It was June 2019 when Microsoft first announced the return of its popular Flight Simulator franchise. As promised, the game is available for everyone now, although it's been in private alpha testing for quite some time. Now, general availability is here.
To celebrate the release, Microsoft is releasing a free "Aviators Club" livery set that can be claimed through the in-sim marketplace. It's available between tomorrow and September 30 for anyone playing the new game.
The first iteration of Flight Simulator launched in November 1982, nearly 38 years ago. While that in itself gives the game a storied history, that also makes it the longest-running software line that Microsoft currently runs. It even predates Windows, which debuted in 1985. There have been plenty of iterations over the years too, the most recent bring Flight Simulator X and Microsoft Flight.
But the new Flight Simulator brings the game back to its roots all while pushing it forward, using modern technologies. It uses Azure AI and Bing Maps to stream the real world, and it also includes things like real-time weather. It's the real world you're flying over, so you can go fly over your house, local landmarks, and more. More features are coming too, such as virtual reality.
Flight Simulator comes in Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe flavors, with increasing amounts of airplanes and hand-crafted airports in each one. Standard is included with Xbox Game Pass for PC. Microsoft had originally planned to make the game for Xbox consoles as well, but it's been quiet on the effort. If you want to check out the game, you can find it here.