An updated Microsoft Flight Simulator is launching for PC on August 18th, the first release of the game since Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition back in 2014. The hyper-realistic flight simulator series has been running since the 1980s.
By the looks of the preview above, the new game is set to have some stunning visuals and photorealism. A new day and night engine will allow players to fly at any time of day for the first time, and players can use a checklist of instruments to set the difficulty level, so if you want to do lots of checks like in a real flight you can but if you just want to fly around you can do that too. Weather in the game will be live based on whatever part of the world you're flying in.
Pricing gets confusing — Pricing for Flight Simulator is a bit complicated as Microsoft is releasing three separate versions. The standard edition priced at $59.99 will include 20 planes and 30 airports. The deluxe edition will cost $89.99 for five additional planes and airports. The premium deluxe edition will include 10 more planes and airports than the deluxe edition and cost $119.99. Different editions also get different planes as you can see in the chart below. If you're a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass for PC you'll get the standard version for free.
Just get Game Pass — To be clear, all versions of the game can fly to any airport in the world. The difference between the editions is the super-realism. Airports that are "included" with each edition are getting simulation-level detail. San Francisco International Airport is included with every version, for instance, but if you want it to look hyper realistic you'll need to buy the premium edition of the game. The standard edition just includes a version of San Francisco's airport generated by Bing Maps. There will likely be upgrade passes available separately if you decide you really like the game after trying it and want more high quality airports.
Since Flight Simulator will be included with Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch, it could open up the game to more than just flying enthusiasts. Xbox Game Pass costs $4.99 per month and offers access to more than one hundred PC games including Halo 3 and Fallout 76.