Microsoft issues update on Flight Simulator 2020 Xbox One release

Microsoft Flight Simulator Belly Vl
Microsoft Flight Simulator Belly Vl (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator launches for PC on August 18, with an Xbox version to come.
  • Developer, Asobo Studio, states its Xbox One version has aided with optimizations, helping "improve the PC version at the same time."
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator is yet to receive an Xbox One release date.

Microsoft Flight Simulator continues to shape up as an impressive cloud showcase on a global scale, fusing the hit simulation series with satellite data and cloud backing. The result brings unmatched authenticity for virtual globetrotters, with over two petabytes of data feeding its open world. But for its August 18 launch, that ambition remains tied to the PC.

The company has outlined plans to bring Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 to the Xbox console family but continues to stress its latest as a "PC-first" project. The studio initially serves an established PC following its first iteration, while remaining tight on when Xbox players will be ready for take-off. But already promised for Xbox One, with the next-gen Xbox Series X console scheduled to ship this holiday, the title has a clear opening on the platform. In the meantime, the studio continues to reiterate more to come "at a later date."

Microsoft Flight Simulator Vl3 Rain

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft recently hosted a virtual press briefing for its upcoming Flight Simulator release, and while the Xbox One version was off-limits, we did learn more about how it relates to PC. The group Q&A touched on its Xbox One development, and whether the near decade-old hardware has held back the scope of the project.

"No. We are trying to have the best visuals on every single platform, and it's another layer of optimization," said Martial Bossard, lead software engineer at Asobo Studio. "By the way, the Xbox will help us to optimize the product, so it will also be a benefit for PC. There is nothing PC will lose from the Xbox. It's basically the opposite. We're doing the work to have a better experience on the Xbox family, then we will improve the PC version at the same time."

It suggests a comparable core simulation headed to Xbox, treating its old console akin to a low-end PC. It follows almost one year of closed-alpha community testing on PC, intending to nail optimizations for launch. The final PC vision is an impressive showcase following our recent hands-on opportunity, positioned as a robust platform for its multi-year journey to come. It supports a broad range of hardware at launch, and you can check the full PC system requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator right here.

Microsoft Flight Simulator hits PC on August 18, with its Xbox release date still to be announced. With few details on the Xbox version as fall rapidly nears, it appears availability in 2021 could be on the cards.

Matt Brown is 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.

  • I am assuming this will not be a Play Anywhere title, and you will have to repurchase on both platforms? Seems that has been the trend with the first party Microsoft games.
  • This is an Xbox Play Anywhere title; meaning that if you buy it through the Microsoft Store (not Steam) then you'll have it both on PC and Console. I'd offer a link, but I don't have enough local rep to post URLs. That said, there is an FAQ article from Flight Simulator development titled "Microsoft Flight Simulator Pre-order FAQ" on their ZenDesk that explicitly states this.
  • Why would it be unless it was a launch on both at the same time