The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will get one of the most relaxing and beautiful games of 2020, we've just learned. So, if you're tired of the never-ending argument about Cyberpunk 2077, get ready for the best version of Microsoft Flight Simulator on the next-gen Xbox — which it doesn't seem like is coming to the PS5.
The news broke on Thursday afternoon, with a blog post (opens in new tab) from Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, who specified that the game will take off in Summer 2021, and that we're to expect seriously high quality experience. And some folks will get it for free, too.
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Neumann declared that "Simmers on Xbox Series X|S can expect the same level of depth as the PC version," which makes sense when you remember how the new Microsoft consoles have been referred to as PC-like. The new Xbox versions will also get the same World Updates, DLC and upgrades that the PC version is getting.
As our Xbox Series X review noted, Microsoft's new console is not lacking in speed or power at all, which is why we're not entirely surprised that we're seeing big promises about Microsoft Flight Simulator on the Series X.
But we'd be curious to see how well the demanding flight simulator will perform on the less powerful Xbox Series S. Neumann didn't specify any performance differences between the Xbox Series X and Series S. But the latter is likely to run Microsoft Flight Simulator at a 1440p resolution with a few settings dialled back, While the full 20 teraflops of graphics power in the Xbox Series X could deliver a smooth flight sim experience at 4K.
Nowhere in Neumann's post was a PS5 version mentioned, and none has been rumored since the PC release. And while this might not be the big traditional AAA game that's got tons of action and could sell consoles, it's the kind of console exclusive that could leave PS5 owners (who don't have good gaming PCs) wonder what they're missing.
Flight Simulator is a Microsoft first-party game, so not a prime candidate for a PS5 version. But the Redmond company seems more open to letting its games spread to other platforms these days, so never say never.
As a PC game, Microsoft Flight Simulator impressed the heck out of us when we played it over the summer as a way to travel when travel is impossible. In one post Tom's Guide's Mike Andronico noted: "When you’re flying over New York or California from a distance, it feels like you’re looking down at the real thing."
Of course, this visual fidelity was only possible thanks to a pretty decent gaming setup, as he played on a desktop PC with an Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU — and Microsoft itself recommends a GeForce RTX 2080 or AMD Radeon VII for the best results.
Oh, and to make matters sweeter? Microsoft Flight Simulator will be available via Xbox Game Pass at launch.