Microsoft Flight

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This article is about the flight simulation launched in 2012. For the previous series discontinued in 2009, see Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight.png
Developer(s) Microsoft Flight Development Team
Publisher(s) Microsoft Studios
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) February 29, 2012[1]
Genre(s) Casual simulation
Mode(s) Single-player, online multiplayer
Distribution Download

Microsoft Flight is an aviation game from Microsoft Studios created as a successor to the discontinued Microsoft Flight Simulator series.[2]

The game[2] is offered "free-to-play"; charging gamers for downloading extra content, aircraft or scenery.[3]

In July 2012, Microsoft ceased development of the game permanently to re-align its "long-term goals and development plans." The core game, which includes the Icon A5 aircraft and the Big Island of Hawaii scenery area, remains free to download. It can then be expanded with additional downloadable content (DLC) from the integrated Games For Windows Marketplace on Xbox-Live or also from the Steam website.[4][5][6][7][8]

In August 2013, Microsoft announced they will be closing the Xbox.com PC Marketplace on August 22, 2013. This will result in all content for sale to cease being sold. Previous items purchased will still be usable, but acquiring new items through the marketplace will be eliminated. It is unknown whether material will be released for free. The Flight software may still be downloadable, however content will not be available for purchase.[9]

Development[edit]

The game was officially released on February 29, 2012. Previously limited details were released about Flight, but Microsoft suggested that its realism and accuracy will appeal to flying enthusiasts, while new types of gameplay would appeal to newcomers.[10] The game is integrated with the Games for Windows – Live platform, which allows players with Live accounts to join and host multiplayer sessions using a Gamertag. The introduction of Live meant that the GameSpy client would no longer be in use.[11]

It introduced a new model of DLC, integrated with the Games For Windows Marketplace. All Flight add ons can be purchased and installed in-game from a central marketplace. There was no public SDK offered for Flight, with all DLC being developed by Microsoft Studios.

On December 1, 2011 a beta application was set up on the website. An announcement was posted on the official Flight Facebook page (on December 13, 2011) stating that an official YouTube channel was published containing the current webisodes.

It was announced on January 4, 2012 that it would be free-to-play on release in Spring 2012.[12]

On February 6, 2012 it announced that Microsoft Flight would be free to download on February 29, 2012. Also it was announced the first expansion pack would be released on the same day.

Cancellation[edit]

On July 25, 2012, Microsoft announced it had cancelled further development of Microsoft Flight, citing that this was part of "the natural ebb and flow" of application management. Reviewers indicated that sales may have been slow due to competition from other products, such as X-Plane and that Microsoft Flight had fewer aircraft, terrain and third-party add-on options than its predecessor and was less authentic. Microsoft will continue to support the community and offer Flight as a free download.[7][8][13]

After announcing the end of development, Microsoft continued to fine-tune the core of the program with a post-release beta test involving Steam users, with title update 1.1.1.30063 released on September 25, 2012. The update contained no new content, just bug fixes.[14][15]

On August 22, 2013, Microsoft announced the closure of the Xbox PC Marketplace, removing Microsoft Flight and the ability to play it on Steam.[16]

On July 3, 2014, Microsoft announced that Flight is scheduled to be grounded on October 14, 2014, at which time the multiplayer servers will be shut down. This will affect online features, such as multiplayer and aerocaches; the single-player experience should remain largely intact.[17]

Upgrades[edit]

A screenshot of Flight released by Microsoft, showing the new lighting/shadowing capabilities of the engine in the aircraft virtual cockpit.

Flight features new aircraft, scenery and terrain, a revamped weather engine, and new gameplay elements for users of all skill levels.[11] The new weather engine renders more realistic clouds and weather effects, including fog that blends well with the surrounding terrain, which Microsoft's previous flight simulator releases, (Microsoft Flight Simulator X), were incapable of displaying. As seen in the screenshots, the most noticeable graphical improvements are the newer shader models. Part of the improvement is more realistic lighting and self shadowing on aircraft. The aircraft visual models are much improved over those of the previous flight simulator releases. Flight also features an improved missions system, (over FSX).

System requirements[edit]

Minimum:

  • CPU: Dual Core 2.0 GHz
  • GPU: 256 MB card capable of shader 3.0 (DX 9.0c compliant)
  • HD: 10 GB Hard Drive space
  • OS: Windows XP SP3 or newer
  • RAM: 2 GB

Recommended (high settings):

  • CPU: Dual Core 3.0 GHz
  • GPU: 1024 MB ATI Radeon HD 5670 or 1024 MB NVIDIA GEFORCE 9800 GT or equivalent
  • HD: 30 GB Hard Drive space
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
  • RAM: 6 GB

Downloadable content[edit]

The core game, which includes the Icon A5 aircraft and the Big Island of Hawaii scenery area, is free to download from the game's website. It can then be expanded with additional downloadable content (DLC) from the integrated Games For Windows Marketplace. Downloadable content includes:

Type Description Released Microsoft
Points
*
Cost
(USD)*
Notes
Aircraft Boeing-Stearman Model 75 February 29, 2012 0 $0.00 Free if signed into Games for Windows – Live.[18]
Aircraft Maule M-7-260C April 4, 2012 1200 $14.99 [19]
Aircraft North American P-51 Mustang April 4, 2012 640 $7.99 External view only. No cockpit view.
Aircraft Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero April 4, 2012 560 $6.99 External view only. No cockpit view.[20]
Aircraft Curtiss P-40 Warhawk April 26, 2012 560 $6.99 External view only. No cockpit view.
Aircraft Vought F4U Corsair May 31, 2012 560 $6.99 External view only. No cockpit view
Aircraft Red Tails P-51 Mustang June 8, 2012 0 $0.00 Released as a promotion for the movie Red Tails from Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox.
Aircraft Carbon Cub Deluxe July 25, 2012 1200 $14.99 An upgrade to the free Cub with the Alaskan Wilderness Pack
Scenery Hawaiian Adventure April 4, 2012 1600 $19.99 includes the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, and the Van's Aircraft RV-6 aircraft.
Scenery Alaskan Wilderness July 3, 2012 1200 $14.99 Includes 586,000 square miles of Alaska, and the Carbon Cub aircraft. No cockpit view.[21]
Aircraft C-46 August 27, 2012 560 $6.99 This DLC was nearing completion at the time that development was halted. External view only. No cockpit view.[22]

* Pricing and points are recommended retail.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 64.29%[23]
Metacritic 64/100[24]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 6/10[25]
GameSpot 7/10[27]
GameSpy 3.5/5 stars[28]
IGN 5/10[26]
Strategy Informer 7/10[29]

Microsoft Flight currently holds a 64/100 critic score on review aggregator site Metacritic.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Microsoft Flight Cleared for a February 29th Liftoff". Dan Stapleton. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Microsoft (2012). "FAQs General". Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Eric Caoili (January 4, 2012). "Microsoft's Flight Simulator revival operates as free-to-play". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Marketplace". Microsoftflight.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft Flight - Xbox.com". Marketplace.xbox.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  6. ^ "Microsoft Flight on Steam". Store.steampowered.com. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  7. ^ a b Ben Kersey (July 26, 2012). "Microsoft cancels Flight and Project Columbia development". Slashgear. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Pew, Glenn (July 26, 2012). "Microsoft Flight Dead, Market Has Spoken". AVweb. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ "PC Marketplace is closing August 2013". Microsoft. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  10. ^ Ina Fried (August 18, 2010). "Microsoft makes a return to Flight". CNET News. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Microsoft Flight FAQ". Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Microsoft's Flight Simulator revival operates as free-to-play". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Flight Development Already Canned". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ "News : Yay Betas! (no not the fish)". News.microsoftflight.com. September 24, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Microsoft Flight". Facebook. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ "PC Marketplace closing | PC Marketplace - Xbox.com". Support.xbox.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  17. ^ "Flight Shutdown Announcement |". news.microsoft.flight.com. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  18. ^ "Microsoft Flight". Microsoft.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Marketplace". Microsoftflight.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  20. ^ "News : The Zero". News.microsoftflight.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  21. ^ "News : DLC Sneak Peek: Journey to Alaska!". News.microsoftflight.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  22. ^ "News : I think I see forty-six reasons to read this blog post:". news.microsoftflight.com. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Microsoft Flight". GameRankings. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "Microsoft Flight for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Paul Presley (March 8, 2012). "Microsoft Flight Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  26. ^ Gord Goble (March 14, 2012). "Microsoft Flight Review". IGN. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  27. ^ Brett Todd (March 13, 2012). "Microsoft Flight". GameSpot. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  28. ^ Mike Nelson (March 11, 2012). "Microsoft Flight Review - Updated". GameSpy. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  29. ^ Marco Fiori (March 12, 2012). "Microsoft Flight Review (PC)". Strategy Informer. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]