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
American Samoa, The Marshall Islands, Mauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, The United States Minor Outlying Islands, Wallis and Futuna
Antarctica, Fiji, New Zealand
New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Australia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, The Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea
Japan, The Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palau, Timor-Leste
Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan
Cambodia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Myanmar
Bangladesh, Bhutan, The British Indian Ocean Territory, Kyrgyzstan
India, Sri Lanka
The French Southern Territories, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Seychelles, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen
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
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
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
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
Cabo Verde, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
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.)
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
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)
Pitcairn, The United States of America (Western)
The Cook Islands French Polynesia