After a series of Alpha tests, Xbox Game studios and Asobo studios have announced that the next-gen Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on August 18. Pre-Orders of the game are now live on all compatible platforms. It is the latest installment in the log running series that started in the 1980s and serves as a direct sequel to Microsoft Flight Simulator: Steam edition released in 2014.
The game includes a new engine that supports day and night cycles allowing players to fly airplanes throughout the day (and night). To present a realistic presentation of Airports and different locations of Earth, the developers have used Bing Maps and AI on Azure platforms. According to Techcrunch, since most of the game has been developed on the cloud platform, we may see regular updates and expansions (following more of a “game as a service” model). It won’t come as a surprise if Microsoft announces more versions of the game.
Microsoft has also added a new checklist system that scales for the beginners to pro-players so that players are up to speed with different instruments and guidance systems.
There will be three different versions of the game at launch, depending upon the content. The standard $60 version includes 30 airports and 20 planes. The deluxe edition priced at $90 includes five additional aircraft and airports, while the premium deluxe edition priced at $120 will have an additional ten planes and airports compared to the standard edition.
The famous London’s Heathrow airport, Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport will be locked if you buy the standard edition of the game. The same holds true for many airplanes such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A380. These will be locked behind either deluxe or premium deluxe editions of the game.
Microsoft has assured that the planes and airports available to play at launch will evolve and expand with regular updates. They said, “Your fleet of planes and detailed airports from whatever edition you choose are all available on launch day as well as access to the ongoing content updates that will continually evolve and expand the flight simulation platform.“
Lastly, the subscribers of Xbox Game Pass on both Xbox and PC will get the game free of cost on the launch day.