Approximately ten years after the dissolution of the Aces studios, Microsoft is now apparently returning to the flight simulator industry. At the world’s largest games fair, E3 in Los Angeles, the company announced a new Microsoft Flight Simulator. The program for Xbox and Windows 10 will be released next year. Although the functions of the flight simulator are not yet known, Microsoft has already leaked some information. Accordingly, the new Flight Simulator will be based on satellite data and the cloud computing platform Azure.
The program will also be available via Xbox Game Pass. This is a kind of Netflix for computer games. According to Microsoft, all customers will receive access to over 100 high-quality PC games for a monthly fee. The US software company is breaking new ground in the flight simulator industry with such a licensing model. Currently, subscriptions are only common for navigation data or map material, for example from providers such as Navigraph.
The original wording on the product page reads: “Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next generation of one of the most popular simulation programs. From light aircraft to wide-body jets, fly the most detailed and breathtaking aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day and night and experience realistic, challenging weather conditions.”
New launch for the Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft’s last attempt to launch a successful successor program for the then popular Flight Simulator X failed in 2012. The arcade game Microsoft Flight did not convince the flight simulator community or other casual gamers. So the software company from Redmond near Seattle stopped developing the flight game relatively quickly (We reported).
Microsoft then sold the source code to two different companies. This resulted in the very successful Prepar3D simulator by Lockheed Martin, which is also very popular among ordinary flight simulator pilots. Not for nothing Prepar3D is regarded today as the unofficial successor of FSX.
The development history of Flight Sim World from Dovetail Games was less successful. This was meant for the entertainment market, but could not assert itself due to lack of functions and missing overall concept. Therefore the project was finally stopped only three years after the first announcement (We reported).