Why it matters: Microsoft Flight Simulator still crushes gaming PCs almost two years after release. This week, Microsoft brought it to Xbox Cloud Gaming, so subscribers can enjoy it on a range of lower-spec devices. Microsoft also announced the addition of some long-needed improvements to the Xbox app on Windows.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is now playable through the cloud for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Until now, it was only available for (a beefy) PC and Xbox Series consoles, but cloud streaming brings it to Xbox One, mobile devices, and lower-spec PCs.
Users can stream the game at up to 1080p and 30 frames per second and play it with standard Bluetooth controllers. The multiplayer is the same as ever, so everyone can play together whether on PC, Xbox, or the cloud.
The cloud version currently includes the first six world updates, which improved Flight Simulator renditions of countries like the United States, Japan, or the Nordic countries. World Update VII, which overhauls Australia, landed at the end of January for PC and Xbox.
As it brings the game to a wider variety of devices, the cloud also lets subscribers start it without the need to contend with its 150GB install size. Flight Simulator head Jorg Neumann told Eurogamer this makes development more straightforward.
"I have to move a bunch of data around [and] as you know, hard drive space at some point becomes really painful to manage. And when say an artist wants to put a fix up, he says, 'Hey, Jorg, can you go check this out?' and literally it takes me 15 seconds now...friction-free development is a beautiful thing," he said.
Asobo also released a major update to Flight Simulator this week. It refreshes the marketplace interface, adds a private match mode to Reno Air Races, and introduces a propeller simulation system. Flight Simulator receives DLSS support later this year.
The Game Pass update that brought Flight Simulator to the cloud also gives PC users more control over games they install through the Xbox app. They can now choose the install folder, where before, they could only choose between drives. It supports open-file access for some titles, which allows modding. Furthermore, game installations can now be repaired and moved.
These functions don't require reinstallation, and can be found by clicking on an app icon on the left-hand side of the Xbox app, then Manage > Enable. It's nice to see the Xbox app catching up with features Steam has had for years.