If any game is seeking to raise the bar for all video game experiences, it's Microsoft Flight Simulator. This incredibly ambitious title combines the power of modern gaming PC's with Microsoft's Azure cloud technology and two petabytes of worldy information to create a gorgeous, realistic depiction of our planet. And you can fly anywhere, at any time. This return to form is already proving to be an amazing accomplishment on PC, but the game is still nowhere to be found on Xbox consoles, despite earlier promises when the game was initially revealed.
What's going on with Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox? We compiled everything you need to know right here, including when the game could release on your livingroom console.
Take to the skies, day one
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Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription with an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PC's. That means access to Microsoft Flight Simulator on PC, day one, as well as the future Xbox release when it arrives.
What is Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox?
Microsoft Flight Simulator is already here for PC, and releases across the globe on August 18, 2020, marking the long-awaited return for Microsoft's flight sim series. Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most ambitious games in recent history, utilizing the power of the cloud to map out the real world in real time, allowing players to fly across environments in more detail and beauty than ever before. For such a project to come to PC is a no-brainer, but Microsoft Flight Simulator was promised to be released on Xbox down the road as well.
What differences will exist between PC and Xbox isn't certain, as current Xbox consoles are running on older, underpowered hardware compared to what's recommended for PC players, but it should be the exact same game feature wise, albeit optimized with simpler controls and toned down graphics.
When is the release date for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
With Microsoft Flight Simulator dropping for PC starting August 18, 2020, the question on everyone's mind has been "When does it come to Xbox?" Unfortunately, we don't have any exact information regarding that, beyond "eventually." Microsoft Flight Simulator is already an extremely ambitious project, even with the added power of modern gaming PC's, so getting it to run on even the original Xbox One, released back in 2013, will likely take time to optimize properly. If we had to speculate, I wouldn't expect the Xbox release in 2020, as it's more likely to happen in 2021, while the team behind the game works to iron out any issues and polish the game's many systems.
We'll be on the lookout for any concrete information regarding release date, so be sure to check in often. In the meantime, we know it's still coming, we just don't know when.
What is the pricing information for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
Just like with release date information, we can't confirm exactly how Microsoft Flight Simulator will be priced on Xbox consoles, but we can surmise it'll be very close or exactly the same as the PC release. This is because Microsoft Flight Simulator has been confirmed to be an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so you'll be able to purchase the game once and gain access to it on both platforms. Because of this, it's pretty safe to assume prices will be the same to avoid any confusion and make it easier for players.
This means there will be three different versions, between the base version and two premium versions that add more airplanes and handcrafted airports to land at. Not only that, Microsoft Flight Simulator should also come to Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox consoles, so players who are subscribed will be able to play the standard edition the moment that it comes out, which is fantastic.
If you're curious, you can check out how the various editions are priced for PC below, or make sure your Xbox Game Pass subscription is renewed so you can jump in and start flying as soon as possible.
The Legend Returns
Prepare for take-off.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 takes to the skies on August 18, promising a cloud-powered globe, with authenticity on an unmatched scale. It's headed exclusively to Windows 10 PCs, with an Xbox release planned for the future.
Will the PC version be held back by Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox?
Another big question regarding Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox is whether or not the difficult port to gaming hardware dating back to 2013 would hold back the PC version's glory, which is completely understandable. However, a recent virtual Q&A was quick to assuade these fears, stating that the teams' efforts to realize their goal of bringing Microsoft Flight Simulator to Xbox consoles has actually aided the game on PC, helping them optimize more effectively for lower end PC hardware and open up the game to even more players.
With how graphically impressive Microsoft Flight Simulator is on PC, it's inevitable that there will be certain concessions to get the game to run on Xbox hardware, including reduced graphics, simplified control schemes that can be mapped to a controller, and possibly lower framerates.
However, the team's contents allude to Microsoft Flight Simulator's optimizations across hardware, meaning the game could scale from Xbox One / S, to One X, and finally to the Xbox Series X with increased performance and visual fidelity at each level.
Will the Xbox Series X get optimizations for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
Information being scarce is starting to become a trend when discussing the Xbox release of Microsoft Flight Simulator, but that is also the case with the Xbox Series X. Microsoft's next-gen gaming console is coming towards the end of 2020, and will feature massively improved hardware and gaming capabilities over the previous generation, even beating out the current champ, the Xbox One X.
With Microsoft Flight Simulator representing the pinnacle of visuals and technical feats from Microsoft, and the Xbox Series X representing the latest generation of power and gaming features, it's almost guaranteed that Microsoft Flight Simulator will be able to take advantage. How the Xbox Series X will showcase Microsoft Flight Simulator is unknown, but this is a pretty safe assumption.
Bear in mind, it is possible that the Xbox Series X-optimized version could come at a later date even than the standard Xbox release, but hopefully the later release will offset this and we'll get the optimized version at the same time.
Will Xbox Game Pass feature Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox?
Microsoft Flight Simulator is already featured on Xbox Game Pass for PC, at least in its standard form, and the title is confirmed as Xbox Play Anywhere, so it's practically guaranteed to come to Xbox Game Pass for consoles the moment the Xbox version is out. This is doubly true because Microsoft has previously committed to bring every Xbox Game Studios title to Xbox Game Pass. What I'm trying to say is, Microsoft Flight Simulator will come to Xbox Game Pass for consoles, Microsoft just hasn't said that yet.
As of now, Microsoft hasn't said much about the release date for the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and that includes whether or not it'll come to Xbox Game Pass. But from everything we do know, it would truly be a shock if it did not. That being said, continue to take this with a grain of salt or two until the moment Microsoft confirms this for themselves.
Is Xbox Play Anywhere supported by Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox?
With Microsoft's aversion to sharing information about the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to receive much the same amount of info here, but that isn't the case! In an official FAQ, Microsoft confirmed that their upcoming flight sim is in fact an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning if you buy it now on PC, you will be able to play it on consoles when it eventually releases. This is awesome information, and should greatly aid potential buyers when considering which version to buy, as it'll still be available on consoles.
This doesn't necessarily mean that cross-save will be available, but Xbox Play Anywhere titles typically sync progress across platforms as well, and cross-play is a distinct possibility. Those details will have to wait a little longer, but we at least know that Microsoft Flight Simulator is Xbox Play Anywhere. Because of this, the Achievements list will be identical and shared across platforms.
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Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription with an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PC's. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.
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Buy one of these gaming PCs to play Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a demanding game and it needs quite the PC to run it comfortably. If you don't have a PC yet dedicated to gaming, you'll want to pick from one of these to really bring the cockpit to life.