Microsoft Flight Simulator launches on PC on August 18

Recap: The Flight Simulator series got its start way back in 1982 with the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0. The franchise was regularly iterated over the years but seemingly became less of a priority after the 2006 launch of Flight Simulator X. The next version, Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, didn’t arrive until 2014 and was more of a bundle featuring DLC and minor tweaks to its namesake than a true sequel.

The next installment of Microsoft’s popular Flight Simulator is set to take off on August 18 and will be available in three different editions featuring a varying number of planes and airports.

In an era where developers have increasingly moved away from true-to-life simulators, Microsoft has continued to focus on realism as a core component.

The new game features more than 1.5 billion buildings, two billion trees, roads, mountains and rivers, real-time weather and traffic patterns as well as highly detailed and accurate cockpits with realistic instrumentation.

For the best experience, you’ll want the most powerful hardware you can afford in order to crank up the eye candy although according to Microsoft, you can get by with a minimum of a Ryzen 3 1200 / Intel Core i5-4460, Radeon RX 570 / Nvidia GTX 770 and at least 8GB of RAM running Windows 10.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition will retail for $59.99 and includes 20 planes and 30 airports. For $89.99, you can upgrade to the Deluxe Edition which features five additional aircraft and five more international airports. At $119.99, the Premium Deluxe Edition is the most expensive but also the most inclusive with 30 planes and 40 total airports.

All three are available to pre-order from today.

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