X-Box and the large sales that will likely generate will do a lot to generate revenue, and I think they see this as a long term play and platform, with the add-ons in their store generating a lot of revenue. We'll see.

X-Plane has to do something, though. While through various add-ons and hacks it can reach some near MSFS visuals, the OOTB product is far from competitive. X-Plane's founder and head Austin Meyer has said in interviews before that he's against ortho for visuals, so that certainly won't be their approach going forward. He's indicated he's all for better and more beautiful autogen. We'll see...
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