Microsoft Finally Reveals Flight Simulator Release Date And Pricing

I’ve been excited for the new Flight Simulator game since Microsoft announced it last June.

Now we finally have a release date. The game is going into closed beta on July 30 and then Flight Simulator will be available for sale August 18.

  • The standard edition will cost $60 and will come with 30 realistic airports including New York JFK, LAX and Sydney and 20 planes including the A320neo and Boeing 747-8. That’s the one I’ll buy.

  • The deluxe edition will be $90 and has 5 extra realistic airports (Chicago O’Hare, Madrid, Cape Town, Cairo and Amsterdam) along with 5 additional small aircraft.

  • Premium for $120 will come with 4 more small planes and the Boeing 787-10 along with realism for Denver, Dubai, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, and San Francisco.

Boy the game is a system resources beast, though – it requires a 150gb of hard drive space, 8 gigs of RAM and a minimum internet download speed of 5 Mbps (but they recommend 20 and say 50 is ideal).

It’s been 14 years since Microsoft has released a new version of Flight Simulator. I’m genuinely excited by this, although I worry I’ll spend way too much time on this. I don’t play video games, it’s not a part of my life. That might be about to change.

Although how can you decide between playing this and playing the new game where you sit in your seat for an entire transatlantic flight that unfolds in real time?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Should we compare the number of blog posts both before and after August 18 to see if there’s a difference?

  2. Pretty ignorant here, but can this only be played on a PC? Can it be played on Xbox 360 or Xbox One? Anything else?

  3. I’m surprised the first comment wasn’t “Can we fly(crash) the 737MAX”?

    Those computer specs are hardly high. 8 GB? You can easily buy a 1 TB hard drive for well under $100.

  4. I wonder if you can buy an old version and run it on a slightly less able computer and slow internet speeds? Didn’t the old versions not even require internet?

  5. @Eric it will be for Xbox one, Xbox S And Xbox X along with the PC. The Aug 18 is the release date for the pc version only. The older the Xbox system the less stunning it will be but all from Xbox 1 on can play it. What I am sort of having a problem understanding is that since you are supposed to be able to land at any airport in the world, which is how they marketed it, I don’t get these airport limitations among the standard/deluxe versions. Maybe I am missing something.

  6. Recommended specs are 32GB of RAM, although I suspect the machine running that preview was at least 64 GB with the top of the line video card, expect to spend around $2k to run that game halfway decently. I just bought the new Alienware and it just barely hit the ideal specs for 2,500$ Having said that, I ordered the premium today and plan on spending enough time on that to get a virtual ATP lol

  7. @James, this game will be too intense to work via Parallels, VMware, etc. You’ll want to run it natively via Boot Camp. There are ways to create a Boot Camp partition on an external drive, though it’s a bit more difficult than the normal way, you’ll need to use a solid-state USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 external drive, and isn’t officially supported. You can legally download the Windows ISO from Microsoft and run it without a license too, but you won’t be able to customize and there will be a watermark in the lower right corner of your screen.

  8. @Ryan, the airport lists for each tier are the ones that have been handcrafted to look exactly like their real-life counterparts. Other airports exist in the game but they get generic-looking runways and terminals.

  9. Quote from the web to clear up confusion on airports included:

    “ALL of the circa 37,000 airports from around the world will be included. The ones listed are just going to be hand tweaked to increase realism. Other airports will use Bing maps and the program engine to simulate the airport. Alpha footage has shown that even the ‘default’ airports will be great.”

  10. @rich – It’s 8Gb of RAM (NOT hard drive space).

    1TB of RAM would cost a fortune.

  11. Which XBox should one buy to play this if they don’t want to go the PC route? I have no interest in other games, just want it to be able to play FS. Thanks.

  12. @Mike thanks for the info. That cleared it up for me.
    @Daniel I would suggest you do what I plan to do which is get the Xbox Series X This will bring you the closest in performance vs the pc. I would need A new CPU/Ram/GPU just to barely get to recommended specs And that would cost way more than the new Xbox. I am also getting the PS5 but without a good flight sim, this is the most economic way for now.

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