Microsoft Flight Simulator release date and pricing confirmed

Written by Mark Smith on Thursday 16 July 2020 3 minute read

While this website is primarily focused on Microlight flying and local aviation news in Northern Ireland, I do intend on branching out and covering a few other areas, one of which is flight sims!

In fact, I’ve already got a decent article on using flight sims to aide in flight training which you can read here.

Based on what I’ve seen, these are just some of the things, I as a GA pilot am most interested in:

  • Highly dynamic flight model, using real-time calculations on 1,000 data points on the aircraft (no more flying on rails)
  • Incredible looking clouds and weather in general
  • Wind modelling that interacts with terrain (flying 2,000ft or below I get hit by everything)
  • The clouds
  • Real-time localized weather with showers you can avoid etc
  • Ability to fly VFR anywhere
  • Did I mention the clouds?
  • Built in multiplayer

As a general aviation pilot I don’t care at all about flying Airliners in a sim, it’s low and slow I want and this looks to be perfect for it. With the ability to fly VFR anywhere in the world (so they say) it’s a must have!

Release Announced

Therefor it was welcome news this week to finally get a general release date for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator or Flight Sim 2020 as it’s being called by us sim lot! I’ve been very closely following the trailers, partner series videos and loving the tech videos that have been put out over the past months. This truly looks like they’re pushing the limits of current tech and to be honest, makes everything else look like utter turd (my opinion!).

Like seriously, look at this!

The release has been confirmed as 18th August 2020 which at the time of writing is just over a month away!

I was expecting it to be end of the year or even next year so was pleasantly surprised to see this!


What’s also good is you don’t need an incredible PC to run the game, it can even run on xBox.

My current setup currently sits right in the recommended range with an i7 and GTX 970. I was worried I was going to have a sub-par experience as the graphics that are available are incredible, but maybe that won’t be the case!

I won’t know for sure obviously until it’s released but this was really promising.


I was worried, as well as others, that this was going to be released with a subscription model. One of the main reasons was that the sim works by streaming data from Microsofts Azure servers and also uses these to compute AI placement of buildings and trees etc. This costs money to run so a subscription model could support this.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case, the game is a one time purchase, with three available price plans. I think they’ll also have a marketplace built into the sim for add-ons so will probably make money from purchases, possibly taking a few % like the mobile apps stores do. This is just a hunch though.

For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in each version have a look at the official announcement page.

At first glance it may appear pricey, but, bear in mind how much each of these detailed airplane and airport models would cost individually and you’re also getting the rest of the sim with every airport in the world as well. It’s pretty good value!


You can now pre-order the sim and select from one of the different plans (I’m not sure if you can upgrade from say Standard to Deluxe). They are offering it via one off payment or in the case of the Standard edition either a one off payment or through an XBox live subscription.

Hit up this link to get your pre-order in!

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