Microsoft Flight released and its FREE!!

Microsoft Flight released and its FREE!!

Mar 22, 2012

The long awaited Microsoft Flight is finally here. February 29th saw the release of Microsoft’s latest offering in the Flight Simulator market. January 22, 2009 was a very sad day for me and anybody who is a Flight Simulator fan when Microsoft announced that it was discontinuing its development of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I personally have been playing Flight Simulator from its early origins on the IBM in 1982 when it was released by subLogic. It certainly has come a long way from its very primitive vector based days.

Microsoft has certainly achieved its goal of making Flight Simulator more appealing to the general public and gamers. They have started by making the game FREE to download. The initial download is only 1.4 GB so if you have a good Internet connection you are up and running pretty quickly with the installation being automated.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 1

Your Microsoft Flight experience starts with you at the controls of the Icon A5 under the direction of a female voiced instructor. The scene is set over Hawaii and you navigate a series of baloons and then land. The first mission is very easy but you soon realise that the whole experience has changed significantly from the traditional Flight Sim. I went to use some common keys assuming that the key mappings were the same only to find that the entire keyboard has been re-mapped. The Sim has also been designed so that those without flight sticks can use the mouse for navigation…but I’ll stick to my joystick.

Flight Simulator was well overdue for a re-write and Microsoft Flight has been redeveloped from the ground up making use of the current technology offerings including the newer Direct X shader models. The improvement in the graphics is noticeable with improved use of light and shade, weather and fog. I am running Microsoft Flight on an Intel i5 with 8Gb of RAM and a Radeon 6950 with all the graphics options on High and the simulator was running quite nicely. The first thing I noticed was the speed at which the simulator and missions load. You are no longer sitting on a black screen for minutes at a time hoping the little progress bar makes it all the way across the screen.

Although the Simulator is free to download and you can have hours of fun with the free missions, Microsoft aren’t giving it all away. Eventually you get bored with the Icon A5 and start looking for more aircraft only to find that these must be purchased from the Games for Windows Marketplace. The only additional scenery at this stage is the Hawaiian Adventure which comes with an additional plane; the RV-6 will cost you 1600 points which means you need to buy the minimum 2000 points (about $30AUD). There is more scenery namely Journey to Alaska" due for release later this year.I think that given the limited scenery and aircraft selection most Flight Simulator enthusiasts will be sticking to Flight Sim X but I think with the friendly way that this is packaged Microsoft will achieve its goal of attracting more people to the Flight Sim product.

Microsoft Flight Virtual Cockpit

In Summary

Although I am impressed by Microsoft Flight  for the moment I am content with making flights out of Caboolture (YCAB) in my PA-28 and taking in the incredible photo realistic scenery provided by ftx/orbx http://fullterrain.com/.

 

Experience Microsoft Flight for yourself – Its FREE

To get started simply browse to www.microsoftflight.com and click on the red DOWNLOAD AND PLAY NOW button. The installation is quick and easy and you will be flying around Hawaii in no time – Enjoy

– Glenn Challen
MicroEd Computers and Internet
Glenn Challen - MicroEd Computers

 

 

 

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