Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020 video game)
|Microsoft Flight Simulator|
|Publisher(s)||Xbox Game Studios|
|Series||Microsoft Flight Simulator|
|Engine||ACE (Asobo Conception Engine)|
|Release||August 18, 2020 (PC)|
|Genre(s)||Amateur flight simulation|
Microsoft Flight Simulator, colloquially known as Flight Simulator 2020, is an upcoming flight simulator developed by Asobo Studio and published by Xbox Game Studios exclusively for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. It will be released on August 18, 2020 for Microsoft Windows. It is the eleventh major entry in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, preceded by Flight Simulator X.
Flight Simulator will simulate the entire Earth using textures and topographical data from Bing Maps. Three-dimensional representations of the world's features, such as terrain, trees, grass, buildings, and water will be generated using Microsoft Azure technology. Some players received the Alpha version as part of the game's Insider program. On July 13, 2020, Microsoft opened up preorders, and announced that Flight Simulator for PC would be available on August 18, 2020.
Flight Simulator will feature Asobo's in-house developed game engine, and leverage Bing Maps data, accessing over two petabytes of data from the cloud on demand. Azure AI analyzes map data and photogrammetry to generate photorealistic 3D models of buildings, trees, terrain, and so on. This allows the simulator to depict most parts of the world in 3D photo-realism, and other parts in high definition.
Asobo has created their own flight model engine, allowing thousands of surfaces and 3D forces and moments to be fully simulated. There will also be realistic physics and weather systems, and utilization of real-world weather data. An example used at E3 2019 was that if it was raining somewhere in real life, it would be raining in-game. Individual clouds will have their own behaviors and they will impact aircraft performance depending on its location within the system.
Flight Simulator will populate the world with animals and roads with vehicles, water will flow realistically based on wind direction, grass will have individual grass blades and trees will have individual leaves, creating the illusion of a living world. The game world will include over two million cities and towns, 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, and 37,000 real-world airports.
Flight Simulator was announced at E3 2019 on June 9, 2019. It is the first major entry in the series since 2006's Flight Simulator X, following a long period of uncertainty over the future of the series after the closure of Aces Game Studio in 2009. It is being developed by the French Asobo Studio and will be published by Xbox Game Studios. The game is set to be released on August 18, 2020.
On July 13, 2020, Microsoft opened up preorders, and announced that Flight Simulator for PC would be available on August 18, 2020. The company announced three different versions of the title — Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe, each providing an incremental set of airplanes to choose and additional airports with more detailed visuals. The pricing ranged from US $59.99 for Standard, to US $89.99 for Deluxe, and US $119.99 for the Premium Deluxe edition. While the initial launch is focused on the PC, the date for launch on the Xbox family of consoles is awaited.
Aerosoft announced in July 2020 that they have partnered with Microsoft to release a physical version in Europe. It is available in two editions, Standard and Premium Deluxe (see the features comparison below), and comes with 10 dual-layer DVDs and a printed manual. The Premium Deluxe edition also comes with an artbook. Otherwise, there is no difference between boxed retail and the version Microsoft sells directly.
However, it is to be noted that the discs contain only the installer and the basic content (aircraft, default world etc.) that is around 90 GB and not playable out of the box; the actual simulator software and updates are downloaded during installation. An active internet connection is also needed for the simulator to update itself when needed. Additionally, more details for the world, better ground imagery, as well as weather and traffic data can optionally be streamed from Microsoft's servers.
Aircraft to be included in the final release include the following, depending on the edition:
|Pitts Special S2S||Aviat|
|SOCATA TBM 930||Daher|
|DA40 NG||Diamond Aircraft|
|ICON A5||ICON Aircraft|
|CAP 10||Robin Aircraft|
|DR400 Cadet||Robin Aircraft|
|Beechcraft Bonanza G36||Textron Aviation|
|Beechcraft King Air 350i||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna 152||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000)||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna 208B Grand Caravan||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna Citation CJ4||Textron Aviation|
|Savage Cub||Zlin Aircraft|
|Beechcraft Baron G58||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna 152 Aerobat||Textron Aviation|
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk||Textron Aviation|
|Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner||Boeing|
|Virus SW 121||Pipistrel|
|Cessna Citation Longitude||Textron Aviation|
|Shock Ultra||Zlin Aircraft|
Third-party aircraft will also be supported within the simulator, being directly purchased from the in game marketplace. Notable confirmed third party aircraft are the Concorde, developed by DC designs, as well as many other aircraft.
Flight Simulator will include around 37,000 manually edited airports from around the world based on real-world satellite images, of which 30, 35, or 40 are hand-crafted replicas of their real-world counterparts, depending on the edition.
Hand-crafted replica airports to be included in the final release include the following, depending on the edition:
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