MS Flight Simulator 2020

It launches on August 18 2020 for Windows 10. It will be included in the XBox Game Pass (PC included).

I just spent an obscene amount of money on both X-Plane and Prepar3D, figuring Microsoft will probably push back FS2020 until next year, but here we are. I still think there is a good chance MS will screw this up, but I’m definitely excited.

Raza (lapsed PP for 35 years)

I’m looking forward to playing this, I’m more of a world-sim fan than an airplane fan, so glad it’s on PC Game Pass and I can try it for “free.” I’m sure I will enjoy flying around my area and over various other interesting parts of the world, but not sure how long it will stay fun. We’ll see.

I’ve been following the developments pretty closely, and I pre-purchased today. Even though I never got very far in my real-world pilot lessons, I developed a pretty deep love for FS 2000. While my attempts at landing are still…far from textbook, I take a great deal of joy from just exploring the virtual world. And now that world seems infinitely more beautiful, and accurate, and explorable.

I can’t wait.

I’m like control-z id play it long enough not to crash 30 secs after takeoff look at the pretty pictures then go back to the ones where my plane/spaceship shoots other planes/ships

is it just pc or have they made an x1 version?

Excuse my ignorance, does this mean it’ll be available on Xbox, not just PC? If so, my nextgen console purchase decision may have been made.

Not ignorant at all. In true-to-form Microsoft marketing prowess, they’ve branded all their gaming with the “XBox” moniker, yet they are releasing (first) on the PC/Windows 10.

I have yet to find a solid MS source that indicates when it will release on XBox, but some MS forum posters said they expect it to. I can’t find anything more definite than that at the moment.

Hmm. Without a keyboard or dedicated flight sim controller, I’d have thought a console version would be a bit lacking.

I’ve been using X-Plane and Prepar3d fairly heavily in the past 10 days or so, using an old MS Sidewinder joystick. Curiosity got the better of me and I unplugged my joystick and fired up my connected XBox 360 controller. To my surprise, X-Plane was perfectly happy with it, showing me all the default mappings in a nice graphic.

I performed at least as well with the controller than I had with the joystick; the smaller size was actually helpful and more comfortable (and I’m used to that controller). While the throttle wasn’t an analog slider, the throttle-up and throttle-down button arrangement worked fine.

Yeah I used to use an Xbox controller with MSFS 2004 on the Mac. It worked just fine but I still used the keyboard for some things. I guess clever use of the available buttons, radial menus etc, would work. Thrust, joystick, gear, flap, and trim are all that’s really needed to hand.

I have not played a flight sim since the 90s (Falcon 3.0 I think).

I am seriously considering this if it lives up to the hype which has me believe I can fly anywhere in the world and land at any airport. Want to land at John Travolta’s house (he has his own runway) you can do that.

Only some airports will be highly detailed but you can still fly anywhere.

Might even have to look into a HOTAS for this.

One cool thing is that they use deep learning techniques to fill in the detail. I don’t know if they’re doing anything special for runways, but for stuff like buildings and vegetation, they start with low-res satellite imagery and use it as a hint for where to place the virtual objects. The resulting geometry doesn’t exactly match the real world, but it’s going to be close enough for almost all purposes. For example, you’ll see a forest with individual trees, and the borders of the forest will be correct, but the placement of the individual trees won’t be correct.

They could do the same thing for runways, getting the basic orientation and markings right, but then inferring fine detail like the runway lights or the texture on the hangars.

According to reports (see link below), it has very nearly every “airport” (including private grass strips) in the world, at 37,000. That probably includes Travolta’s, I imagine (I see private airstrips in my local area show up in, say, Prepar3d).

To be clear: I’m skeptical (it’s Microsoft) but cautiously enthusiastic. We have some good flight sims right now, with many gigabytes of available downloadable scenery.

But one thing, if true, makes FS2020 different: dynamically downloaded scenery.

It seems the base install, at 150 Gb, is only part of potentially 2 Petabytes of data. IF you are connected to the Internet (not a requirement for play), FS2020 will dynamically stream scenery (and weather) info depending on your available bandwidth.

See the article below for details.

I’m one of these people in the “FS2020 or X-Plane 11?” camp. It looks like the graphics in FS blows X-Plane out of the sky, which can be expected - X-Plane was never particularly meant to showcase the graphics - but will anybody be able to add new planes to FS, or would we be stuck with the ones “in the box”?

I honestly do not know but out of the gate they are selling three different versions with the more expensive ones including more airports and more planes.

So, clearly, they are monetizing that content which leads me to believe they have no interest in allowing modders to make their own. They want to sell that stuff…not give it away for free.

Look at the Train Simulator sim. Supposedly, if you bought all the DLC, it costs over $9,000. I expect Microsoft will do the same with this.

That said, I am just guessing. I have absolutely zero proof of any of this.

The developer reports say that some form of SDK is in development, and it will include the ability to create aircraft. However, a recent development update says that the SDK is still in “wish list” mode.

As to the question of “free vs. paid,” this exists in X-Plane as well; quite a few third-party planes in X-Plane are being sold rather than made available for free.

According to several sources (example at the link below), FS 2020 will include a marketplace. There don’t seem to be hard details from Microsoft yet, at least that are public. Some theorize that it will include a mix of paid and free content. I also recall seeing this past week (but don’t recall where) that vendors set their own price (but I assume MS takes their cut, maybe similar to Steam). It’s also theorized that the official marketplace won’t be the sole source of add-on content; that users can procure from wherever and install into the appropriate folders, just like now.

Sorry I’m doing these out-of-order, but wanted to give some opinion about this: I’ve had X-Plane 11 for a few weeks (along with Prepar3d). I’ve played it a lot the past 5 days. In terms of accuracy of the flight model (for consumer-levels of accuracy), it feels the closest to me. Doing an approach in a C-172 feels just like my time doing just that IRL - complete with my over-control. It’s a bit “foggy” compared to others, but having flown mostly in FL, that’s pretty realistic.

But X-Plane doesn’t have the easy-to-use flight planner of others, and it’s in-flight map is really flight maps/sectionals - which is cool, but that’s the ONLY map - you can’t easily use it for sightseeing. I’ve also had issues with elevator trim not working. And for VFR/sightseeing, the scenery is only good because I’ve downloaded/installed the (free) Ortho4XP files for the states I fly (but the scenery is more realistic than Prepar3d with $50 of paid scenery).

For me, unless the initial reviews are horrid, FS2020 is a “must buy” for me. I’m sure there will be ways the others are better - flight model, ATC, flight planning…don’t know. But for the price point, I’m very eager to try it out, and FOR ME scenery is a big deal.

[quote=“Raza, post:17, topic:915223, full:true”]FOR ME scenery is a big deal.
[/quote]
That has always been a difference, if not the main difference, between Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane - X-Plane had the better flight model, but FS had the better scenery, especially for things like buildings.

For those interested Microsoft has announced a partnership with VATSIM. Near as I can tell this is a multiplayer addon which allows communication between virtual planes and virtual airports in the sim to communicate with each other as they would if they were actually flying.

I have zero experience with this but it seems pretty cool. Apparently the VATSIM community manages to keep some good rules of behavior around this so the simulation of flight communications is as close to real as they can manage.

Does anyone here have any experience with it?

I could go onto the avsim forum to ask this, but I’ll try here first: is it possible to use this sim as an engine base for some other developer to license? I ask because I wonder if it would be possible to craft a combat sim out of it (WWII or Jet Age or even WWI).