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Microsoft Flight Simulator arrives for Xbox Series X summer 2021

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The game is included in the Xbox Game Pass program

A turboprop plane flys through multiple cloud layers at sunset. Image: Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios

Microsoft Flight Simulator will be available on the Xbox Series X beginning in the summer of 2021. The game will be available for purchase as a download and as part of the Xbox Game Pass program. The announcement was made Thursday during The Game Awards.

The remarkable simulation game launched for Windows PC on Aug. 18. It blends real-world satellite and photographic data with live weather, air traffic, and more to create a realistic interpretation of the entire planet. Microsoft Flight Simulator allows players to fly anywhere they want using VFR (visual flight rules), as well as more sophisticated navigational techniques. It also includes dozens of airplanes, as well as an in-game store for adding new scenery, gameplay scenarios, and more. All of that will be making the transition to console.

Flight Simulator is a demanding piece of software. Even state-of-the-art graphics cards from Nvidia and others can’t sustain 30 fps at 4K resolutions. It’s unclear what sort of wizardry developer Asobo Studio and Xbox Games Studios have used to make the game playable on consoles, but fans and critics alike are interested in seeing the results.

Developers have also worked hard to include many control methods in the PC version of the game. That includes flight sticks and HOTAS (hands-on throttle-and-stick) solutions, yokes, rudder pedals, and even head-tracking peripherals. The game is also surprisingly playable on a controller, based on our time using that control option with the PC version.

Finally, expect the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator to be available only as a digital product. There is a physical version available for PC players, but it comes on 10 DVDs.