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A Redditor visits the iconic Windows XP “Bliss” hill in Microsoft Flight Simulator and recaptures the magic

The original “Bliss” wallpaper for Windows XP (Image source: Wikipedia)
The original “Bliss” wallpaper for Windows XP (Image source: Wikipedia)
Highlighting the sheer scale of real-world detail found in Microsoft Flight Simulator, a Redditor recently flew over the iconic “Bliss” hill in Sonoma County, CA, immortalised in the Windows XP default wallpaper. While colours are faded this late in the year, the composition is a remarkable match for the original photo.

Once again proving that Microsoft Flight Simulator lets players see just about everything of interest on the planet, a Redditor captured an in-game screenshot of Windows XP’s iconic “Bliss” hill. Sadly, the in-game avatar of the Napa Valley hill looks desolate and barren, a far cry from the original photo.

However, the fact that this specific hill exists in-game, with grass rendered in, is a testament to just how far Microsoft and Asobo have pushed gaming technology with Flight Simulator. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator leverages a combination of artificial intelligence, Microsoft’s Azure cloud, and over 2 petabytes of high-resolution satellite imagery sourced from Bing Maps to build realistic and accurate renditions of just about every corner of the world.

Unsurprisingly, Flight Simulator has turned out to be one of the most demanding titles ever released on PC, with even the mighty NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti dropping below 30 FPS in certain intensive locations.  

“Bliss” looks a lot more barren in Microsoft Flight Simulator than in the iconic wallpaper (Image source: ITHome)
“Bliss” looks a lot more barren in Microsoft Flight Simulator than in the iconic wallpaper (Image source: ITHome)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > A Redditor visits the iconic Windows XP “Bliss” hill in Microsoft Flight Simulator and recaptures the magic
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-08-23 (Update: 2020-08-23)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.