Fly Around the World Without Leaving Home Thanks to a New Version of Microsoft's Flight Simulator
Microsoft is making it a bit easier to hit the skies while you’re staying at home. The tech giant is re-releasing its Flight Simulator video game after a 14-year hiatus.
Flight Simulator 2020 is the reboot of Microsoft’s popular game, which puts players in the pilot seat. Players select their flight paths and then take the aircraft from takeoff to landing, anywhere around the world.
The hyper-realistic game allows players to create and navigate flight paths anywhere in the world. Much like real pilots, once in the air, players must balance speed and momentum, avoid obstacles, and keep the plane safely in flight. There are options to accelerate flight time or skip certain parts of the route — but home-tied travelers will likely want to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Pieced together using Microsoft Bing mapping imagery, players can fly over the Swiss Alps, near Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue or even close to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, all with highly detailed imagery.
You can select a light plane or a wide-body jet and even navigate through live, current weather conditions in the newest version of the game. Night-flying is also newly supported and virtual pilots will be able to experience the glow of city lights as they jet around the world.
A virtual reality update is coming to the game later this year, which will make the game even more realistic. "In VR, you're very much immersed in the experience,” Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, recently told CNN. “Your head sort of bobs around a bit as the air shakes the plane, but also when you make sharp turns or flips, so that's all now improved."
The game is available August 18 for Windows and Xbox, starting at $59.99.