If any game seeks to raise the bar for all video game experiences, it's Microsoft Flight Simulator. This incredibly ambitious title combines the power of modern gaming PCs with Microsoft's Azure cloud technology and two petabytes of worldly information to create a gorgeous and realistic depiction of our planet. With it, you can fly anywhere at any time. This return to form is already proving to be an amazing accomplishment on PC, with critical and consumer acclaim. However, the game is still nowhere to be found on Xbox consoles, despite earlier promises when the game was initially revealed.
If you're excited for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox but are worried about playing with a controller, check out some of the Best HOTAS Controllers for Xbox. Microsoft Flight Simulator will also almost certainly be a visual showcase on Xbox Series X|S, so consider one of the Best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X|S while you're waiting for the game to release.
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.
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What is the latest news for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox gets its first trailer, release information - December 11, 2020
After months of relative silence from the team at Xbox, Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox has been shown off in its first dedicated trailer. Even more important than the beautiful new trailer is that we finally have a release window for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox — summer 2021.
What is Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
Microsoft Flight Simulator is already here for PC, and released 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. This allows 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 different hardware compared to what's recommended for PC players. Still, it should be the exact same game feature-wise, albeit optimized with simpler controls and likely toned down graphics. Microsoft Flight Simulator is indeed landing on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, which should reduce the differences drastically. As far as the older Xbox One generation is concerned, I wouldn't get your hopes up.
When is the release date for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
It's been a long wait for any concrete information on Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox, but we finally received a new trailer and release window from Microsoft in December. Microsoft Flight Simulator lands on the Xbox Series X|S in the summer of 2021. Unfortunately, this is still a ways away, and it means Microsoft Flight Simulator won't arrive in time for the holidays on Microsoft's new gaming consoles. However, it's great that we now have a definitive time frame to look forward to.
Eagle-eyed players may notice that there's no sign of the Xbox One generation of consoles in this announcement. That's because it seems Microsoft Flight Simulator is going to be exclusive to Xbox Series X|S, rather than a cross-generation title that spans the entire Xbox One family as well. While this could be disappointing for those still holding on to their older consoles, it shouldn't be surprising.
While the plan may have been to release Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox One as well as next-gen Xbox's, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a game that can push even the beefiest computers to the max. It may not have been feasible to make it happen at a decent quality on the Xbox One generation's aging hardware.
We'll keep this section updated with any new specific launch information about Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox.
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 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, but Microsoft Flight Simulator will 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. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundles Xbox Game Pass for both PC and consoles, as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud) under one monthly subscription.
Where can I watch the trailers for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
There aren't a lot yet (okay, maybe just one), but here are all the dedicated trailers and gameplay videos we've found for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox!
Will the PC version be held back by Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
Another big question regarding Microsoft Flight Simulator on 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 entirely understandable. However, a recent virtual Q&A was quick to assuage these fears, stating that the teams' efforts to realize their goal of bringing Microsoft Flight Simulator to Xbox consoles have 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.
Things have changed a good deal since this Q&A, as the decision has seemingly been made to drop support for the Xbox One generation of consoles in regards to Microsoft Flight Simulator, but that makes this all the more true. Consoles have never been closer to gaming PCs in power and features than with the Xbox Series X|S, and both of those consoles should be able to provide an excellent experience in Microsoft Flight Simulator, albeit with some changes to UI, controls, and more.
It's not clear just how much of a downgrade there will be in the visual department, but the Xbox Series X|S line of consoles are impressive in their performance.
Will the Xbox Series X and Series S get optimizations for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox?
As Microsoft Flight Simulator is apparently exclusively coming to Xbox Series X|S now, you can be assured that both next-gen consoles will have specific optimizations for Microsoft's aviation-themed simulator.
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 full advantage. Exactly how the Xbox Series X will showcase Microsoft Flight Simulator is unknown, but it's a pretty safe assumption it'll look and play incredible.
The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, is a more affordable next-gen console that matches the Xbox Series X in several key ways, but most compromises on GPU, or graphical, capabilities. As Microsoft Flight Simulator is very GPU intensive, this means the Xbox Series S will likely play Microsoft Flight Simulator at lower resolutions or visual fidelity than its much more powerful bigger sibling.
Slightly unrelated, a very clever person discovered that Microsoft might have been testing VR for the Xbox Series X|S in Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is an incredibly cool tidbit of information.
Will Xbox Game Pass feature Microsoft Flight Simulator on 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 bringing every Xbox Game Studios title to Xbox Game Pass.
Now that we have a release window for the game, we also have further confirmation directly from Microsoft that Microsoft Flight Simulator is certainly going to make an appearance through Xbox Game Pass on consoles too. For many newcomers to the flight-sim genre, this will be the best way to play. Don't expect the more premium versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, however, as it'll likely just be the base game that is included.
Is Xbox Play Anywhere supported by Microsoft Flight Simulator on 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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