Microsoft are returning to simulate flight with a game they call Microsoft Flight Simulator, their first serious new fly ’em up since 2006. The game’s basically a mystery for now, though it does look very shiny. The fact that they’ve named it plainly Microsoft Flight Simulator is probably a statement of intent, given that their attempted friendly take on flying in 2012 with Microsoft Flight was bland and riddled with microtransactions. But look, shiny aeroplanes! And flamingos!
I am pro-flamingo.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator is specifically designed to celebrate flight simulation fans through a focus on the authenticity of flying and visually stunning environments,” Microsoft say. “By revamping our tech, working in close collaboration with the community and pursuing the best partnerships across the industry, we intend to deliver the best-in-class flight simulation experience.”
Their blurb adds that it includes flying machines “from light planes to wide-body jets,” will let us “fly anywhere on the planet” and have day and night and other things that you can see in the trailer right there. For example, flamingos.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is headed to Windows 10 in 2020, and will be one of those games covered by the Xbox Game Pass subscription doodad.
In 2014, Microsoft licensed the guts of their last Flight Simulator to Dovetail Games, the makers of Train Simulator. Dovetail first relaunched it as Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, which was pretty nice, then disastrously tried to build upon those guts with Flight Sim World. They scrapped that mid-early access in 2018, as Tim Stone explored in The Flare Path. Whatever Microsoft are doing now, it can’t end much worse.
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