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Microsoft Flight Simulator Officially Released

Microsoft Flight Simulator Logo

Over a year ago at the E3 gaming conference, Microsoft announced a trailer of their next project that blew not only the flight simulator community but the entire gaming community away. Microsoft enlisted the team at Asobo Studio, past titles primarily based around the Pixar movie franchise, to create the next instalment of the beloved Microsoft Flight Simulator series, the first in over 14 years. As of midnight(UTC) on August 18th, The brand new Microsoft Flight Simulator has officially been released and is now available to purchase and download. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator uses brand new technology to recreate the world in such a way, we have not seen yet. The entire planet has been rendered from global satellite imagery using Bing Map data as well as utilising Microsoft Azure technology (a cloud computing service) to create an authentic 3D experience with grass, two trillion trees, 1.5 billion accurately place buildings including many hand-crafted points of interest, water that flows with wind direction as well as moving animals across the globe. There are many cities that have been recreated using  By using these data sources, the latest flight simulator gives the user a choice of a detailed streaming experience or a pre-downloaded rendition of the world which will be of reduced quality due to the sheer size of the data that would need to be stored.

Want to read about our hands-on experience with Microsoft Flight Simulator? Why not check out our full review.

The release comes in the form of three editions; Standard ($59.99USD), Deluxe ($89.99) and Premium Deluxe ($119.99) versions available in both digital or hard copy formats, both do require an internet connection to get started. Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition is also included in the monthly gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass for just £3.99 a month.

The team at Asobo has included over 37,000 manually edited airports across the globe which are built using similar technology used to create the majority of the world’s cities as well as either 30, 35 or 40 airports, hand-crafted from the ground up, depending on which variation of the simulator you purchase.

Asobo has included more aircraft in the initial release than any other release that has gone before, covering everything from airliners such as the Airbus A320Neo to the ultralight ICON A5 that has water landing capabilities. Again, depending on which edition of the simulator you purchase will give you access to either 25, 30 or 35 aircraft straight out of the box.

The roll-out of Microsoft Flight Simulator has presumably been staggered around the world to ease initial congestion on the download servers and to give people a chance to download the initial 90GBs in a reasonable time. To find out when you can start downloading, have a look at the timetable below. All timings are in UTC/Coordinated Universal Time.

AUGUST 17, 2020

10:00 UTC

Kiribati

11:00 UTC

American Samoa, The Marshall Islands, Mauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, The United States Minor Outlying Islands, Wallis and Futuna

12:00 UTC

Antarctica, Fiji, New Zealand

13:00 UTC

New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

14:00 UTC

Australia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, The Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea

15:00 UTC

Japan, The Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palau, Timor-Leste

16:00 UTC

Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan

17:00 UTC

Cambodia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam

17:30 UTC

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Myanmar

18:00 UTC

Bangladesh, Bhutan, The British Indian Ocean Territory, Kyrgyzstan

18:15 UTC

Nepal

18:30 UTC

India, Sri Lanka

19:00 UTC

The French Southern Territories, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

19:30 UTC

Afghanistan

20:00 UTC

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Seychelles, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen

21:00 UTC 

Åland Islands, Belarus, The Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mayotte, The Republic of Moldova, Palestine, Romania, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine

22:00 UTC

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Eswatini, France, Germany, Gibraltar, The Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard  and Jan Mayen, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

23:00 UTC

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Kongo, The Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Faroe Islands, Gabon, Isle of Man,  Ireland, Morocco, The Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension, and the Tristan da Cunha, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

AUGUST 18, 2020

00:00 UTC

Bouvet Island, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Jersey, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

01:00 UTC

Cabo Verde, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

03:00 UTC

Anguilla, Anguilla and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Dominica, Brazil (BRT), The Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

04:00 UTC

The Bahamas, Brazil (AMT), Plurinational State of Bolivia, Canada, The Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, The Falkland Islands, Georgia, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, The Turks and Caicos Islands, The United States of America (Eastern), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

05:00 UTC

Belize, Brazil (ACT), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, The United States of America (Central)

07:00 UTC

Pitcairn, The United States of America (Western)

10:00 UTC

The Cook Islands French Polynesia

Tags : Asobo StudioMicrosoft Flight SimulatorReleased
Jordan Williams

The author Jordan Williams

Jordan works in operations for a brewery, pub and hotel company in London. He lives with his partner and dog in Wimbledon. Discovering flight simulation when the 3x CD FS2002 was released. He then followed the natural progression up until P3D, where he switched platforms to X-Plane 11. When he is not working or flying (sat at his desk), he enjoys playing the drums, rowing, cycling and running.
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