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Release date, pricey special editions revealed for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator will have different airport and aircraft options depending on which pricey package you plump for.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator will have different airport and aircraft options depending on which pricey package you plump for.

Remember Flight Simulator? It was one of those things that everyone had, but nobody could really remember buying. Where the cool kids were having fun blowing things up on X-Wing or Tie-Fighter (or, indeed, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter) the Flight Simulator aficionados were trying not to blow anything up. It was the corduroy of flight simulators. Even its name is the video game version of a tin of Ronseal wood stain.

The new Flight Simulator – called Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is very imaginative – looks rather interesting, though. Gone are the weirdly flat worlds with, you know, the thing you could land at or on, like the airport or aircraft carrier, being actually 3D. Microsoft Flight Simulator utilises data from Bing Maps and processing power in Microsoft’s Azure cloud for beautifully realised, accurately scaled 3D worlds.

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It still promises to be technical in the extreme (and potentially corduroy dull), sure, but being able to flypast places you know in real life that are realistically recreated? It’s suddenly a lot more appealing.

But if one of those places you wanted to see was Heathrow Airport? Well, that’s going to cost you. (We’re not quite sure why it would be, but to each their own.)

There will be three versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator when it releases on August 18, 2020. They are the Standard, Deluxe and Premium editions – priced at £59.99, £79.99, and £109.99 respectively – come with different selections of aircraft and airports.

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So if you want to fly the Boeing 787-Dreamliner, for instance? You’ll need the Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium edition. You don’t get to land at Amsterdam Schiphol, Cairo International or Chicago O’Hare unless you buy the Deluxe edition, while Heathrow, San Francisco, Dubai, Frankfurt and, weirdly, Denver are all gated behind the Premium edition.

No, we don’t get it either but, as we said before, to each their own.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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