Sunday, February 17, 2013

Orbx Upcoming Product Release Summary

FSX/P3D. Based on the large number of upcoming Orbx releases we've put together a product summary outlining general information as well as the status of current projects under development. Take a look... 

FTX Global
Perhaps the most anticipated scenery release of the year, FTX Global will completely transform the look of flight simulator replacing textures and improving landclass for the entire planet. The product will initially be released as the "Basic Pack" which will be upgradeable to the "Plus Pack", the ladder providing a constant stream of scenery updates. Release is expected before June 30, 2013. Click here for a recent preview thread depicting the Solomon Islands.

FTX EU Wales
This will be the developer's second United Kingdom FTX region release and will complement FTX EU England nicely. As Wales is a very small region the team has been able to put some extra effort into landmarks and points of interest. The product will include a free of charge payware quality rendition of Cardiff International Airport (EGFF). Release was originally expected by the end of February although this may now be delayed by a few days. Click here for a recent preview thread.

Cardiff International Airport (EGFF)
As mentioned above, this airport will be included free with FTX EU Wales. Although the preview captures look fantastic, there was some initial concern over the ground quality due to the low resolution imagery. However, in response to these concerns the team is now implementing ground polygons for the apron and taxiway areas. To be released with FTX EU Wales. Click here for a recent preview thread.

FTX NA Southern Alaska and YT
The next addition to the highly regarded North American FTX series. With a massive coverage area this release should prove extremely popular, especially with bush pilot enthusiasts. The coverage area includes several notable communities including Anchorage, Whitehorse, and Juneau. As far as I know here has been no official release date offered although the project is progressing very well. Click here for a recent preview thread.

Airdrie Airpark (CEF4)
Designed for compatibility with FTX NA NRM, this release will be highly complementary to the existing freeware Orbx High River (CEN4) and Claresholm (CEJ4) airports. I am particularly excited about this release as Airdrie is right in my own backyard, approximately 30 minutes from my home. The preview shots are looking great - I've been contemplating conducting a comparative type review comparing my own pictures from the real life airport to simulator screenshots. As far as I know there has been no official release date offered although the project is well advanced. Click here for a recent screenshot preview set by Iain Emms.

Cityscape Canberra
In development for over three years this project may very well contain the largest area of densely hand annotated autogen ever made for flight simulator. Screenshots are showing that the project is well advanced although there has been no official release date. The detail is exquisite and a new set of preview shots was just posted - click here.

Auckland International Airport (NZAA)
There are no official preview shots for this project - however, its announcement is significant for several reasons. Firstly, this project was not included in the published 2013 product roadmap. Next, this airports announcement signifies the beginning of Orbx venturing back into larger scale international airport type projects. Lastly, the development announcement opened the door to even more large scale international airport announcements in 2013. The team is approximately 50% through development and previews will be coming soon - release expected some time in 2013. Click here for the announcement.

2013 Product Roadmap
Orbx published an official 2013 product roadmap on December 31, 2012. The roadmap outlines what is to be expected in the coming year. The roadmap is not totally inclusive and we may still expect some surprises, similar to the recent Auckland announcement. Some projects may not be completed by the end of 2013 but I know the team will do their very best. As it is currently the middle of February, some items on the roadmap have already been released, others are in the customer preview stage, some may be in early development, and others have likely not been started. Click here for the 2013 product roadmap.

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