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The Earth freezes over in the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator trailer

Special snowflakes

Our plane-spotters have tracked a fair bit of the taxiing Microsoft Flight Simulator, though I’m still not sure what we’re looking at isn’t a cleverly constructed ARG for the real-world. Microsoft's impossible-looking return to the Flight Sim series has shown off skies, cities, water, and clouds, but it’s all been vaguely summerish, without a hint of alternative seasons. Don’t fret, winter is coming! Over the holiday, Microsoft showed off their painstakingly recreated Earth blanketed in snow, for those who like their landings with a hint of skidding.

This video is 4k, should your eyes have the pixel capacity to handle it. And, gosh, they properly whacked the snow slider up. It's so blindingly white that I needed to put on some goggles.

I was a tiny but underwhelmed with the initial cityscapes, but from the moment a snowed-in Paris gently swooped into view I once again felt like a first-class passenger. I'm currently stowing my scepticism about what they're showing off, and just enjoying the feeling and excitement that a big, hugely impressive flight sim is stirring in me. It's quite a package of emotions, really: Microsoft seemingly taking the PC seriously, graphics that make real-life seem murky, enjoying it all without worrying about PVP or killstreaks. You might say it looks rather... chill. Ah, good old snow puns.

It should still be out this year. I'm all too aware that I remain uninvited to the Insider program Microsoft are hosting for it. People are playing it, and nothing terrible has leaked, which is good enough for me right now.

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