Xbox announced today that Microsoft Flight Simulator will officially launch on PC and Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) on August 18th. The game was developed by Asobo Studios, a third party French based studio who's worked on games such as The Crew, Monopoly Plus, ReCore, The Crew 2, and A Plague Tale: Innocence. The studio has worked with Microsoft Studios on various other games on the Kinect and Hololens platform, so the relation between them and Microsoft is strong and healthy.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is the latest game in the series, as the previous entry in the series, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, launched in late 2006. However due to complications within Microsoft internally, the entire Flight Simulator team was laid off in 2009, and the closure of Aces Game Studio was announced that January. The game was eventually ported to Steam in a Gold Edition in 2014 by Dovetail Games who supported the game with smaller DLC packs as the years went on. There hasn't been a proper entry to the series in the past 14 years though, so fans of the series have been waiting for a proper new installment for some time.
Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) is highly anticipated as the game features a major graphical overhaul, as well as inclusions of the latest plane innovations within the past 14 years. As the previous entry was dated in 2006, the aviation industry has evolved and changed in many drastic ways that will finally be realized in game.
The game also adds a variety of new features. As detailed on the Xbox's Official Blogpost, the game will include:
Vivid and Detailed Landscapes – Immerse yourself in the vast and beautiful world that is our planet with more than 37 thousand airports, 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, mountains, roads, rivers and more.
A Living World – Earth is vibrant and ever-changing and so is the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator which includes live traffic, real-time weather and animals.
Highly Detailed Aircraft – Hone your pilot skills in a variety of aircraft from light planes to commercial jets with comprehensive flight models. Every aircraft includes highly detailed and accurate cockpits with realistic instrumentation.
New Checklist System – From pro to beginner, scale your level from full manual to full assist with interactive and highlighted instrument guidance and checklist.
Dynamic Weather – The new weather engine enables users to switch on the live weather mode to experience real-time weather including accurate wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, rain and more.
New Day & Night Engine – Experience flight at any time of day or year allowing for night VFR, visual flight rules, navigation.
Aerodynamic Modeling – A state-of-the-art physics engine with over 1,000 control surfaces per plane allows for a truly realistic experience.
Also detailed on the blogpost are three different editions for the game at launch. The Standard Edition for $59.99USD/£59.99, The Deluxe Edition for $89.99USD/£79.99, and The Premium Deluxe Edition for $119.99USD/£109.99. The Standard Edition includes 20 Planes and 30 hand-modeled Airports, The Deluxe includes 25 Planes and 35 hand-modeled Airports, and The Premium Deluxe will include 30 Planes and 40 hand-modeled Airports. Below are two charts that go into further detail of which planes and Airports are included with each edition of the game.
It is important to note that Microsoft Flight Simulator has over 37 thousand airports in the game, all of which are included in every version of the game. Each edition included special hand-modeled versions of the listed airport, going into finer detail to make them more realistic than various other ones. All the airports listed are included in the base game, just without the extra finer detail.
The game is currently only announced for PC, via the Windows Store and Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta). Below are the minimum tech specs needed to properly run the game as provided by Asobo Studios.
This will mark the biggest release for the franchise to date, and anticipating fans have been waiting for a new installment for quite sometime. With the release date finally confirmed and more details of the game have been announced, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) is shaping up to be one of the biggest PC releases of the year. No word on wether the game will be coming to Xbox One or Xbox Series X, but if any news were to come to light, you can read about it here on My Xbox And Me.