In one of the more surprising and welcome moments of Xbox’s E3 2019 presentation, Microsoft confirmed that they are working on a new Microsoft Flight Simulator game.
Simply titled Microsoft Flight Simulator, we’d call this a reboot of the franchise, but it’s not like there were any complex plot threads tying the series to its roots. Mechanically, it sounds like it will pick up roughly where the last new game in this series (2006’s Microsoft Flight Simulator X) left off. Of course, we’re really just making an assumption there as nothing has been confirmed yet so far as the title’s gameplay goes.
What we can tell you based on the game’s first trailer is that Microsoft Flight Simulator is going to be a stunningly beautiful game. While Flight Simulator titles have always been known for their advanced technology (which is partially enabled by the nature of the series’ gameplay), the new Microsoft Flight Simulator will bring the series to 4K.
The results of this transition look incredible. The first preview for the game showcases intricately modeled planes as well as almost photo-realistic landscapes. There are some particularly beautiful shots of what appears to be New York City and a flight over some crystal blue water. The most impressive visual feature we’ve seen thus far, though, is almost certainly the game’s lighting effects. Night flights in this game are going to be fantastic.
Actually, it seems that we can thank Microsoft’s Azure AI technology and satellite images for the game’s realistic visuals. It also sounds like there’s going to be a dynamic weather system in this title, so be prepared to see one of those beautiful sunny days turn into a nightmare flying scenario.
Here’s everything we know about Microsoft Flight Simulator.:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Trailer
The latest trailer showcases some of the airplanes you’ll be able to fly in the new game:
This extensive 30-minute Microsoft Flight Simulator video features new gameplay and some Q&A with the game’s developers. Take a look:
And here’s the debut trailer for Microsoft Flight Simulator:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Release Date
Despite being a traditionally PC-only series, Microsoft Flight Simulator will be released for Xbox and PC on August 18. A closed beta for the game is scheduled to start on July 30, and it will be available on Xbox Game Pass when it launches.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.