Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 gets August 18 release date, preorders live

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Icon A5
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Icon A5 (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Flight Simulator targets an August 18 release, marking the arrival of its next cloud-powered entry in the world of virtual aviation. The hotly-anticipated entry tackles the simulation genre on an unparalleled scale, leveraging in-house satellite data, and AI to create a faithful representation of the globe. Further layered with foliage mapping, real-time weather, and other external sources, it positions Flight Simulator as one of Microsoft's conceptually ambitious projects on the horizon.

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With Microsoft Flight Simulator launching in mere weeks, preorders have simultaneously gone live, with three flavors up for grabs. The three Flight Simulator editions further feature the same base content, with an accurate globe, with the same worldwide visual fidelity, and advanced flight models. The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition ships with 20 planes and 30 handcrafted airports, available for $60 as a one-time purchase, or through its Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.

Microsoft also sells a Deluxe Edition, with an additional five planes and airports for $90, while the Premium Deluxe grants 10 further planes and airports for $120. We also see a limited physical disc-based release, sold through Aerosoft in Europe.

Microsoft is only talking its Windows 10 release through its integrated storefront at launch but tells Windows Central it hasn't ruled out other platforms like Steam for a later date. "We have nothing new to share regarding additional versions, but our goal is to have 'Microsoft Flight Simulator' available on as many platforms as possible," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

For the latest on Microsoft Flight Simulator, don't miss our roundup of everything you need to know, including our latest on the closed beta, and the top features to watch.

Related: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 System Requirements: Can my PC run it?

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.