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Microsoft Flight Simulator Set for Launch on August 18 for PC, also free with Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta)

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Here's another one - lot more videos online now that the embargo has been lifted. This one was interesting because it's showing what northern ON looks like (I have always been skeptical of what the more isolated/remote parts of the world will look like). We've seen all the polished cities where they have very detailed textures/buildings, and a lot of the footage has been in the US and elsewhere). Performance- wise,I'd say it's pretty good, considering 4th gen i7 and a 1080.

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The game looks incredible. Not just the graphics, which are great, but just the sheer amount of content available. And the fact that you can try it for $1 using the Xbox Game Pass for PC promo is kinda nuts.
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Here's a video showing what Toronto will look like out of the box (the first half - second half is Cardiff, Wales):



Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris (note that this is one of the 'hand-crafted' airports) - looks amazing IMO:

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Thanks for sharing those videos @toguy. Game looks absolutely amazing, even better than I imagined when it was first announced
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Now that the embargo is up - I had a fantastic time with this in the alpha. I had it running on a three display setup with a HOTAS + peddles, no issues with the peripherals which was surprising. There is still a lot to be done in terms of performance optimization and the streaming isn't always perfect but overall its a lot of fun. The models and flight characteristics are distinctive, the weather effects are good and there's a large breadth of content. The team commented that they will be supporting mods too which is encouraging for the games longevity. It is still very much a flight sim even with the handholding toggles enabled so I'm unsure how it will be received by a random gamepass Xbox user but it will definitely please the sim crowd. It is nice to see Microsoft take an old IP and properly refresh it.

Big downside is the delivery model with the store is just absolutely awful. I had a miserable time in alpha just even getting the game to download and install properly. Microsoft really needs to nuke the Windows Store from orbit, its just a disaster. The Xbox beta app is solid but is still largely underpinned by the store. I keep hoping they just put Gamepass itself on Steam and call it a day.
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Redmask wrote: The team commented that they will be supporting mods too which is encouraging for the games longevity. It is still very much a flight sim even with the handholding toggles enabled so I'm unsure how it will be received by a random gamepass Xbox user but it will definitely please the sim crowd. It is nice to see Microsoft take an old IP and properly refresh it.
Did you try it with a controller at all? As long as there's some casual mode where you can get the plane in the air and steer it with gamepad easily enough I don't think it would be an issue for most people and will be important for this game to be good on Xbox consoles and get the mainstream attention it deserves. I played a bunch of Flight Sim X with a 360 pad, it was fine and I'd imagine gamepad support would be much better now.
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ReeGee wrote: Did you try it with a controller at all? As long as there's some casual mode where you can get the plane in the air and steer it with gamepad easily enough I don't think it would be an issue for most people and will be important for this game to be good on Xbox consoles and get the mainstream attention it deserves. I played a bunch of Flight Sim X with a 360 pad, it was fine and I'd imagine gamepad support would be much better now.
No, I didn't try with a gamepad but others in the alpha did and said it was fine. I'm sure it will be playable on the Xbox if people want to fart around in free flight but it's definitely a more niche experience than some of that crowd will be used to. There are a lot of hand hold toggles and you can auto-complete a lot of the pre-flight, have automatic landings and stuff like that but that's a good chunk of the experience. Free Flight will probably satisfy some people for a bit but after sight seeing the complexity is what keeps people coming back IMO. Trying different planes, mastering pre-flight, takeoffs, landings, proper communication with flight control, all of that stuff is really well implemented and core to the game. The game has good training and onboarding anyway, hopefully people have the patience for it because its very rewarding.
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Redmask wrote: Now that the embargo is up - I had a fantastic time with this in the alpha. I had it running on a three display setup with a HOTAS + peddles, no issues with the peripherals which was surprising. There is still a lot to be done in terms of performance optimization and the streaming isn't always perfect but overall its a lot of fun. The models and flight characteristics are distinctive, the weather effects are good and there's a large breadth of content. The team commented that they will be supporting mods too which is encouraging for the games longevity. It is still very much a flight sim even with the handholding toggles enabled so I'm unsure how it will be received by a random gamepass Xbox user but it will definitely please the sim crowd. It is nice to see Microsoft take an old IP and properly refresh it.

Big downside is the delivery model with the store is just absolutely awful. I had a miserable time in alpha just even getting the game to download and install properly. Microsoft really needs to nuke the Windows Store from orbit, its just a disaster. The Xbox beta app is solid but is still largely underpinned by the store. I keep hoping they just put Gamepass itself on Steam and call it a day.
Thanks for the feedback - definitely sounds promising. Are you able to elaborate further on performance? Were you getting reasonable performance considering your system specs? Did you have to tone down the eye candy in order to improve performance?
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toguy wrote: Thanks for the feedback - definitely sounds promising. Are you able to elaborate further on performance? Were you getting reasonable performance considering your system specs? Did you have to tone down the eye candy in order to improve performance?
Yeah overall it was very good. It was an alpha and they still made a lot of optimizations. I had everything dialed up near max and was playing at 4k instead of my usual 1440p so that's part of it, this was running a 3900x w/32GB of DDR4 on a GeForce 1080ti. I had some issues with texture pop-in. They use some online texture streaming so I wonder if it was related to the connection.
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Do they have 737 planes taking off from airports while you're flying around? I saw no planes in the air in the video

Is Toronto Pearson a handcrafted airport?
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No it's not but Billy Bishop is oddly, I didn't check it out though. I only really found out about the hand crafted ones late in the alpha when they started adding more but the few I saw had other traffic. Even the procgen airports are good though and have some traffic AI. You can also toggle weather conditions at airports based on real time location weather which is neat.

I did a 747 based run to LAX which was super neat. 25 minute pre-flight, it's no joke in this game.
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150 gigs of download for the game. This is brutal.
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badOne wrote: 150 gigs of download for the game. This is brutal.
Since there will be the option to play offline, essentially the base scenery for the entire world must be included with the standard install (if I understand correctly), and then the game downloads enhanced textures as you play, depending upon the availability / speed of an internet connection. So if you think about it from that perspective, it makes a bit more sense as you have the ability of taking off from any of the 37,000 airports around the world with the base installation. That's a heck of a lot of data.
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toguy wrote: Since there will be the option to play offline, essentially the base scenery for the entire world must be included with the standard install (if I understand correctly), and then the game downloads enhanced textures as you play, depending upon the availability / speed of an internet connection. So if you think about it from that perspective, it makes a bit more sense as you have the ability of taking off from any of the 37,000 airports around the world with the base installation. That's a heck of a lot of data.
Yeah exactly. The procedural generation is really limited offline, so you might get roads and forests of an area but if you're online you will get all of the detailed info available like buildings, landmarks, etc. A lot of the landmarks are hand crafted but the procedural generation does a ton of the work for everything else. It's pretty good for the most part but the odd time you get something weird like a building that repeats itself for a whole city block. You can definitely see some texture pop-in at times which I suspect is due to the streaming but for the most part its a pretty good experience.

The level of control you have over weather and flight conditions is insane too so you can create some very picturesque moments. The game looks gorgeous at 4k from moderate and high altitudes. When you start to get lower obviously the texture detail doesn't hold up, a lot of is satmaps/images after all.
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badOne wrote: 150 gigs of download for the game. This is brutal.
This is becoming the norm nowadays but at least it's actually justified with this game unlike say COD, RDR2 or Gears 5 that just bloat your hard drive with all the languages and modes even if you're just playing the single player campaign in English

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