E3 2021 takes place June 12-15 as a re-imagined, all-virtual online event. Nintendo, Xbox, Bethesda, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, Capcom, and others will deliver new video game announcements, trailers, release dates, and more.
We’ve known that Microsoft Flight Simulator was coming to Xbox consoles for literally years now. This week at E3 Microsoft finally gave us a launch date — July 27. What remained unclear to fans, however, was how they were actually going to fly those airplanes on a console. Sure, you could use an Xbox controller, but the grass is especially green on the PC side of the fence with a boatload of boutique controllers and high-end joysticks.
Fear not, console pilots, for Turtle Beach has come to your rescue with the VelocityOne Flight Universal Control System. It’s a full-fledged yoke and throttle compatible with Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Windows 10. The announcement was made Monday in a news release.
The VelocityOne is a one-piece yoke and throttle with tons of features that intelligently solve lots of problems inherent to playing a flight simulator on a console. For instance, it places the triggers and shoulder buttons on the front side of the yoke. They will allow players to maintain coordinated flight and tap the toe brakes without floor-mounted rudder pedals, which are hard to use when you’re sitting on the couch.
There are also light-up status indicators built right into the dash. That means you won’t have to take your eyes off the windscreen on final approach to make sure you put the landing gear down. There’s also a trim wheel and swappable throttle fobs — just like you’ll find on the highly-regarded Honeycomb Bravo Throttle Quadrant. I especially like the fancy schmancy chronometer right in the middle of the yoke, which should make entry-level navigation a lot easier on newcomers. Most interesting of all is a set of light-up multi-function buttons on the right-hand side. They look like the sort of thing that modders will want to make transparent stickers for.
The VelocityOne flight is easily the most ambitious new consumer-grade flight control device since that one thing they almost made for Star Citizen. We’ll have to wait until this summer to see if it lives up to expectations. Retail price is $349.95, and pre-orders should start soon.