Bottom line: Xbox has announced a new edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator due out next month that adds a wealth of content and features including early access to DirectX 12. Best of all, existing players won't have to pay a single penny to upgrade to the Game of the Year edition.

Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, revealed in a recent blog post that the Game of the Year Edition will include five new aircraft – the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the VoloCity, the Pilatus PC-6 Porter, the CubCrafters NX Cub and the Aviat Pitts Special S1S – as well as eight new airports across Central Europe and the US:

Germany

  • Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP)
  • Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA)
  • Kassel Airport (EDVK)

Switzerland

  • Lugano Airport (LSZA)
  • Zurich Airport (LSZH)
  • Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO)

United States

  • Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF)
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX)

The release will also add information about 545 previously missing airports in the US in addition to featuring six new missions, 14 new tutorials, an updated weather system, a dev mode replay system and new photogrammetry cities.

The biggest addition here is support for DirectX 12, which Neumann referenced as “early access to DX12.” Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate, so we’ll have to wait to see what exactly it entails.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year Edition launches on November 18 and will replace the standard edition. Pricing hasn't yet been shared, but the original edition currently commands $59.99, so that's a safe bet. Best yet, it’ll be available as a free update for existing players on Xbox and PC.