Download of the Week: Microsoft Flight

By on February 29, 2012, 10:30 AM

As promised, Microsoft has made their latest flight simulator game available to the masses as a free download today. The announcement came a few hours in advance of their Windows 8 Consumer Preview event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will undoubtedly catch most of the attention today.

"There was an overwhelming demand for access to the 'Microsoft Flight' beta and the number of requests was far more than what we initially planned for," said executive producer Joshua Howard. "We received amazing feedback from the beta participants and it's great to see this level of excitement from fans."

The free-to-play base game allows players to fly around the island of Hawaii on the Icon A5, an unreleased $140,000 seaplane that uses regular gasoline rather than aircraft fuel, and requires a sport pilot license to operate it. Gamers who sign up using their Games for Windows LIVE account will have access to achievements and receive additional free content, from extra missions to new planes, including a Boeing Stearman. Of course, additional content such as new aircraft and regions will also be available for purchase.

Needless to say, the title isn’t a replacement for the discontinued Flight Simulator franchise but rather a new take on it. Previous releases up to Flight Simulator X in 2006, while popular, were very much niche products regularly supported by third party mods and add-ons. Microsoft is hoping this new approach will reach a broader audience without alienating flight enthusiasts who cherished the series' realism and customizability.

The lack of cheaply-priced DLC could make it difficult to lure in users, however. Available at launch will be a stripped-down version of the P51 Mustang, a fighter that debuted in World War II, for $8; the Maule M-7-260Ca rugged utility aircraft featuring a cockpit view for $15 (the P-51 only has an exterior view); and the Hawaiian Adventure Pack, which adds "hundreds of miles" to explore the entire Hawuaii island chain, 20 new missions, new challenges, and the Vans RV-6A, a two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplane.

The game is available for Windows PCs only with at least a 2GHz dual-core processor, a 256MB DirectX 9 compliant graphics card, 2GB of RAM, and 10GB of hard drive space. For an optimal experience Microsoft recommends a 3GHz dual-core processor or better, at least a Radeon HD 5670 or Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card, 6GB of RAM, and 30GB of hard drive space.




User Comments: 18

Got something to say? Post a comment
Raswan Raswan said:

Wow. Those specs are crazy. I better feel the salt spray on my face.

Guest said:

Those specs will become laptops low end computers in a two or five years.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

My bad, those were the recommended system specs. I've updated the post with both minimum and recommended specs.

Guest said:

The specs in the article are the recomended ones. Here's the Minimum specs:

Dual Core 2 GHz

256 MB Graphics card capible of shader 3.0 (DX 9.0c compliant)

10 GB HD space

Win XP SP3 or better

2 GB RAM

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

MS should release this for the iOS platform with a price between ($9-$19) and sell upgrades as in-app purchases. It would fly into top 10 grossing apps.

Guest said:

... at least a Radeon HD 5670 or Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card ...
Since when a GeForce 9800 is as powerful as a RadeonHD 5670? o_O

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh look this requires yet ANOTHER client to play the game... Not the most convenient multi step process but it is now downloading at a less than stellar 200-300 KB/s. As for the system requirements, even the recommended requirements aren't that high, if you can't afford a $100 graphic card you might as well stick to flash games. I'll fire it up and report back once finished downloading, maybe today.

Qrox Qrox said:

Guest said:

... at least a Radeon HD 5670 or Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card ...
Since when a GeForce 9800 is as powerful as a RadeonHD 5670? o_O

Haha. When I saw the specs nothing seemed off. Then I see your comment and did the math. Somewhere there had to be a mistake. 9800 isn't even close to each other.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

Yeah, this game sucks. They ruined the franchise IMO.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If you like flight simulators, my suggestion is to bypass this (even though it's free) and go with "Rise of Flight." Hella fun simulator/game with considerably better graphics and options than MS Flight Simulator.

Morgawr said:

Qrox said:

Guest said:

... at least a Radeon HD 5670 or Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card ...
Since when a GeForce 9800 is as powerful as a RadeonHD 5670? o_O

Haha. When I saw the specs nothing seemed off. Then I see your comment and did the math. Somewhere there had to be a mistake. 9800 isn't even close to each other.

Actually the 9800 GT has about the same if not more performance the the HD 5670. It just doesn't support direct X11.... and it's also a lot more power hungry.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Disappoint. All that I can say, granted it is Free, but this isn't exactly my type of game. I put a couple pictures up if anyone is interested, this is how the game looks maxed out.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I played the beta, it was pretty enjoyable.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Can i play it with my magic stick? Flying is boring. Mount guns on the planes, M$!

indiangamer said:

if it will help me BF3 jets then i will download it........

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Intel i7 980 extreme, 6 core processor, HT enabled 12 Vertual cores.

24 gig ram. Triple Channel.

Western Digital VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm 300 gig HD, with 200 gig free space..

2 x GTX-560-Ti video cards.

And it says my Microprocessor in not compatable... say what...

Loaded it anyways and played it on maximum settings...

works good no glitches...

fun game...

howzz1854 said:

can you fly with a mouse? or does it require a joystick. i mean is it playable with a keyboard/mouse?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Horrible game in my opinion. M$ has turned this into an arcade game, rather than a flight sim.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.