OT: Microsoft Releasing a New Flight Simulator August 18th, for PC & XBox

I resisted the urge to get "Red Dead Redemption 2," and "Rising Storm 2: Vietnam" is my newest game on any platform; but this is one I will fork up for. I still enjoy FSX (their last great FS and released in 2006), from-time-to-time and am considering taking some flight lessons.

The detail and graphics engine are insane. The terrain will be streamed off the cloud, based off of Bing Maps (players are encouraged to locate and buzz their own homes). This will be 150GB install, and the live-world updates are tapping into a whopping 2 Petabytes worth of data The biggest surprise of Microsoft Flight Simulator: it makes Bing cool!

There will be 3 versions, with added content (additional detailed airports and additional aircraft) in each:

  • Standard $59.99
  • Premium $89.99
  • Premium Deluxe $119.99

Preorder/Main Page

Required/Recommended/Ideal PC Specs

The rig I built in 2016, mainly to play ARMA 3 at its highest with lots of realism mods, looks like it'll be in the recommended-ideal range.

You can watch the developers explain the many features, in this playlist:
Uploads from Microsoft Flight Simulator

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Can I fly through the hole of the Shanghai World Financial Centre?

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Not having played it hands-on yet, hard to say. But unless there are clipping issues with that object/building, I would think any small acrobatic craft would be able to.

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I don't think that I had heard of this building before, but upon googling it, it looks like a gigantic bottle opener.

The barefoot bandit rejoices!

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

Definitely wanna pick this up. Anyone got a good yoke they recommend for Xbox One X?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

my newest console is still a PS3 (purely for NCAA 14), but I understand that it's designed to work fine with the XB controller. I'm sure there some good communities dedicated to flight games on the XB that can give you recommendations

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I can't wait to land 747s on Aircraft Carriers

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Might be the only way to fly those beautiful birds soon

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They're mainly flying cargo now. In the age of ETOPS and the advances made with 2-engines, the airlines are pretty done with the Jumbos.

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Just FYI, an official release date hasn't been announced for Xbox. You can download it on PC with Xbox Game Pass (for PC) when it launches on August 18th, but not on Xbox.

Flight Simulator Release FAQ

Real-world updates include live weather. If there's a hurricane, you'll be able to fly into it.

I've never played a flight sim before but I'm definitely getting this game. Will start off using a PS4 controller on my PC but I'll eventually get a flight stick if I sink enough hours into the game.

That's how they get you, once you have the flight stick then you're gonna need the rudder pedals, and then a captain's chair and sooner than later you're gonna have 8 4k monitors to show all viewpoints while having a interchangeable dash that you custom built so you can change out your controls to match the plane you're in. It gets expensive really quick.

Me 3 weeks after the game launches:

There are some impressive builds out there

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I want something like that for the Ace Combat series!


I've been using this for years now. You can twist the control column or using the front toggle on the throttle for yaw/rudder:

Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Joystick

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In looking through Amazon's listings there is either a misconceived demand issue, or supply chain issue. The proper HOTAS are either out of stock, discontinued, or only being sold as renewed.

So is it real time? like If i want to fly from NY to LA in the game it'll take 6 hours real time?

They'll really get after ya

Yep. Realtime has been part of most Flight Sims for decades

But you can also speed up time

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Maybe it's just me, but whats the point in flying for 3 hours in the middle of the night across the world when you can't see anything? Do they randomly throw-in a bird strike to see if you react in time? Throw in a random terrorist trying to take over the plane? How do they keep you engaged? Is it just 3-hours-in-the-dark-with-console-lights?

The only thing I can tell you is it's incredibly relaxing and nearly as realistic as you care to make it. But if we are being honest, nobody flies actual flight plans much longer than 30 mins. After that it's how creatively you can get on and off the ground.

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Airforceproud95 is one of my favorite youtube channels 😃

It's an illusion
It's all an illusion

Second this. I'm not a huge flight sim guy (or any video games really, only due to time constraints) but know/am interested enough about flight to understand a bit, but he's absolutely hilarious.

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

I forgot how hilarious these are

I cried watching this! Hot air balloon! 😂😂😘

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Depends on the user.

As stated by wasknick, the casual gamer doesn't do 3-hour flights. Then there's the hardcore simmers, who are sometimes part of "virtual airlines", which are groups of people who fly a set of planned routes; there are even systems which simulate passenger loads and pay out virtual currencies.

And then there's real-world pilots who are trying to improve their skills at a rate cheaper than the $200/hour it takes to rent an actual plane. It might just be doing touch-and-gos at the local airport, long-distance navigation training, or it could be talking to actual people acting as air traffic control for communication practice. I've certainly done 3+ hour flights online before doing it real-world.

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Ah yes, good ole groundpound69

I'm a complete FS noob so I'm not certain if any of this already exists, but there really should to be some crash effects... and definitely different servers to separate those that are taking things seriously from the fun crowd or maybe breaking it down even further:
- Serious flight sim
- Arcade
- Dog fighting
- Screwin' around

and imagine what fun could be had with merging the build concepts from kerbal space program in to this... that would be awesome.

VR support for this new flight sim is expected down the road. If so, I might finally that gear.

I had no idea, the technology had advanced so much in gaming. Just look up VR Dogfights for DCS.

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This is awesome. I remember my first exposure to M$ Flight Simulator was the 95 version. It was god awful and I could never really figure out how to land the plane or do anything productive after takeoff, but I'm super intrigued by this new release. May have to look into it.

Most importantly of all:

We can simulate and recreate coaching searches/rumors, in real-time! Don't even need FlightAware!

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Long review from Ars released today... I've never played, but I may be up for making the investment in this game. This could be epic. It also sounds like those with the MS game pass will be getting access at no additional cost. No word yet on availability on XBox, but I have to imagine this is going to ready on the OneX release day.


I have played FS X a little bit and it was OK but this sim looks amazing. My son has 2.5 years of Game Pass Ultimate stacked up in his account (had 2+ years of Xbox gold and then did the $1/month conversion thing) and I'm eager to see when this shows up on Xbox. If it isn't close to launch date, then I'm going to requisition his account on my PC to test this thing out.

As someone who has MS Game pass ultimate I may be very tempted to give this a go. That all said how strong of internet is going to be needed to run this with it being cloud based?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Here's the answer I found

Not having ever played the prior games in the series I'm tempted to dive in to this one, and probably going the gamepass route. My current system specs are in-between the recommended and ideal, so I'm in a decent position to not have to make any upgrades (including the internet connection).

Well we will be testing my 15 mbps DSL internet then, I have the exact ideal specs listed there so I should be okay I guess.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This graphics are freaking amazing on this. And my rig isn't even running things at the top settings.
Cessna 172S in-game (I'm approaching Tangier Island)

My getting training last night in pretty much the same aircraft

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What's the rig ya got it running on?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Built this in 2016:
-Old Sunbeam ATX Case
- Samsung U28E590D 28" 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) LED-backlit Monitor
-1 x ASUS Z170-A LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
-1 x Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1151 91W BX80662I76700K Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics ...
-1 x Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GPU
-1 x G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C14D-32GTZ
-1 x CORSAIR RMx RM850X 850W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Nvidia Sli ready and crossfire support ...
-1 x SanDisk SD8SN8U-512G-1122 X400 M.2 2280 512GB Internal SSD
-1 Samsung 1TB 860 QVO SSD
-Seagate Hybrid Drive ST2000DX001 2TB MLC/8GB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s NCQ 3.5" Desktop SSHD
Write Review
-Soundblaster Z
-LG Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner WH16NS40 - OEM

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I'm running a similar setup - i7 6700k, 64GB RAM, GTX 1060, RAID 0 SSD as the main data drive. Running @ 1080p was fine on the "high" settings. Was disappointed the refresh rate would not go beyond 60hz (I have a 144hz monitor). The game was definitely playable, but I could sense how lacking my rig was for the graphics performance. I was also surprised at how long the load times were - dont know if that had anything to do with the stream downloads from Bing or if it was just that there is so much to cache, but with my RAID array that has read times ~950MB/s I was frustrated that it took as long as it did for the 2 flights I did last night.

I'm fairly certain I'm signing up for gamepass tonight just to get this. Just need to make sure that I have enough free space on my drives to get it installed.

Me - waiting for the content downloads... good thing i'm not capped with my service provider.

Welp... finally downloaded and decided for a trial flight from Dulles to Blacksburg... how did it turn out?

just outside of Roanoke... oil pressure went to hell, low on fuel, and landed in some trees about a mile short of the runway... fun times!

EDIT: "Landed" as in crashed and burned

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Gonna be honest, scrolling past (and after a few flights in FS2020) I legitimately thought that the second picture was just a custom camera view from the sim as well. It's pretty incredible what they've be able to do with this.

Not my content - this is from the Virginia Tech reddit. Someone flew by the Drillfield. Yikes at Torg Bridge. Nevertheless, I'm going to get gamepass and check this out!

Also flew over RVA & UofR, trying to look for my childhood home nearby that campus. Pretty impressed.

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I flew over Lane this afternoon... it's awful. It looks more like a 3 story office complex on all 4 sides with a big courtyard in the middle.


I read it's hit and miss though. Michigan's looks really good, lots of detail.

Yeah it depends on the city - Msoft and co only modeled around 350 cities and locations worldwide to be more photorealistic, using a bunch of photogrammetric data in addition to the satellite view and map data the rest of the world gets - Ann Arbor was one of those cities, Blacksburg clearly was not haha.

Still, the game is supposed to be wide open for mods, so I'm sure we'll get people filling in portions of the world before too long...I know there's a ton of publicly available LiDAR data out there for spots around the world, so maybe someone will start pulling that or something!

Yeah Blacksburg clearly wasn't given the same treatment as the 300+ cities they used the photogrammetric data to make nearly photorealistic...we just have the regular AI rendering of bing maps data like the rest of the world.

The result is office park Lane Stadium (and the field house is apparently made up of a ton of separate buildings now):

Meanwhile, they gave Austin, TX the full treatment (makes sense, it's a state capital), and of course that includes UT's stadium (image from r/cfb, not me):

DC wasn't even given the full treatment I saw. This could be due to security reasons, but don't believe that has stopped google maps satellite view anymore. The Washington monument is a skyscraper and the mall has a bunch of industrial looking warehouses on it.

Trying out the 787 last night, ORD to IAD

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

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Can you download certain areas for play offline or with a limited internet connection? I'd love to play but dunno if my 15 mbps internet would handle the date stream well.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I believe that's the case and part of the reason for the hefty download during the initial installation (~90GB). I dont know if there is a way to force offline mode, but I think the game will automatically switch to offline mode if the connection isn't streaming content fast enough or not connected at all.

Im trying this on my Laptop, cant wait to see how well it doesnt work.

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Just bought 2 years of Xbox gold to add to my current subscription. Gonna now convert it to the ultimate pass for 1 dollar. I heard Microsoft has stopped selling 12 month gold subscription codes, but I found digital codes at GameStop. Ended up with 26 months (they have me 2 months for turning on reoccurring payments) plus the 3 months I had left all transferred to ultimate pass.

I am going to try to play it on my budget pc build. I think it is just above the minimum specs.

So I though about doing this, but the conversion rate doesn't look like it will save any money.

Did you find a cheaper source of Xbox gold that what I know of?

Wait, what?

Xbox gold is $60 for a 12 month code. I found it at GameStop's website. So I spent $120 for 24 months of Xbox gold plus $1 to convert. Ultimate Game Pass is $15 per month. 24 months of ultimate pass would be $360.

Edit: To compare monthly rates I spent under $5 per month for over 2 more years of ultimate pass since they gave me 2 months for setting up reoccurring payments. If I bought ultimate pass directly it would be $15 per month.

Edit2: Are you confused how the conversion works? For the first time you convert Xbox gold to Xbox ultimate pass, you spend $1 total and the balance of your gold subscription left turns all to ultimate pass for up to 36 months. If you've already done this promotion once, it won't work, but I believe there is a way to do it again for $1 plus paying one month of ultimate pass for $15. If this is you you'll have to google how to do it.

No, I get how the conversion works.

What I was missing was that they still had the first-time conversion deal. Edit - I thought they ended the conversion last June.

I already converted once, was hoping you knew a way to get the previous conversion rates. The new conversion rates don't give you any discounts. In fact, there is no discount - none at all - for buying longer term compared to month to month.

That's puzzling to me, unless they plan to raise the price to what the market will bear.

Wait, what?

If you let ultimate pass expire and then upload more gold after, it will convert 1:1 again after buying only one month of ultimate pass. Found the process here.

Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for.

Wait, what?

they were doing the $1 conversion earlier this year and the deal was even better than this. It was $1 for the entire length of your current subscription, up to 3 years. So I went to Amazon, bought 3 years worth, and converted it all to Ultimate for $181 total.

Not sure if this applies to just the console or if PC was included, too, but I'm set through 2022.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Yeah that's what i did. I just still had months left on the subscription and didn't feel like getting a third year. There's a way to get the deal a second time as they are still doing the 1:1 conversion, but it requires you to pay for one month of ultimate pass plus $1 to convert the rest I believe.

It is both. Game Pass Ultimate gives you access to the Xbox games and PC games. My son has used the Xbox extensively and I started using the PC tonight for flight simulator.
I've got GPU until March 2023, similar to your situation but already had a half-year of gold remaining so added 2 years and the bonus months.

Toms Hardware did a good analysis of the hardware performance (link). Good information to have because I was half-way to convincing myself to upgrade my graphics card this weekend. Turns out there is a lot of demand from the CPU as well and it appears to be as big of a bottleneck (if not more so) than the GPU.

Yeah, I was watching some people stream it last week and they were complaining about the framerate. I was slightly confused because they're using 2080s on 1440p and I'm still using a 1080 at 4k and was getting the same framerate as them. Then I found out their CPU is a lot older than mine.

although I did note from the article:

If you have anything less than a Core i9-9900K, you won't even benefit from a GPU faster than the RTX 2070 unless your resolution is at least 1440p.

Seeing as I'm rocking a RTX 1060 6GB, and an i7-6700k, an upgrade to a 2060 or 2070 would be a much less intrusive and expensive upgrade compared to a new mobo/cpu/memory combo. That said i'm hesitant to make a purchase at this exact moment because of the 3xxx series just around the corner, and there may be the usual price cuts coming. Rumor mill indicates that the next cards will still be PCI-e 3.0 so I wouldn't be losing out on anything when I do upgrade the rest of my rig later this year.

I'm in the same boat, looking to upgrade the CPU chipset and GPU but waiting for the new stuff so I can get last years stuff on a cut price. Currently gonna trade up for a AMD 3700 and a 2060 super once tings get discounted a bit as I'm running on a i7 and a GTX 970 still.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm aiming at a similar upgrade - Ryzen 9 3900X, X570 mobo, RTX 2070 (maybe... at least a 2060), and a PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive (maybe two... one for boot, one more specifically for MS Flight Sim).

I'm hesitant to upgrade the MOBO unless I think it would be necessary but I dont see why I would need to. I think I'll end up going with the Ryzen 7 3700X and a 2060 super as I dont feel like paying for a 2070 or a 2080 and the 2060 super benchmarks really well for 1440p high res which is what I'm setup to play on. Trying to set it up for 1440p and max settings for high and ultra settings for a few years and replace the need for a console.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm on an intel platform so the mobo upgrade is necessary. My reason for the X570 is solely for the PCIe 4 lanes combined with a PCIe 4.0 NVMe card. My current card (Samsung 950 pro) peaks around ~1500 MB/s in reads... the newer PCIe 4 cards claim upwards of 5000 MB/s. If I have the money for it I'll be putting those in a RAID 0 config and hopefully stretch those #s even further.

I'm in a similar boat on the chipset but due to budgetary restrictions I'm gonna grab the GPU first and then look for a CPU and mobo to match if its no where near enough.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Not to make light of the Hurricane Laura, but it will be an interesting test to see how microsoft's real time weather data factors in to the game this week.

actually did that in a cessna citation, while Laura was still offshore of the Yucatan. lotta chop, clouds, and rain.

looking at the multiple gamer tags on the horizon, I wasn't the only one

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Can you add weapons to your Cessna? Or is it a basic model?

I visited Western Montana last week. So I decided to sim flying over some of the places I visited.
Glacier National Park

Whitefish Lake

Small airstrip at Wise River (did some off-roading nearby, thanks to a friend's Polaris Rzr)


Someday, when I finish my training, I hope to make these flights IRL.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

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I need to make a flight over the boundary water area between MN and Ontario (voyager's national park)

Yikes, you guys have me interested. I am the mother of all noobies in all things gaming but am wondering what I would need beyond this:

On order and expected tomorrow is a Ryzen 7, 4700U, OctaCore processer with Radeon graphics and 8 GB of Ram (plan to add 8 more at least), and 512GB NVMe SSD. In some respects I gather this is good while in others (Ram?) may be barely acceptable.

What else do I need? A yoke/joystick for sure. This computer is meant to serve to facilitate other diversions and probably will stay away from xbox which I know nothing about as well or stuff like that and only want to be able to give it a try for a little fun. Would there be costs beyond purchasing a standard edition at first to start experimenting and figuring out how it goes? I have a stand with a fan for extra cooling if heat could be a problem. Decent wifi, that stuff are available too.

I'd be interested to know if there are decent linux alternatives. I have noticed at least one in distro repositories over the years.

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. " Rocky B.

Definitely want to get something at least as good as a 3090

Recruit Prosim

EDIT: The mileage on the video card is going to vary. You can get by with an Nvidia 1060, but if you have the means I would wait a few weeks until the RTX3060 is available. Its going to set you back close to $500 but that can be easily justified vs buying a new Xbox since just about every Xbox game will also find its way to the PC.

I still run a 970 and I can play Destiny 2 on high at around 70-80 FPS so the cards can last a good bit unless youre an ultra only 4k person.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm running flight sim @1080p and my graphics card is s t r u g - a - l i n g. This game is the new Crysis in terms of stress-testing your PC... My processor isn't helping either (older i7-6700k, but still plenty good), but my bottleneck is with my GTX1060 and will be the first thing to be upgraded.

EDIT: For context - even with my setup (i7, 1060, 64GB RAM, SSD game drive) i'm averaging ~30fps with current settings which are mostly set in the middle in terms of quality.

For those in NOVA - I was at the microcenter in Vienna earlier and they had about a dozen of the Logitech X52 Pro HOTAS on sale for $199. I resisted the urge but I may find my way back tomorrow.