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Microsoft Flight Simulator will ship on 10 DVDs, still require a download to launch

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The Microsoft Flight Simulator retail release will only be available in Europe

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A Cessna 172 Skyhawk, complete with a Garmin G1000 Glass cockpit instrumentation, over mountains in the pre-alpha of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Captures in Sept. 2019 via Microsoft. Image: Asobo Studio/Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator launches for Windows PC on Aug. 18, and the vast majority of fans will purchase the game digitally. Nonetheless, Microsoft is partnering with a European company for a physical release. The physical edition will ship on 10 double-sided DVDs, and come packed in a special accordion-style box. It sounds outlandish, but it’s actually a boon for those with slow or severely constrained internet connections.

Details of the retail release come via Aerosoft, a developer and publisher of simulation hardware and software. Mathijs Kok took to the company’s official forums on Monday to make the announcement. The boxed set will include 90 gigabytes of data, and will still require an update from Microsoft before the game will launch.

Kok said on the forums that the discs include “the simulator code itself” as well as “the world and aircraft delivered by Microsoft.” Those who purchase the retail version will have the same access to the rest of the game’s content, which is drawn from more than two petabytes of Bing data including satellite imagery and photogrammetry data.

“When you install, the sim will updates all files immediately from the servers and you will get the very latest code for the simulator itself and all content is updated,” Kok said. “This is very much a simulator that depends on the cloud if you want to use it to its full potential. So the boxed version makes it possible for people on a slower internet connection to get the sim installed without downloading the ‘content’.”

While pricing for the physical copy was not announced, Kok indicated it would be close to the same price as digital versions of the game. Microsoft is currently selling three different flavors of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which range in price from $59.99 to $119.99. They differ in the number of available planes and hand-made airports included, among other things. Additionally, the game will also be available via Xbox Game Pass for PC on launch day.


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