Microsoft Flight Simulator: Further Information From Today's Announcement

July 13, 2020

Earlier today, Microsoft announced a release date and the pricing of their Microsoft Flight Simulator product.

The price of the simulator has been revealed to be US $59.99, $79.99, and $119.99, depending on the edition purchased by the user. It was also announced the release date will be on the 18th August - just five weeks from now.

The Closed Beta is due to begin on the 30th July, which implies the next major testing period will be under three weeks long. However, Microsoft chose to reveal more airports and aircraft not yet seen by the community, which has sparked many discussions in many corners of the flight simulation community about a rushed release.

Nonetheless, the blog post posted by the team on their website confirmed there will be three editions of the simulator to choose from, and it has since emerged what exactly the difference is between these editions is.

Thirty high-quality airports and twenty aircraft are to be available in the Standard edition, priced at $59.99, or for $4.99 per month with an Xbox Game Pass for PC (beta). This includes the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 747-8i, and ICON A5 in the skies, and Los Angeles International, Innsbruck Airport, and Courchevel Airport on the ground.

The Deluxe edition will cost $79.99 and includes a further five aircraft and airports. Amsterdam Schiphol, Madrid-Barajas Airport, Beechcraft Baron G58, and Diamond DA20 are some of the ten extra choices available.

The most expensive edition at $119.99 is the Premium Deluxe, which adds a further five aircraft and airports on top of the Deluxe edition. A previously unseen Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, Cessna Citation Longitude, Heathrow Airport, and Frankfurt Airport will be available in this package.

It is possible to purchase either the Standard or Deluxe edition and upgrade to a more expensive option later, though it has been stated the most cost-efficient method of purchase is to buy the edition the user is most interested in.

A full list of what is included in the aircraft and airport departments has been provided in the lists below.

To add to this, Microsoft has also written a pre-order FAQ that has addressed a range of different questions the community has asked.

Microsoft is aiming to sell Microsoft Flight Simulator through the Xbox store on PC only initially on as many platforms as possible, though this does not include Steam or the Epic Store now.

A physical edition will be available in Europe only, whilst only the Standard edition will be available through the Xbox Game Pass for PC (beta).

The hardware requirements were also uploaded, which remain unchanged from those released earlier this year. Here they are again for those who would like a refresh.

Furthermore, a list of recommended flight peripherals confirms hardware from Honeycomb Aeronautical, Thrustmaster, Virtual Fly, and Microsoft will work with Microsoft Flight Simulator with key mappings, though unlisted products will need more setting up.

Picking back up off the blog post, Microsoft wrote: “We have been thrilled and humbled by the support and dedication that has fueled the Flight Sim community for the past 38 years. Since the launch of the very first Microsoft Flight Simulator in 1982, we knew it was finally the right time to develop the next-generation version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. We have the right tools, technology, partners, and hardware to release the most realistic and authentic flight simulator to date.”

A feature list, if you like, reads as follows:

  • Vivid and Detailed Landscapes – Immerse yourself in the vast and beautiful world that is our planet with more than 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. 

In terms of media, a new trailer was released showcasing a range of scenic views with a variety of aircraft included in the game. It is available to watch below.

Finally, according to a product information page, Microsoft Flight Simulator is available to pre-order on their partners’ websites. However, these partners redirect purchases back to the Microsoft Store, though it does suggest these partners may have made content for the game, including Just Flight and Carenado.

Microsoft will release another weekly update this Thursday; follow us on social media and in our Discord server so you don’t miss anything.

The official website for Microsoft Flight Simulator is available to browse here.

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.