So, there I was being happy, reading tweets when an article passed by. It was an article from July 2020 no less, although I did not notice the date at first, the title ‘The hidden costs of Microsoft Flight Simulator’ had me a little captivated, so I took a look. In all this, let’s be upfront. I have an issue with Microsoft on several levels, they screwed up their console, they (as I personally see it) betrayed their customers and I am not a Microsoft fan. Yet, there Flight Simulator is different, it is a ‘game’ for a select group of people. I am not a sim fanatic, but I get it, we all have needs and for them Flight Simulator is ‘da bomb’, I do not object. I bought my first flight simulator when I got my CBM64 (with disk drive). I bought the program in the early days for around $175 (Dfl 299), I was not bonkers about the game, but it was a new level of gaming. It came with a book, not a small manual, but an operations guide that was formidable, 4 maps and a disc. I never regretted buying it. I got one on the PC later on, I got the flight simulator X and one more. Even as I was not a great fan, the Flight simulator is a different level of gaming, so when I saw the new one announced and I saw first images on YouTube, my mouth dropped. It was overwhelmingly amazing, it was the best a non pilot could get and that person would get as close to flying (without the $300 an hour lesson fee) as humanly possible. So this article got me piqued.
Now, as I said, I am not Microsoft fan and bashing them is almost a civil duty the first hour and done for personal pleasure the 6 hours that follow that, but I do try to keep a sense of fairness, so the article felt bad, it felt insincere. The article (at https://www.pcinvasion.com/hidden-costs-microsoft-flight-simulator/) gives us the following “However, simulation titles, particularly flight sims, are notorious for nickel-and-diming their customers. On day one, the new Microsoft Flight Simulator will continue this trend that it birthed right out of the box.” As I see it, this is their clumsy approach to a few items, the first are the three Simulators out there. There is a standard, a deluxe and a premium edition for $59, $89 and $119. We get “the simulator itself, the entire world map, over 37,000 airports, 3D telemetry of select cities, and 20 flyable aircraft, and replaces 30 airports with hand-crafted versions. It is available for one-time purchase”, the deluxe edition has 5 additional airplanes and 5 handcrafted airports and the premium edition has 5 more above the deluxe edition. If you are new, you might not want to go the distance and stay with the standard version, yet, I get it, the sim people do want more, they want the Beechcraft Baron, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Cessna Citation Longitude and so on. Even though we see ‘extra’ no one is looking too deep at what the standard has, and it has plenty. Like the Boeing 747-8, the Aviat Pitts Special and 18 others. As for airports we might look at that, but I found the information given “Each World Update has replaced additional procedurally-generated airports with hand-crafted models. World Updates are available in all editions for free, bringing the number of airports available in the Standard edition up to 45”, so in the ‘FOR FREE’ side, we see 15 additional airports. In this, the hand crafted versions replace the procedurally generated ones, it is more precise, it is the one you want and that is if you want to go to this airport. The simulator has 100% world coverage including over 37,000 airports, 2 million cities, and 1.5 billion buildings. There are programs out there requiring the same pay with only 1% coverage (if they get to 1% that is).
As such, I have no idea what the writer of “it’s really the price difference of this new release that has some folks reeling. The Standard edition will start at $60, but the Premium Deluxe is double trouble with a gut-churning $120 asking price” is bitching about. The simple sim matter is that sims are a niche market and if you are not a sim person, or if you want to find out, you can either pay the $59, or get the Xbox game pass (it is included there), with the world (on your computer), you will be engaged for months, if not years to see if you are Sim material and that is part of the choice, a niche market is not for everyone and the makers of that program will not cry if you are not. Microsoft Flight Simulator has millions of fans and well deserved so. I enjoyed playing them, I am not great at them and I get that some people pay the $200 for real flight controllers. Yet above all else, the FS2020 blew me away ad I was honestly not ready to be that impressed, but they achieved that and that too requires attention. I will happily slap them when they do something wrong, but not here. Microsoft got the FS2020 really really right and perhaps if I ever get another overhyped PC I will get this flight simulator as well. CNet gives us “The minimal specs are fairly reasonable, but for the ideal graphics, you may need a more powerful setup”, which is is to be expected. Yet when you consider that you will need a XFX AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT RAW II for 4K images, some get scared and some accept this. Yet when you get to see:
You know there was a reason that you bought that card, however the starter will find plenty of amazement in the low resolution setting which needs a GeForce GTX 770, however this card is $379 with the premise that if you have no hardware this close, your PC is decently outdated to begin with. As such, I am always happy to slap Microsoft around, but not in this case, they really outdid themselves for the sim fanatics and they will not hesitate to Pau the $50 more for 10 additional planes and 10 additional airfields. They will get over the all the other things soon enough and as far as I can tell, whomever want to slap the FS2020 around better be loaded for bear, when you can claim “100% world coverage including over 37,000 airports, 2 million cities, and 1.5 billion buildings” you did something really really right and that too is worthy of mention, excellence will always be admired in gaming, whether it is your cup of tea or not, excellence is where it is at, excellence creates immersion and that is key to any game hoping to become a legendary product.