Microsoft Flight Review

FINALLY, I can talk about Flight. I’ve been in the beta for the last few months, and I think it’s time to disclose a few home truths about the beta and the community.

EDIT: Coming from AVSIM? Read this.

1: Not all beta testers were created equal. Those who participated the most (read: were fortunate enough to stumble onto bugs and vocally ranted on the forums) got more content. Many of us got the base game and nothing else. I never got to see anything except the big island, the Steerman, and the Icon A5.

2: Most of what the non-beta testers said was rubbish and entirely misinformed.

3: The AVSIM community deserves special recognition for being the most childish out of the lot. Given that the Flight Sim demographic is usually in the “older” segment of society, I was incredibly surprised to see so many people carrying on like a pack of entitled children. In most cases I hate that term “entitlement” because it’s often a substitute for “I don’t like your argument so I’m going to declare it invalid by way of entitlement.” In this case though it was entirely warranted; people were screaming like Microsoft were selling out to the general public, that it was going to be a kid’s game, that because it didn’t implement big iron and VATSIM bullshit coming out the arse that it was a complete failure and so on. Personally I’m glad Microsoft stuck it to that community. There’s no pleasing them.

Anyway, Microsoft Flight actually stands separate from the Flight Simulator range for a number of reasons. Firstly the aim is skewed more towards the general public than the hardcore simmers. It has a more limited scope which does allow them to do a few interesting things, which we’ll get to. The base product is entirely free. You get access to the Big Island of Hawaii, the Icon A5 light aircraft, and the Boeing Steerman taildragger. Both are propeller aircraft. This is more or less just a demo of the game (though it’s not time limited and there’s a fair bit of scope of play here) with the real meat coming from the DLC, namely opening up the rest of the Hawaiin island chain and adding in another aircraft, the RV-6 with a more detailed cockpit. The other two aircraft is the Maule M7, another prop aircraft which also appeared in Flight Sim X, and the P-51 Mustang, which doesn’t have a cockpit and is flown from a chase cam. My biggest complaint is the price; to get the most out of the game right now you’d need the Hawaii Pack which is about $29.95 AUD, and the Maule which is $19.95. That’s an awful lot of money straight out the gate. The Mustang’s lack of virtual cockpit represents a division that Microsoft talked about during the beta; proper virtual cockpits for the simmers, and basic cheaper aircraft for those who weren’t fussed. I’d question why anybody would want the latter, because it’s practically useless since this isn’t, despite what people tell you, an arcade game.

But as anybody who plays flight sim games will tell you, addons tend to be incredibly expensive. A full scenery pack for Flight Simulator X for a single country can easily run to $100. The OrbX pack for Australia costs around $80 normally, which is pretty much the cost of a new game, and even then it isn’t 100% realistic (but far superior to the defaults). It’s worth recognising then that this isn’t a simple autogen guess-work job here; the scenery is far superior to what you’ve seen in the default FSX world. It’s a lot more realistic in terms of building placement and landscaping. Taken in that context the cost makes more sense (especially since with the Hawaii Adventure Pack you get the RV6 too, which on its own would cost a fair bit). But for people unfamiliar with the flight sim world (which this is clearly aimed at) I can’t help but think it’s a bit expensive.

Alright, with that said, let’s talk about what Flight does and who it is aimed it. There’s NO SECRET here that Flight caters primarily to people who haven’t played a flight sim before, or who play it casually. I will make this very clear: it does not cater, nor will it likely ever cater, to the people who build their own 747 cockpit out of plywood with 4 monitors and crap like that. It does NOT, however, amount to an arcade game where there’s no flight model. The default flight model with all the “assits” turned on is actually far more unforgiving than the “easy” flight model in Flight Simulator X. Turn off the assists, and the commentary coming from real-world pilots in the beta suggests that the aircraft actually fly closer to reality than the base content ever did in FSX. I’ve seen particularly good comments about the RV6 from pilots who actually own and fly one. Yes, there are some ridiculous missions where you collect sparkling rings or fly through a particular course. FSX had those too. You do not need to play them. I SAY AGAIN: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PLAY THEM. Some people on AVSIM act like their simple inclusion is tantamount to “dumbing down” the game. I don’t even know how that argument has any logic behind it, but I’ll say it again: they are entirely optional.

There are two missions which are compulsory, and both are very short: they’re simple introductary missions where it goes over the controls with the Icon A5, and walks you through a simple flight and water landing. After that it dumps you to the map screen where you can ignore everything and go fly. Alternatively you can work through the missions and take on generated jobs if you want more structure to your flight. More on that in a second. First, let’s talk about the interface.

The interface is a mixed bag in some respects. Yes, there is a bar up the top that by default shows you the heading, airspeed, throttle setting, wind speed and direction, altitude and fuel quantity. Yes, you can turn it off if you want to rely entirely on cockpit instruments, which do function as you’d expect (with some exceptions which we’ll get to in a second). The game can be played with a mouse, keyboard, 360 controller, or the more serious joystick and throttle setup. Support for TrackIR is curiously absent despite it being a much asked-for feature in the beta. As a slight compromise camera support is much, much better; the camera doesn’t snap back to the centre of the view but slews around nicely, and the mouse can now also be used to move the viewpoint up and down or left and right as you need to by holding the middle mouse button. That sure helps a lot with looking for particular cockpit instruments or looking over the nose of a taildragger. The mouse can also be used to look around like normal and zoom in, as well as manipulating things in the cockpit. It’s a big improvement on the virtual cockpit in FSX. There’s also a much better checklist option which not only walks you through the procedure but also highlights different control elements. It’s not quite as comprehensive as the checklists in FSX but they are better for learning basic procedural elements, since they point out cockpit points. Since having this I’ve actually started to learn more about engine management, whereas in FSX being a casual simmer it wasn’t something I was too concerned about learning.

The basics of flight are there. It’s not an arcade HAWX experience like some people are complaining (did any of them actually play HAWX, and did they actually try out Flight?), particularly when the assists are turned off. But what about the cockpit instruments? You can fly entirely on instruments without referring to that bar at the top, it isn’t a problem. VOR, NDB and ILS stations are in the game, you can set the radio to lock onto them, and there are cockpit instruments that fuction the same as in FSX. Curiously, there aren’t any tutorial missions which cover the use of the radios or the nav instruments. The map can be set to display these elements though, and you can use them for navigation as you would in FSX. It seems like it’s half-finished though… like it’s there, but the markers aren’t set to visible by default, and there’s no route planning opions. I can appreciate that this part of Flight is mostly for visual flight rules but they are functioning so I don’t know why they aren’t more prominent. Maybe Microsoft have bigger plans for them. Only the RV6 and the Maule aircraft, to my knowledge, support instrument flight rules, to my knowledge at least (I didn’t play with the A5’s GPS display too much).

There are two really, really notable absences though. The first is ATC, and along with it AI aircraft. Neither were in the beta, but there were frequency lists for each airport, outlining frequencies for approach, ATIS and stuff like that. These frequencies are still there, and airports are marked as controlled and uncontrolled. You can set your communication radios to these frequencies, but there’s nothing to hear. There aren’t aircraft in the sky to bother you. This is disappointing, but I’m almost certain that it’s going to be a future feature, probably as DLC. The fact that the frequencies are all there and that the radios can be tuned suggests that it is an intended feature at some point… but it isn’t here yet. All of the information for the airports is apparently there, but there’s nobody to talk to.

As with FSX, there are missions to try out. What missions are available depends on what aircraft and scenery you have. To get the most out of it you’ll need the Hawaii Adventure Pack and the Maule. There are some scripted missions which are more or less the same as the ones in FSX, as well as some other generated missions from airports. These missions might have you flying cargo or passengers (or something) from one location to another in various aircraft. Successfully completing missions earns experience points, which in turn unlocks other missions. Again these are entirely optional and you don’t have to fly them, but they’re there if you want more structure in your flights. The generated missions aren’t rigidly controlled like the normal missions; it gives you an objective and it’s up to you to fly it. There are also challenges, like flying through a set course, making difficult landings, and the silly “coin collection” events. Again, they’re optional. There are also Aerocaches, which are hidden objects that you can collect if you want to. Actually they seem to be an excuse to show off particular places or to get you to use Bing to look up where they might be. I don’t really care much for them or the challenges, but they’re there if you’re interested. Of course you’re free to just fly on your own if you choose to do so, picking out an aircraft and a location and going for it.

In all, Microsoft Flight isn’t going to satisfy the hardcore simmers. It never was going to do that. But it is not the arcade experience they’d have you believe, particularly when you turn off the assists. There’s a ridiculous amount of bullshit going on over at places like AVSIM, mostly focusing on the interface (with someone going on about the “xbox interface” somehow being responsible for crippling… something or other, it was a load of bullshit) and the “coin collecting” thing, but they all miss the point of what Flight is about. Flight focuses moreso on VFR flights and the casual simmers who don’t want the hardcore big iron experience, but don’t want an arcade HAWX game. Flight excels in this aspect. Much of the community is bitter that they didn’t get what they wanted, but it’s time they faced facts: Microsoft doesn’t owe them anything, if Microsoft decides to look to a new target market, it’s at THEIR discretion to do so. The hardcore simmers are a small market. You can be bitter all you want, but it doesn’t change how invalid some of your views are when it comes to Flight. Go back to FSX, or try out X-Plane 10. For everyone else looking for a decent introduction to flight simulators, Microsoft Flight is particularly compelling. Bottom line is that the base package is absolutely free, so you lose nothing by trying it out (except maybe an hour or so of your time).


With all that said, let’s look at two other points. Firstly people do complain that it’s only covering Hawaii, but I want to point out something. In the default FSX scenery, my home city of Brisbane, QLD, Australia, is represented by a 20km blob of buildings, surrounded by desert or light-blue tropical water. This isn’t even remotely accurate. Actually it’s laughably inaccurate. Anyone who has visited Brisbane knows that the Brisbane River is nothing like the topical wonderland that FSX says it is. It’s brown, and you do not want to go swimming in it. So while Flight covers only Hawaii, it does cover it in much greater detail than most of the default FSX scenery ever covers, so it looks closer to the real thing. There are niggling issues and some landmarks are missing, but generally speaking it’s better than their previous attempts. If Microsoft release scenery packs in stages for particular areas of the world, it could prove successful. Most simmers aren’t going to fly all over the world on long-haul flights. People tend to stick to areas that interest them. For me, it’s my home state, or on a larger scale my home country. I don’t fly in Africa, Europe, Asia, whatever. People also tend to stay towards areas with the more detailed scenery, since there’s more to look at. And the instrument simmers don’t really care about the scenery because they never look at it, they’re focused on their instruments. So although it only covers a small area, and yes covering the whole world would probably cost a lot, the graphical fidelity is a lot higher and it’s a lot closer to reality than the autogen mess in FSX.

Secondly, as we discovered during the beta, Flight does actually model the entire globe. It does so in ultra low detail, but if you zoomed out far enough, you’d see the whole world. The landmasses did exist but they were very, very low deteail. You can’t do this in the retail version so I don’t know if it still does the same thing, but given that the globe appears nowhere else (i.e. as part of an in-game map screen or something), it suggests that Microsoft do intend to expand to other regions. We don’t yet know where it’s going to go, but Microsoft obviously have plans. It’s one to watch.

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163 thoughts on “Microsoft Flight Review

  1. Thank you for your review! I am a hardcore simmer and actual pilot (both Military and Commercial). And like you said MS has every right to do and focus on what makes sense for them as a company. I never expected “Flight” to be anything more than what they stated it would be from it inception. I love FSX and will continue to use it with all my addon and such. Maybe someday MS will change its mind and come back to making the next version of a “Hardcore Simulator”. In the meantime, those who are not familar with flying or the hobby around “flight simulation” can get into “Flight”.

    1. This kind of attitude is the right attitude. It’s fine to be disappointed about the direction MS took with Flight, but it’s their choice. If people were as rational as you about the whole thing, there’d be no scathing criticism.

      1. SUCH A WASTE OF SPACE HAVING A GAME LIKE MICROSOFT FLIGHT. WAY TO F US AGAIN MR.GATES

      2. Just to clear up a misconception. Bill Gates has VERY LITTLE to say in Microsoft anymore.

        Dad told me when they released Windows Vista it was directed by some women whoms name I forgot that took over the M team and I don’t keep up on Microsoft news very much so I do not know what happened.

        However I am NOT surprised as I had a feeling something happened in the management of the Microsoft Team because Windows Vista does not have that bill gates feel.

        Bill Gates is into giving free bonuses and demos in which if this game was directed by him I am sure he would give out a lot of freebies.

        In other words please put your money where your mouth is as I will not allow people to be falsely slain when they had no thing to do with your problem.

        The new Microsoft Managment is VERY different then the late 90s. I don’t know how to describe it other then the energy vibes I get from the newer products are very different and not a *good* different.

  2. Perhaps you could actually compose a review about Microsoft FLIGHT now that it’s out, rather than a complaining like a bratty child about the occurrences over at AVSIM? 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review, I played it quite a bit last night and found it very enjoyable and entertaining. I will be buying the adventure pack for sure, the other planes I am not so sure about. I hope there is another plane soon that I can do the cargo jobs with, $13 is not worth it to do these jobs.

    Regarding your comments about the “hardcore” flight sim community, they are spot on. Apparently, since I enjoy the game, I am a 5 year old idiot with the attention span of a gnat who does not know a hang glider from a 747. At least that is how “my ilk” is characterized by the all knowing flight sim elite.

    And I won’t even touch on the ridiculous conspiracy theories about how MS is going to patch windows so FSX won’t run etc. Absurdity at it’s finest. And the crying… so much QQ, it is really shocking to see adults act this way. Especially since there are so many alternatives that cater to them.

    I have never been interested in flight sims much before due to what I perceived as a massive barrier to entry, and to be honest a 10 hour trans-atlantic flight is about the last thing I would ever want to do in a game. But I found myself loving Flight, and flying itself, but had some specific questions since I was struggling with soft landings. My first thought is to get help from the community, but after looking at a few forums, it was loud and clear that I was not welcome in the community.

    I do have to say the staff at AVSIM look to be really making an effort to combat this very thing, but unfortunately the users are what comprise a community. And if this is what comprises the community then it is completely unsurprising MS were tired of catering to them.

    1. Thanks for the reply, and this is what I was getting at. People criticise this “article” (I’m hardly a journalist guys) for referring to the hardcore simmers in such a negative fashion, yet it’s just the mirror image of their treatment of the casual sim sector. They’ve always seemed a bit elitist but since we ‘took Flight away from them’ (how dare we present as a new target market!) the hatred is apparent. The conspiracy theories are laughable. Yeah, Microsoft are really going to specifically patch out FSX, a game from 2006. Man, can’t believe that kind of stuff even gets considered.

      AVSIM’s approach to slowing the rage is kind of questionable in my opinion. Halting the stream of pointless crying, negativity and raging is a good thing, though I worry it prevents people from posting legitimate criticisms of Flight (and there are many). But it’s not my community, so my opinion counts for little.

      1. How humans see gamers:

        Humans>
        >Gamers\
        >Flightsimmers\
        >Swingers club members\
        >Hardcore what?\

        How Hardcore Flightsimmers see themselves:

        Hardcore Flightsimmers\
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Gamers\
        >
        >
        >Humans\

        How pilots see Hardcore Flightsimmers:

        >WTF? So you’re telling me these guys actually make their own cockpits out of plywood and then *pretend* to fly a boring, trans-atlantic flight? Baaahahahahaaaa.

        My point being is that these guys (I would suggest they are only males) who see themselves as something important to MS are living in lala land. Hardcore flight-simming is – always will be – a niche, cottage industry. There is no public acceptance of it. Even less acceptance in the aviation industry. I work in the aviation industry. It would be less painful to declare than I am a member of a swinger’s club (I’m not, BTW), than it would be to say I am a hardcore flightsimmer (I ‘may be’…). There are not ‘millions’ of hardcore flightsimmers. In fact if you look at AVSIM’s forum member list, there are more like 76220 members. Not all of those would buy hardcore add-ons either. They are not a majority – just a vocal minority. MS, as a business has no need for them.

      2. I believe that many expected much from a company such as MS,
        the hype they released and the assurances and replies to messages via the Flight site while the game was being developed promised much. What they delivered in 2012 is frankly not worthy of MS. Had they stated from the beginning that this would NOT be of interest to the experienced simmer and it would just be a game NOT a simulator then interest in it would have died away and there would be few negative comments. But they didnt. they hyped it and as often happens, over hyped it. the result is dissapointment. It doesnt matter if one is an experienced simmer or not. Flight, as a graphics based game in 2012 simply doesnt come up to standard. Lets be clear about this: all simmers wanted this new flight to be great, brillant, fantastic. it isnt. Why blame the simmers community for saying so?

      3. @causance: were we watching the same game’s development? Because I sure as hell picked out that Flight was changing direction (dropping “Simulator” from the title, talking about introducing it to casual players, focusing on Hawaii for VFR flights… that might have been a clue). The community hyped itself up, not Microsoft.

        As for vocalising your disappointment, like I’ve said that’s fine, but demonising the new market like some people are doing is not okay.

    2. Nevermind. I’m just bitter cause I clean out airline toilet tanks for a living. I have to build myself up by bashing people even though I seceretly wish they’d let me play to….

      1. But they’re a huge market! Honest! I’ve seen they have, like, a whole bunch of unique downloads for these addons!

        Man, maybe one day we’ll aspire to the great heights of flight simulation, where we go through a whole bunch of procedural details and watch a seemingly endless ocean pass by us on the screen…

    3. Another misconception.

      Most hardcore simmers DO NOT do those 10 hour trans-Atlantic flights from Los Angeles to Paris unless they join up with a virtual airliner company so they can be a virtual pilot (which with the ever increasing requirements over the smallest issues) this is as close as they will ever get to flying a commercial jet liner in todays society.

      Most pilots and by pilots I mean CFL pilots are not below 28 when they get hired and they start training at a young age (below 21) to fly.

      To legally fly a prop plane you only need to be tall enough to reach the rudders but you CANNOT fly solo unless your like 16 or is it 17 now?

  4. It is my personal opinion that previous flight simulator versions seemed to focus on the private pilot skill level. There was more than that, but it took a lot of help from 3rd party addons to make it somewhat realistic. That was the model for many many years. Now, the sport license is the newest and easiest thing to achieve in the real world and this game is tailored for that knowledge level. I would have absolutely eaten this new game up if it would have been an earlier product. Now that my knowledge is beyond what this game really has to offer, it is just a toy to fool around with if I might be in the mood for some sightseeing.

  5. Thanks for this informative review!

    However…
    “people who build their own 747 cockpit out of plywood with 4 monitors and crap like that”

    Why do you need to insult these people? For them, it is just another hobby.
    Is collecting post stamps “crap”?
    Is climbing the Everest “crap”?
    Is building static model airplanes “crap”?
    Is flying RC model airplanes “crap”?
    Is completing a mission in MS-Flight “crap”?
    Is building a home-cockpit “crap”?

    Marc.

    1. Why did the elitist crowds feel the need to insult those not part of their hobby? I didn’t intend that to be a scathing insult (DisCONNECT isn’t a professional review site nor do I pretend like it is, thus colloquial language is common, especially given that I’m Australian) but on the other hand complaining about receiving the same kind of treatment that some of those people were dishing out is a bit hypocritical.

      1. Soldant,

        I’m a hardcore FSX fan. I respect your position and like the review, although personally I am very disappointed in Microsoft for doing Flight and not FS11 (in a respectful way).

        Nonetheless, I agree with MarRog to the extent that you seem to be encapsulating everyone who builds stuff around their FSX PC to be insulting and childish.

        I am one of those hobbyists, I haven’t insulted you, the community nor Microsoft. And my hobby is NOT crap. And for me, for now, the future is Xplane 10 or bust…

        Best regards,

        Carlos

      2. I agree with the user above.

        Your site while it offers some insight in the direction of flying is insulting towards those who enjoy real flying or want to learn how to really fly a plane beyond what Flight (From what the reviews say) could ever offer.

        If you have the spark for flying instruments you will understand why people like it. It’s beyond words.

  6. I thought that your review was the most unbalanced article of shit I’ve read so far!
    I Have been a Fight “SIM” fan for a number of years and have learned an incredible amount about aviation in the pursuit of my hobby. I just find it a hard pill to swallow when MS have now pandered to the lowest common denominator i.e. milking the cash cow!! The community of “hard simmers”, whatever that is(?) is not small at all,as evidenced by the huge number of addons for FSX and FS9. I feel that MS have snubbed a large number of people with FLIGHT. After over two decades of producing and evolving a fantastic product, it appears that MS have tried to exploit the franchise with a “free demo” and the “mysterious promise” of overpriced DLC. None of the planes in Flight even have flaps for gods sake!
    As for scenery, have you actually seen ORBX Australia for FSX? I suggest you try it out, I bet the ORBX rendered Brisbane will blow you away…………….don’t think you will ever see ANY of Australia with flight…unless MS decide otherwise. To sum it up, I see FLIGHT as an excercise by MS to muscle in on the third party add-on market. You will only be able to purchase MS DLC,they will dictate market prices, standards of quality and content. MS have thus killed any chance of third party independant development.You will fly and buy what only MS provides!!

    1. Actually I do own ORBX Australia, and it’s a vast improvement. Well done presuming that I did have it. Also, this post is an excellent example of the entitlement complex where it’s actually a valid argument – “I don’t like this because it wasn’t made for my expectations, therefore it’s automatically worthless.”

      Also you are 100% incorrect that none of the aircraft in Flight have flaps. The two default included aircraft do not, the Maule and RV-6 do. Yet more proof positive that you don’t actually know anything about the game. Really, could you do anything more to prove my commentary on the community right?

      1. I’ve played the game plenty, including the Beta. You obviously have some sort of complex about people who like flight “simulation”. Did you actually take the time to “think” about the main thrust of my post?
        Bully for you, you have Orbx add-ons!! Don’t ever expect to see anything like them for FLIGHT anytime soon, if at all!!

        Enjoy Hawaii………well, the main island………..unless you go get yourself some MS points 😉

        P.S. Do you have shares in MS????

      2. Dave: Actually I did read your post. I read everybody’s post. It doesn’t change the fact that your first paragraph still has the “entitlement” complex (“I’m a huge fan! We’re not a small community! They’re pandering to the lowest common denominator!”) which is so deserving of the criticism. And again you were 100% incorrect about none of the aircraft having flaps. Did you conveniently forget that correction?

        PS: No, I don’t have shares in Microsoft, nor do I get paid by them or anybody else. Basically, I have no vested interest. Nor do I have anything against the flight sim crowd at large. Just the elitist jerks acting like entitled children belittling everybody else because a game specifically called “Microsoft Flight” didn’t turn out to be Flight Simulator 11. What’s wrong? Does it annoy you when the shoe is on the other foot?

      3. “Entitlement Complex” WTF? Is this your new “buzz phrase” or label for people who offer a differing opinion to your own??

        I and many others have invested a lot of time, money and effort buying into Microsoft Flight Simulator in it’s various guises over the years. This “demo” arcade game release yesterday is an absolute travesty! I don’t expect or feel “entitled” for anything from MS. But, having invested heavily in their previous simulation products I am “entitled” to feel disappointed by Microsoft’s current strategy as regards FLIGHT. I am also “entitled” to an opinion.

        I fly mainly in the UK and Western Europe within FSX, not an option with Flight. How long will I have to “wait” to fly a 737 or Airbus jet from Heathrow to Schipol? How much is it going to cost me? What will the quality be? Not a patch on PDMG i expect. Will i have to collect bloody coins along the way???

        MS sacked an entire devopment team before devising this bag of tripe. MS has also, in effect, cut out third party developers from the Flight Simulator franchise.

        I’m no “elitist” either, I’m an average Joe who enjoys flight sims as a hobby.

        Oh yeah, you were right about the flaps though………

      4. Dave: You are entitled to your opinion and you’re entitled to feel disappointed. I am also entitled to point out that Microsoft were under no obligation to support the hardcore flight sim community, as such the screams of abandonment and outrage aren’t valid criticisms of the product itself, nor is the elitist “Screw the gamers, how dare someone consider their interests” attitude that some people like to display.

    2. Let’s put a bit of real life perspective on this claim:

      “The community of “hard simmers”, whatever that is(?) is not small at all,as evidenced by the huge number of addons for FSX and FS9.”

      Within the payware cottage industry, a widely regarded benchmark is that sales of any product that exceeds the rediculously low number of 3,000 is a “runaway hit.”

      ABACUS has at this moment in time around 4,600,000 unique customers in agregate.

      Do the math. Which represents the larger market?

      Seriously, the belief that “hard-core simulators” are a huge market is nothing more than the end result of a collective, self-induced myth.

      “People don’t need an important issue to fight about.
      They’ll take anything available and inflate it to the
      size they need.” (1634: The Ram Rebellion, p. 368)

      1. I’m not sure what math you want him to do. Sure, there are two numbers there, and you can do all kinds of math with them, but none of the awnsers are going to tell you what percentage of 4,600,00 customers clasify has either hardcore or casual.
        I definitely consider myself casual, and I can also say I have often been one of the 3000 buyers of a number of “runaway hits”. It means nothing other than even though there are 4,600,000 people, as individuals they do not buy every addon offered by Abacus. Because 3000 people do buy a given product doesn’t mean all the harcores bought said product, nor does it mean everyone else is casual.
        The fact is, unless someone can provide solid, factual, and properly confirmed numbers, specifically on the subject of what percentage of customers at Abacus consider themselves hardcore vs. casual, and who buys what, the numbers “3000”, and “4,600,000” mean nothing other than a small percentage of the total costumer base can be expected to buy any one given product from Abacus.
        Furthermore, i’m not sure it even matters at that point. Assuming MS offers DLC at a quality level that meets or exceeds that of what Abacus offers, and at a competative price, 4,600,000 users would actually be a small market when compared to games like Fallout New Vegas, which, according to Bethesda, did 5,000,000 copies sold just at launch alone, and released with a loyal customer base allready readymade.
        So for point of discussion, let’s be nice for a minute. Let’s say MS ends up with 5,000,000 casual users this week. 5,000,000 loyal, casual users that don’t have a hardcore bug up the butt.
        An excellent launch number for a non free to play, multi platform game, and very close to the customer base of Abacus.
        Now let’s be even nicer. Let’s assume none of them get bored and go on to other games. How many of them will buy any DLC at all? How many will buy one or two things? How many will buy 15 things?
        Unfortunately, all we can do is speculate and guess for those awnsers at the moment, (doing so being pretty pointless for the most part), and unfortunately in the real world customers drift away, and new ones need to be found almost constantly, but your Abacus numbers do suggest at least one thing: It doesn’t mater if a customer is hardcore, or casual, neither one is likely to buy the vast majority of any add-ons offered unless they feel they’re getting something significantly more than they were getting with MSFS prior.
        So it’s not a question of what faction of the MSFS market makes more sense has a target market, or if one is so much larger than people think or not. It’s a matter of simply being able to find a market in genneral that’s going to be as loyal as possible, will buy DLC at a profitable rate, for as long as possible, and make flight worth the effort and cost of production by producing as much profit as possible.
        It seems quite plain to me that MS appears to think that breaking a few eggs will produce a golden goose, and I truly don’t think they really care what faction laid the eggs in the first place.

      2. I can only surmise that you are not really familiar with products from ABACUS. They are a company well-known to fairly consistently mange to deliver products that are often barely equal in quality to MS’s default aircraft, and rarely exceed the quality of even the average freeware releases.

        That is the sole metric I proposed to be used in a “comparison” of the two marketplace strategic goals. ABACUS caters exclusively to the “casual market” whereas payware companies cater almost exclusively to the “pro-simmer” or “hardcore” markets.

        ABACUS uses the “Wal-Mart” approach to business: massive sales at low prices

        Payware companies the “Cartier” approach to business: lower sales at
        premium prices.

        Arnie Lee (owner of Abacus) nets a higher profit in one month than even the most successful payware company nets in a full year.

      3. Surmise all you want, you would be wrong. Abacus is common within my addons collection, but often not the cheapest, nor the worst quality, nor the best for that matter, within the same collection. I can find plenty of cheap, average, payware from many sources. Cheap and average doesn’t automatically make you rich. Name recognotion, market awareness, and customer loyalty goes a long way in that has well.
        That also does not change the fact that allthought you were more than happy to challenge the orriginal poster to “do some math”, you still haven’t provided any good figures for him to do so with.
        And again, unless someone can provide solid, factual, and properly confirmed numbers, specifically on the subject of what percentage of customers at Abacus consider themselves hardcore vs. casual, and who buys what, and how many units of Abacus’ products sold how many customers, and to what demographic, simply repeating that Abacus rakes in money means nothing.
        And indeed, you didn’t give him any sales numbers from Abacus. You pulled out a convenient 3000 magic number, and the customer base of Abacus, and told him to do some math.
        To qoute my second paragraph: “The fact is, unless someone can provide solid, factual, and properly confirmed numbers, specifically on the subject of what percentage of customers at Abacus consider themselves hardcore vs. casual, and who buys what, the numbers “3000″, and “4,600,000″ mean nothing other than a small percentage of the total costumer base can be expected to buy any one given product from Abacus.”
        As I said “expected”. I did not say that the actual sales for Abacus equals 3000 for a popular item. What I did say is that from the limited data you’ve given, a rough sales forcast can be made that individual products will sell in small amounts, and then pointed out how anything beyond that is just rendered pure speculation has a result.
        If your really going to keep insisting that MS cares more about what faction of the MSFS user base they are selling to over being able to find a market in genneral that’s going to be as loyal as possible, will buy DLC at a profitable rate, for as long as possible, and make Flight worth the effort and cost of production by producing as much profit as possible, your going to have to provide far more data than “3000”, “4,600,000”, and the occassional witty references to Wallyworld and human psychology.

      4. By the way, before you attempt to surmise further on what I am or am not famalliar with, I consider Abacus as the “average payware” I have just referenced, I do not believe “hard simmers” are this huge segment of the market that some think it is, and I would otherwise support your argument as so far as it falls within the points I have previously stated. What you take from that knowledge is up to you.

      5. Lol b-spec, assuming it’s “THE” Bill Leaming (gauge programmer for a popular payware outfit), and not just some poser pretending, yes agreeing with the basic argument would be wise….
        Being has I am a professional statistician/consultant who works with numbers and the like all day I will say though, 3000 and 4,600,000 has numbers are only a very small part of the math. That’s true. By themselves all they are are fragments of the total equation. Meaningless has proof of anything until you fill in the rest like b-spec said.
        But might I point out, now that there are three of us including myself in agreement about the base argument, and nobody speaking against, I don’t really think the numbers are needed. Seems kinda silly to keep arguing between people who agree on the basic principal just because the OP didn’t come back to debate. XD

    3. Hear Hear! THe guy is an out and out complete wanker! He has no idea about why people enjoy FSX – PRICK!

  7. If diving a Stearman Waaaay over VNE and pulling out like an X-wing fighter with NO effort, (and all wings still attached), is a real world physics model, and not arcade, i’m the Queen of England.
    It’s OK for people to like this game, but the level some people are going to try to justify it as anything more than a simple arcade game, ment to nickle and dime acheivment addicts to death with DLC, is almost has annoying has the “people who build their own 747 cockpit out of plywood with 4 monitors and crap like that” ,”entitlement” rage crowd this review complains about.
    I tried it. Found it fun for about 30 mins, and not fun enough to spend a single dollar more on it… ever.
    Why should I? If one assumes all the planes and scenery I could ever want gets released, It would cost me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by the current price model. Not even including FSX, there are other programs available, that for a $60 to $100 investment, I get much more out of the box than i’ll ever get from the same investment in flight, and my choice of litteraly more freeware addons than i’ll ever be able to use. Take the amount of money MS would charge me for all the DLC I’d want, and be able to use, and spend even a fraction of it on payware scenery, and i’ve got a great sim, one that’s by far better than anything flight will ever be for the same investment.
    And yes, I’m about a casual a flyer has there ever was. I’m part of the supposed target audience. Don’t know how to use a VOR, or DME. Quite often have the crash damage off, physics on easy, and the gas unlimited. There is nothing about the Flight physics model that is so different, or special than any other arcade flyer i’ve ever tried, but if I crank up the settings, I still don’t get a sim. I can still push arcraft unrealisticly. I can still yank and bank with no worry of breaking the aircraft. They do amazingly unrealistic manuvers and handle like the CGI fighter jets in “Independence Day”. It’s fun, sure, arcade fun, not sim fun. I don’t care how many supposed real world pilots claim Flight is sooooo real, or at least more so than FSX, it’s not. Mabey if it wasn’t for the fact that there seems to be no shortage of these people who will say such things for almost every driving or flying “sim” companies like MS and sony put out for PC and/or console, (each consecutive one often the best, most real it can ever get, blah blah, blah, at least untill they want to sell the next one, then this one mysteriously becomes just “meh”.), I might give such statements a bit more credit, but the fact that I can do things to, and with MS Flight aircraft, things that would get me killed in real life, is all the evidence I need that such statements are nothing more than sales PR and/or people lying to themselves out of the need to believe in something. Nevermind the fanboys who’ll say anything to make their favorite whatever sound like the end all, be all….
    That said, if people need it any easier than any of the old MSFS series on the easiest settings, or Xplane for that matter, an ARCADE GAME is exactly what the are looking for, NOT a simulator. By all means, i’d say try Flight, and if they like that enough to play for more than a month, and want more of flying, don’t waste money on Flight. There are other programs, real simulators, just has easy to use/fly on the easiest settings, that will give them more freedom of choice, more free things to choose from, more bang for the buck when you do pay, and quite a bit more room to grow, or not grow, skill wise. The last item especially being a choice Flight doesn’t really give you.

    1. You have a very invalid definition of an ‘arcade’ game. Arcade games (like Wings of Prey in arcade mode, since I see that one being trotted out as an example) don’t model stalls for a start. They also don’t particularly care about airspeed beyond an arbitrary “It makes the plane go faster”, or lift, or drag, or anything really except that the plane doesn’t crash into something. It’s no secret there’s more “game” elements in Flight than in FSX, but it clearly isn’t an arcade game either. Yet more proof that people are tossing terms around without really understanding what they’re talking about. As for flight model realism: no doubt there’s concessions made but the same is true of FSX’s easy mode. The product is evolving. Missing features may well be added, particularly ATC and AI traffic.

      Good for you that you tried it but don’t like the direction it’s going in. If you don’t want to invest in it or play it, that’s fine. But don’t become part of the irrational group who try to equate it to Wings of Prey or HAWX or other arcade flight games. I’m not trying to justify Flight to the hardcore sim crowd or the people who (mistakenly) believe that it’s going to turn into the heir to the Flight Simulator throne. But when people toss around terms like “arcade” and start naming games it’s fairly clear they haven’t played too much of either Flight or the games they’re naming.

      1. Ahhh, see, i’ve allready watched this argument for years in the PC vs. Console driving games arena. One side declares “SIM!”, the other “ARCADE!”, then both parties spend near eternity redefining terms and conditions to support their argument, with no clear winner I might add.
        It’s very easy just to say the other parties definition is invalid. I could awnser with a list of games that do in fact list themselves in the arcade genre, that do indeed model such aspects more common to what most would expect has a sim, “Red Barron Arcade” comes to mind, but that would be pointless. The fact is, there is no rule that states one cannot share spects of the other, and even FSX contains aspects that could be considered strictly arcade within it’s missions, though no-one would call that program anything but a sim.
        It’s quite easy to defend a position by declaring the opposition ignorant, or irrational. In some cases it may even be true. Having never even seen Hawks, or Wings of Prey myself, I couldn’t say if those who compare them to Flight have any merrit to their argument either. Perhaps they are being ignorrant, irrational, etc. I don’t know.
        What I do know is there is an almost desperate need by some to justify and defend what many see as by far and away mostly, if not entirely a game, arcade or otherwise. Just as there is an opposition that can’t deal with the idea that others may like Flight for what it is. As I previously stated I tend to find both extremes annoying to an extent, and regardless of what definitions are applied by either party, I can say neither side will ever win.
        It’s a fight where opinions are badly whitewashed repeatedly, and refered to as facts, and definitions modified for performance more often than a Reno air racer.
        It is important to mention at this point I do find this review to be one of the least biased, and more objective than many others I have read.
        The entertainment provided by meltdowns and rants has been a boon that has led me to read quite a few articles and their comments sections, and as such i’ll give this one praise. That is, up to the point when this review isn’t engaged in what i’ve percieved as a personal crusade against Avsim. Though not a fan of Avsims forums myself, such mentions take away from the quality of the article overall. They harm the bias and objectivity. What Avsim’s members think have truely no bearring on the subject. A well written, unbiased review is the only argument needed for those whishing an honest take on the subject. If Avsim’s members are so off base in their opinions, so irrational, there is little danger that anyone reading this, for the actual purpose of informing themselves, would have their minds influenced more by irrational mindless prattle over an apparently informative, unbiased, and objective article. This becomes less true when it can be suspected that a review is being taylored, even if only a little, with an eye towards countering another group or review, rather than strictly providing informative information and objective, honest opinions
        However, that said, if you want to get into the “arcade vs. sim” foodfight bandwagon, you certainly don’t need my approval. Fire away. But here’s a spoiler about how it end’s: Eventually most participants realize life is too short to argue matter of opinions, and move on. The few that remain annoy the rest of us untill they get banned by forum mods.
        The final score is always 0 to 0.

  8. I wanted to add a few words but B-specBob put it so well that I have nothing to say more. Sweet arcade game – paraphrasing ‘Jose’

  9. This was a pretty balanced review, except for the “he did it to me, so I can do it back” childish rant at the hobbyist portion of the flight simulator community.. First of all, I do belong to that “Hardcore” element, and yes I have had quite a few strong words for the management team for Flight, however, I am not of the “ilk” that flies intercontinental runs from Sydney to Los Angeles, quite the opposite in fact, as I tend to fly single or twin engine piston aircraft in rather remote portions of the world.. The primary complaint I have had is that MS promised this community that we would not be left behind in this new direction.. I have never had an issue with making their product available to a wider audience of novice players, however, how can they just throw away a dedicated user base? Flight Simulator was scrapped due to financial concerns following the meltdown of the world economy in 2008, and it seems to me that throwing away an established user base is right on par with what Electronic Arts did to Sim-City that ultimately ended with the complete destruction of the franchise… So what I worry about is what happens when this business model fails, particularly seeing as how frighteningly expensive it is.. the crew at MS went to great pains to pick the brains of 3rd party developers about how much money was in add-ons, and seem to have priced their products accordingly, but they forgot that the people buying those add-on’s do not hardly ever buy every last one, but still have the ability to fly where they want to without it.. The pricing structure of this, combined with the fact that there is little here to really be addicted to (which is what is really required for this business model to work) is what I worry about, because if doing a proper simulation wasn’t generating the revenue that the MS leadership thought it should, and this turns out not to generate the revenue that they thought it would, are they going to bother to try again, or is it truly going to be the end of the franchise? I caught Josh Howard hinting at a next product in one of his interviews, which tells me something is in the early stages of being thought about, which is a glimmer of hope for users of my caliber, but if this thing falls flat on its face, what then??? Ever since I saw the repertoire of games that Mr. Howard has been credited in I have asked myself, “is this guy really prepared to handle what people will expect of this product,” and I honestly think he wasn’t. Without having something that caters to EVERYONE, or resorting to a combat game, this model is doomed, because, frankly, to the masses, flying is boring! There is no excitement, no hook, no adrenaline, and as such, no addiction that would be required to keep people continually coughing up cash for all of the extras… So what are we going to get left with now that we have been abandoned, and this product is all but doomed because the guy in charge thought he was making another game like Feeding Frenzy or UNO?????

    1. Again, it’s up to Microsoft whether they want to support the hardcore market. In this case they don’t. I think it was fairly obvious that Flight wasn’t going to be the successor to FSX, especially within the last two months or so. As such I don’t see how the hardcore sector is so incredibly surprised. Microsoft doesn’t owe the hardcore sector anything; you bought their product and that was it. The disappointment is fine, but the criticism of the “casual” market is not. Is it childish to return the exact same attitude towards the hardcore market? Perhaps. But clearly they don’t like it, so why they think it’s fine to give the same treatment to the casual sector is beyond me.

      1. I am not criticizing the casual market.. I am criticizing the business policies of one of the largest corporations in the world… a little bit of difference… for someone who wants to sound so enthused about Flight, you seem to care less how long it lasts… so much for Josh’s “30 years to come” statement, when even his own supporters won’t back his product longer than the “next big game” comes along.. I don’t just play FS, I play a huge number of games across many genres, and have been through this “reboot” phase before and it is pretty universal that you don’t reboot a franchise by ostracizing the existing customer base, and if you are going to do that, then you’d better have something pretty spectacular, and the guy running this team is not noted for spectacular… let’s draw a parallel here that is outside of the computer business… Coca Cola did the same thing in 1985… they changed the formula in April and introduced their “New Coke” brand, pulling all of the original product from the shelves, and replacing it with this new product… it has gone down in the books as one of the biggest mistakes ever made, and in July, a mere 78 DAYS later, they brought back the old formula… a case to be made for alienating your customer base is the Call of Duty franchise, which made headlines with it’s problems surrounding Modern Warfare 2, however, the distinct difference is that the shift in audience was supported by the fact that the primary audience had shifted BEFORE the sweeping changes were made.. In that case, the primary audience for the franchise had moved to console games and away from the PC, and as such the strategy was to begin catering to technologies in the XBOX and Playstation markets, and port those over to the PC market, but as I said, the decision to change focus was made after the data supported a change in the user base, and even then, the resulting product also proved to be spectacularly well done.. Flight has done neither of these things.. MS made the changes without regard with what to do about the millions of customers they already had, nor have they put out a product that any reviewer (professional or otherwise) has labeled with glowing exultations… so not only is this a FAIL for their plan, but they managed to lose a lot of brand loyalty in the process… so the only thing Mr. Howard seems to have accomplished is losing one niche market for the hope of being able to build another niche market, because casual gamers only keep interest in something as long as it remains interesting, and with no real hook to captivate an audience, this product will not last long.. Flight has no winning or losing, so even that basest of addictions is not there.. in short this is an incomplete project at best, and ill-conceived project at worst.. and as I said.. Flight Simulator and ACES were scrapped for not bringing in enough revenue… when this one fails for the same reasons, I think it will be the end of the simulation category from Microsoft for good… Hell, the guys on the Forza Motorsport team have got to be laughing their butts off! they make a driving game, and it is nowhere near as stripped down as this, and they might use a lot of DLC, but there was something to actually build on to begin with (50+ cars and 10 tracks, and an objective that is as clear cut as any can make it)…

        Polish a turd all you want, but it’s still a turd…

      2. Oh so bitter, Ross! It’s true that Flight is incomplete, but it’s also true that Flight doesn’t have a “completion” time per se. The current release is clearly a platform from which to build from. Exactly what Microsoft intends to do with Flight is yet to be seen.

        The New Coke analogy is flawed, since Coke is ridiculously popular in the first place, while the hardcore sim market is smaller than the general gaming market at large. If the hardcore sim sector was huge it’d be a good point that pissing off your existing customer base isn’t a clever move… but that’s not the case here. You seem to be assuming that Flight suddenly disappears if it doesn’t achieve critical popularity in the next week or something. It doesn’t. There’s plenty of time for Flight to get new content.

        Finally, and most importantly, Microsoft clearly aren’t interested in the hardcore market at this time. I doubt Flight will ever evolve into the hardcore sim you guys expected (despite it being blatantly obvious it wasn’t going to achieve that goal in the last few months). It might, there are signs here that it might (I can’t see a casual game having much use for ILS landing exercises for example), but I doubt it. That’s Microsoft’s decision. If it falls flat on its face, then it’s their problem. But in either case nothing ever said Microsoft had to develop the game for the hardcore market, and the violent resistance to Flight and its user base (not necessarily by you, but by that section of AVSIM for example) doesn’t suddenly become acceptable or justified because people are disappointed. Especially when they deliberately spread false information about the product to try to vindicate their anger.

      3. Sorry but you are plain wrong. look through the various news releases on the Flight site. Add to this the actual questions emailed directly to the flight team and their online responses and you clearly get the impression that the normal flight simmer would be able to continue his/her hobby. What has been released simply isnt what was implied.

        i quote from the current site:
        “Customize flight controls to match your skill level, choose exciting missions or just take off and explore the sky. Immerse yourself in the thrills and challenges of an ever expanding adventure, where each new plane soars with the power and handling of its real world counterpart.”

        notice the bit about ‘skill levels’ ????

        It isnt a case of ‘they havent delivered what I wanted’, its a case of they havent delivered anything up to standard expected nowadays and promised. I note that all the news hype has been removed from the flight site. This is a pity. it would have been interesting to test the reality of flight against the rethoric.

      4. @cusance: Sorry, but your interpretation is incorrect. There is a catering for skill levels, since they do allow you to turn off assists. It might not be up to your standard but that doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft failed to deliver. I’m exceptionally good at playing Team Fortress 2, should I criticise Valve for not making things harder to “match my skill level?”

        Again the community hyped Flight and talked themselves into expecting FS11.

    1. Ahmed, by your own admission then you never actually got as far as completing the two simple introductory flights that are required to “unlock” the full functionality of Flight…

      …because that would have taken at least ten minutes.

      So, I respectfully suggest that you’ve not performed your own due dilligence, which in turn renders your assesment null and void.

      To be completely truthful, some of the challenges forced me to recall and polish up my navigational skills – such as positional triangulation using multiple VOR bearings – which over the years had atrophied due to excessive dependency on cockpit automation!

      That experience alone negates your conclusion…

    2. Indeed it is, it bares no resemblance to a flight simulator whatsoever – it is a TRAS ARCADE GAME that a 7 year old would play for an hour before getting bored.

  10. I don’t understand who their targeted audience is here. Its basically a kids game, but few kids are going to shell out large amounts of cash for a new plane or DLC…
    I really doubt anyone above the age of 17 is going to enjoy this game as it currently stands for more than an hour, you say its not an arcade game, but it sure plays as one.

  11. I’m a casual flight sim fan but I have played FSX along with many add ons so feel at least partly qualified to ad some comment.
    I was surprised you didn’t mention how sterile the world looks below – there absolutely no signs of life which really breaks the immersion for me. No cars, no people, no ATS, no other aircraft, no wildlife – not even birds!
    Even the environment looks as though it has been frozen with no waves in the sea except those that have been spray painted as breaking upon the shoreline – that, by today’s graphical standards looks dreadful by the way.
    So visually though the scenery looks decent and detailed from a decent height, low passes are pretty much unrewarded unless it is over one of the more detailed objects but even they, such as the cruise-liner are frozen and sterile – is it not safe to sail in those waters?
    So graphically it is on the disappointing side for me, especially when I expected MS to pull out all the stops to wow us into paying for add ons.
    Maybe all the glaringly obvious omissions will be included as add ons but then again maybe not. Either way there is nothing there that makes me want to pay for the add ons that are available.

    As for the flight models, they were fine as far as I could tell and the aircraft were nice and detailed with well modelled cockpits.
    The flying through coins and around balloons stuff doesn’t bother me and as you say it is optional but there simply isn’t enough here to make this a good advertisement for the product – I doubt sales of additional content will do that well especially given the extortionate price tags.

    Personally I will wait and see how things progress, especially regarding some real world animations giving some life to the environment – waves etc, dynamic weather, traffic on roads, people in windows or on boats (need not be animated), wildlife, and above all ATS and AI pilots .

    1. I did actually mention the lack of AI aircraft, perhaps you didn’t read that part. I also mentioned that the support for ATC is apparently there (even stronger evidence becomes apparent from checking the game files). You are correct that I didn’t mention the “living world” stuff, that’s another excellent point and an example of real criticism of Flight.

      I also think the DLC prices are a bit steep for the casual market.

  12. Good review – Microsoft disappoints yet again!

    They’ve actively worked to increasingly undermine PC gaming since the first Xbox debuted – why stop now…

    Maybe some angry birds fans will pick this up.

    1. Yeah, that’s why they totally dropped DirectX support after the release of the 360…

      …oh, wait a sec, that didn’t happen.

    2. Microsoft is no longer ran by Bill Gates and has some women in charge (whom likely does not give an F about the PC crowd)

      I am starting to notice a pattern. Whenever a fanbase starts having an attitude expecting a company to be *loyal* to them the opposite always occurs in no more then 5 years.

      The old saying *opposites attract* seem to ring true whenever this type of attitude occurs. which also happened with Son,Xbox,Nintendo and Rare Ware which is now called (Rare).

      Once the crowd starts going wild demanding more and MORE AND MORE it’s as if a gigantic switch is pulled and the company starts doing less AND LESS AND LESS until the company winds up going third party or out of biz.

  13. Dear soldant, thanks for your review I think it was a well balanced article. Ignore those bullying commenters too.
    I have not downloaded MS Flight as yet, though may do so in near future – I just purchased ORBX SE/Blue so have too much invested in FSX at present.

    My major concern with MS Flight is that MS won’t be able to produce the desired content quickly enough. They really need to get 3rd party developers on-board to produce content ala FSX. IMO people want to fly in their own back-yard, not Hawaii (even if it looks good). Unfortunately I think this approach will lead it too a slow death or at least a _very_nieche product.

    1. The comments don’t bother me, people are entitled to their opinions. I fully expected I’d get some backlash on the forum but I didn’t expect people would actually turn up to post comments.

      You raise a valid point about the timeframe for DLC, and I agree that 3rd party devs should have been retained. I can’t see why it’d be such a big problem to sell the material through the MS store and take a cut of the profit.

      Does anybody know if 3rd party devs had to pay Microsoft in the past to put out commercial addons, for example royalties or for the SDK? If not, I can see why they’d want to keep the current market (more cash in their pocket) but I can understand why Microsoft wouldn’t want to support them given the free run they’d had with FSX.

      1. Well you’ve certainly got people posting comments! 😀

        Getting 3rd party devs would have been the smart thing – it’s clearly what has made FSX a success. Not to mention the iTunes/iOS model work so well.

        Perhaps they’ll release an SDK in the future.. in fact I’d almost put money on it.

        Pat.

      2. for the answer to the 3rd party questions, read this article by the guy that runs PMDG… explains much of the restrictions that the MS team was placing on 3rd party devs… http://forum.avsim.net/topic/358874-some-thoughts-on-flight/

        I think that there are some devs that joined up with MS anyway, but I can’t confirm that, and as such I will not name my suspicions to the public for fear of inadvertently harming an innocent business…

      3. Ross: You know, if I was Microsoft, and people were making addons and selling them for non-trivial amounts of money which were built off my product, I’d definitely want a cut of that. Really the flight sim sector is an anomaly here; the majority of games or similar software with SDKs do NOT allow commercial sales for modifications as part of the license agreement without payment (and some allow no sales at all). Where payment is required, you’re often required to pay royalties, either always or if you make over a certain amount of revenue. What should exempt a future FSX or Flight from a similar model? Just because it was tolerated previously?

        Refusing to allow free content or ignoring 3PDs is a silly move, but I can fully understand why Microsoft would want a cut of the 3PD market. They invest the time to build the base product which is expanded upon by the other developers.

  14. Hey mate,

    Your review doesn’t mention anything about performance issues. Does this run better than FSX? While I love FSX, it’s single-threaded heritage plagues it – you still need high-end overclocked PC’s to run decent add-ons at a respectable framerate.

    Apart from that, this sounds great. I’ll be sure to give it a try over the weekend. A small, detailed landmass to do short, fun, trips is exactly what I need. FSX is great, but it’s a monster to manage. I just want a small plane and area to jump into and get in the air. Almost reminds be of Flight Unlimited II.

    Lack of AI and ATC is annoying, but for short scenic flights it’s not a major.

    1. Oh right, that’s something I forgot to put in. Yes, performance is far superior to FSX, I’d say because it isn’t quite so CPU heavy. On my system (i5 2500k, 6GB RAM, GTX570, Win7 x64) the game runs at max between 30 to 50 FPS with dense scenery at 1920×1080. FSX on the other hand still has a pretty piss-poor framerate (particularly with Orbx scenery).

      Actually the Flight Unlimited II comparison isn’t really a bad one.

      1. Microsoft Flight is the single best reason to ditch Microshit and move over and start supporting X-Plane, Microsoft flight is neither for serious simmer, for serious gamers in fact it is a piece of shit eye candy that in 3 months no one will even bother to use, it is complete and utter SHIT!

  15. I am so disappointed with this so called “Flight” , it does not seem like a simulator to me !! I always fly across the island of Jamaica in a Cessna 172 , when will I ever be able to do that with Flight ? I have no interest to fly over Hawaii !! Never been there and have no desire to !! I am really disappointed in Microsoft as this just seems like an Arcade game and nothing more !! I am a hardcore simmers and I have my yoke and rudder pedals and throttle system and upon starting the game I realize I had to go map the control buttons all over again !! I could not be bothered as all the previous MS games have the buttons already Pre-Mapped !! Also why should I pay so much money for a little piece of scenery when I am so used to getting free scenery from FlightSim.com which I will not be able to get for this game !!
    I am disappointed Microsoft already uninstalled Flight and tomorrow I am going to purchase X-Plane 10 and learn how to use it !!

  16. I am neither a game player nor an experienced simmer (though I am trying to learn this rather complex hobby), but I felt let down by microsoft’s product. I hoped it would have everything there was in Flight Simulator X and also the possibility for only gaming. I also expected something better or at least equivalent to Orbx scenaries plus REX effects and even something like PMDG. As it is, I will for the moment keep on with Flight Simulator X, try X Plane 10 and keep on observing Flight to see if it becomes more interesting without costing a fortune .

  17. Thank you for your review. I have to agree that Microsoft targeted beginners with this latest release. The reference to the word “game” is abundant, the lack of ATC, lack of advanced flight options, and general feeling of “bland numbness” when flying the demo puts Flight more on par with Farmville than X-Plane. You can read more about why Flight is a game and not a simulator over at my blog: http://arealityofmyown.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/microsoft-flight-the-coconut-bra-says-it-all/

    After searching the www, I am struggling to find positive reviews. In fact, even the beginners find Flight to be a numbing experience.

    Cheers!

    1. The hardcore simmers are going to pick out every bit of criticism and hold it up as proof that Flight has failed, when it simply isn’t the case. For comparison, here’s a thread from RPS: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/03/02/the-flare-path-surf-and-turf/#more-97127

      Look at the comments. Lots of “casual” simmers having fun with Flight, as well as some who were interested in flight games but not enough to drill into something like X-Plane.

      The whole ‘game’ thing is another issue too. I won’t piss off the simmers by calling their sim a ‘game’, but it is something most of you do for recreational purposes (unless you’re training and you’re a real pilot). Also the base for ATC is apparently there, so it’s likely MS will include it. Why else would they bother listing frequencies?

      1. Thank you for your reply!

        Microsoft has taken the stance that what we see in Flight today is just the beginning of bigger things to come. However, with no public road map, we have no idea what they really intend to do with it. Time will show how much realism and missing expectations eventually become fulfilled.

        In the meantime, Flight does not meet my expectation so I will not purchase it or promote it. I reviewed it based on my expectations of what I feel my readers are expecting.

        I agree, Microsoft has not failed… I never stated that Microsoft failed, they just didn’t deliver to my expectations. I made the case for why Flight represents something more like Farmville than FSX. It is a different “experience” that a different audience will like and I am sure Microsoft is betting that the Farmville audience is bigger than the FSX audience.

        Yes, FSX, FS9, and even X-Plane can be considered games, but they are games that deliver the necessary detail to please real world pilots and deliver a sense of sophistication that the Flight demo seriously lacks.

      2. You’re right that we don’t really know what Microsoft’s plans are for Flight. All we can do is look at what we’re presented with.

        MS most certainly did bet that the casual market was larger than the hardcore market… which is a reasonable bet to make, but doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll translate to lots of cash. It might yet still stall and crash, but for the moment it hasn’t really failed in what Microsoft intended it to be.

        Also I didn’t say that you said it failed, I said that plenty from the hardcore sim part of the community have said this purely because it didn’t cater to their needs or meet their expectations.

    2. You are 100% correct – I am not really sure who Microsoft targeted this rubbish at ! It fits into neither Simmers, nor games, it is a lifeless piece of overhyped garbage that anyone that tries it will end up uninstalling it after a month at most – Me – I am going to move over to X-Plane 10

      1. Have fun with that. Let me know when their AI traffic system stops putting 747s on dirt strips at country airports.

  18. I have been playing MSFS for over 15 years. The product is my hobby and I love it along with millions of others in the FS community.

    You have your opinion. Here is mine.

    I have played the *new* “game” of Flight. Yes it was interesting but there were simply to many things that were missing that I loved about previous versions of MSFS. I could write a novel outlining them but your review and other comments seem to outline many.

    I got it that you do not approve of the comments over at AVSIM. For whatever reason your review comes off that whomever does not have a automatic love affair with this new product is whining and clueless. You seem to be taking disagreement in your review, Microsoft and the FS community personally.

    We waited with baited breath for six years for MS to come out with a new product after the Windows Vista of FS, (FSX) was released. MS sold millions of copies of FSX and continues to sell despite the hardware requirements that necessitated expensive upgrades and tweaking. Even now the hardware is just catching up to the original release of FSX that allows us to crank up the settings. This might have been one of the reasons why MS sacked the entire team.

    Add-ons and user generated content is everything to MSFS. Without it the game simply cannot survive. The world is to big and to vast for MS to try and figure out what goes where and to provide upgrades when a airport is expanded or a new airliner is developed. The UGC and add-on community does this for MS.

    I am speculating but I see this as a new FS approach by MS to get in on the add-on market. To collect royalties and license fees. To keep their Windows and Office license model going as long as possible. This simply will not work for MSFS and the company has a very long line of product carcasses and failures based on being adverse to UGC for their products. MS has a culture in which they will tell us what is good for us, with the exception of previous versions of MSFS because of the add-ons. It worked for many years. Not now. Case in point being mobile. iPhone and Android has absolutely decimated MS in anything having to do with mobile and smartphones. It is not a contest. They did it by opening up their products to developers and UGC. Apple does take a piece of the action but their apps are still reasonably priced. I cannot see shelling out the kind of money for Flight add-ons that are inferior to what I have grown accustomed to.

    Your arrogant comment that Microsoft absolutely does not owe it’s customers and supporters a bloody thing is spot-on! They don’t. However, that does not mean it’s customers owe MS a thing in return. Certainly not our money and support. Especially for a inferior product. See above on the disaster that is the MS mobile strategy and you can see the writing on the wall for Flight. The “iPhone” and “Android” of the flight simulator world must be licking their chops. A competitor will take up a FS11 and give the millions of supporters what we want and rake in the money doing so. MS will find themselves out of luck with yet another failed product based on a old and tired Windows and Office business model.

    If Flight is really geared towards the novice who has never played MSFS before then I say good luck and God speed. Flight simulation is much to sophisticated to keep the attention of a novice when there are so many other games out there. Yes their will be some converts but the way the game is set-up now I just do not see it grabbing the attention to compete. Meanwhile the millions of “hard-core” supporters stew and move en mass to a better platform happily provided by a competitor.

    I have read that you proclaim to not own any shares or not receive payments from MS to shill for them, specifically in defense of your article, but really your tone comes off as nothing but a pillow biter for Microsoft. I suspect they will hear the outcry from the millions who love the game and come out with a new version of FS11 and try to make us a pay a premium… time will tell. Meanwhile I will stick with FSX.

    1. It’s arrogant to say that MS doesn’t owe customers who purchased their game a proper sequel conforming to their expectations? Since when did arrogant mean speaking the truth? You are right that you don’t have to support Flight, but I didn’t say that you have to praise it to hell and back. I’m pointing out that much of the criticisms of Flight are less about the game and more about what people didn’t get and the new community it was aimed at. It’s fine to be disappointed, but vilifying another kind of market because of it? And then blatantly lying about some Flight features to try to justify it? That’s not cool.

      As for the addons comment: I fully agree. It’s clear that’s what Microsoft did. But by the same token, the vast majority of “games” (hear me out) with SDKs allowing modifications do NOT allow for commercial mods. Those that do often require a royalties agreement. The fact that Microsoft tolerated this market doesn’t mean they have to keep doing that. Sure, the addons might be extending FSX’s life, but how cheap is the game now? Do you really think FSX forms a large part of Microsoft’s sales? It doesn’t. They’ve got Windows and Office to do that for them.

      1. Quote: “vilifying another kind of market because of it” & “And then blatantly lying about some Flight features to try to justify it? That’s not cool.”

        I am confused.

        Exactly how am I am vilifying a different kind of market?
        Exactly what did I lie about as far as flight features go?

        Read my post again. I said no such thing on both accusations.
        What are you talking about?

        It is my opinion that Microsoft has really shot themselves in the foot on this one. Call it arrogant. Call it whatever you want. It is a first class public relations nightmare of the worst order and it will only get worse as the flightsim community, the millions that supported previous iterations of the product by developing add-ons and techniques to make it better, really begins to rev up it’s criticism with our pocket books and letting it be known via blogs like this that the product is NOT worth the bandwidth to download in it’s present form. Social media is starting to grind into high gear and is very hard to stop once started.

        Word of mouth is everything and what is the ratio of negative reviews to the occasional positive? 98:2 or worse? I saw the link that you put up in a reply above as some sort of evidence that all is well is weak in relation to the overwhelming opinion that this product is sub-par and not worthy of the empire that Microsoft worked so hard to build — along with the millions who created add-ons and content to make a good product even better. Microsoft received untold millions in free advertising with all of the sites that popped up supporting MSFS. Remember the add-ons do not work without the base product. I am curious as to how many people decided to take up simulation because of the add-ons and bought the base product?

        I do hear you on how other game products do not allow add-ons. Let’s think about that for a second. MSFS is based on the entire world and 24,000+ airports with untold landmarks, airport expansions, new aircraft etc… UGC and add-ons is critical for the base product to work more realistically. other games are based on defined set of areas where the action takes place. It is entirely different and not a valid comparison.

        Thanks for hearing me out…

        Michael

      2. I never said you specifically said any of those things. I clearly said that I was highlighting that many of the criticisms of Flight focus not on the game but on attacking its target market and spreading misinformation.

        As for “PR nightmare” – it might be for the hardcore community, but that’s about where it stops. Again, you weren’t the target market for this product. Also the hatefilled reviews and social media reports seem to be focused mostly on “coin collection” (a very small part of the finished version) and how it’s been dumbed down for console gamers, while misrepresenting what’s actually in the product or what potential it has. I might as well say the bias machine is in overdrive.

        As for the addons argument – actually my comparison is valid. Essentially people are making modifications for the base product, they are building off Microsoft’s work and essentially using it as a sort of “game engine” (for lack of a better comparison) for their work. Whether they’re considered “essential to extend the base game” or not is entirely immaterial to the fact that they don’t actually support the developer of the original game in any way, they only support themselves. The whole “takes place in a specific area” also has absolutely nothing to do with this point. Microsoft see no benefit from the 3PD market in FSX as it stands, given that FSX sales aren’t much to write home about given how much it sells for and how old the product is. I can’t think of many other instances where this kind of thing is tolerated. It is an anomaly. Again, what functionality they add is entirely irrelevant. Microsoft looking to get a cut of that action is perfectly understandable.

        Arguably, if Microsoft did have such an agreement that these products paid royalties for being able to use the sim’s engine, they would have been more inclined to support the FSX community and remained in the hardcore sim sector. Nothing says support like money after all, particularly if your base product brings in more revenue from 3PD developers.

    2. Agree, that is because the reviewer is a total arsehole and has no idea what grabs your attention in a real sim like FSX and X-Plane!

  19. The article started very well and I do agree in a lot of topics including ranters without base in avsim. However, you then turned to generalize and insult a community based on a few rotten apples. That is uncalled for, and the comment on the flight sim community/market being small couldn’t be more wrong.

    You are talking about a community of players with over 20 years of history. From MS perspective, you may call them “customers”. You can’t blame these customers for being angry when after investing a lot of $ in this product over the years, they are seeing the end of their investment based on a greedy corporate decision due to not being able to monopolize or capitalize on other people’s work (add-ons).
    They are not angry at flight, I believe, but angry at the lack of customer appreciation and loyalty.

    How would you feel, if MS decided to walk away from Windows because they couldn’t capitalize on every software that runs on it and moved all their apps to a new OS and platform? assuming you have hundreds or thousands of dollars on software/hardware and infrastructure investments? I don’t think you would be happy either.

    Let’s look at all angles before becoming ranters without base ourselves.
    Thanks for the review.

    1. How happy would I be? Depends on their reasons for doing it. Technically things like that have already happened; 16-bit support was dropped with the x64 releases of Windows and plenty of legacy apps have been phased out as well. Windows Vista broke a whole bunch of things but without it there would have been no foundation for Windows 7 to be built upon, and Win7 would have been Vista.

      I totally understand that people are disappointed about Flight. That’s fine. But they’re taking their anger out on people who might be interested in Flight and deliberately spread misinformation like “None of the aircraft even have flaps!” or “There are no VORs at all!” which are absolutely incorrect. Plus there’s the whole “How dare the filthy peasants gain access to something near to our hardcore genre! How dare they lower the bar for entry!” that some people are spouting. THOSE people are the target of the criticism of the AVSIM community. I didn’t intend to tar everybody at AVSIM with the same brush, but I think it’s fairly clear that if you didn’t take part in the unmitigated outrage and assassination of a potential new community, then you weren’t the subject of the attack.

    2. Wow! If I were that company that invested those hundreds or even thousands of dollars on software for my clients I would not only be mad for Microsoft thumbing their nose at me I’d go as far as taking them to court to reclaim my loss since they didn’t warn their customers of the change.

      Now as a home person there is nothing severely lost in terms of revenue but for a small or big business company that is a totally different problem if Microsoft either stopped making Windows or went to phones only without giving those business advanced enough warning so they can change all their software instead of investing in false lies.

      (Which the Bible clearly warns will happen in more frequent basis as we near the end times) but that’s worthy of writing my own blog.

      1. Microsoft Flight is free to test, there would be ZERO loss from demoing the product and realising it was not suitable for commercial flight training. Also the development of Flight does not suddenly destroy or remove FSX from existence. This is hands down the most retarded argument I’ve seen from the Flight bashers. It’s a game, for Christ’s sake, not an operating system. Your entire point is so ridiculous that I’m not sure whether you’re being serious or not.

        Also DisCONNECT is a heretical holy-book-burning nightmare, I’d suggest you’d keep matters of faith well away from here or you’ll be asking for even more ridicule.

  20. I would prefer if they made a demo version, and a full version. I hate the free to play format on any game as an excuse for you to get less content for more money. I think if you were to buy a full game, even if it was more expensive, you could satisfy more people including hard core simmers like me. I would pay 50 dollars if they had the variety of aircraft of fsx and the entire globe. I would not pay 50 dollars for the rest of the hawaiian island chain and a handful more aircraft. I am perfectly happy with the quality of scenery the former aces team put into hawaii in fsx and while i give the current team credit for the amazing scenery in flight, it is not worth the money for me.
    I see where your coming from in this review but I would have to disagree on some points. They have, in some ways dumbed down the interface. There, as you said, is no flight planning software, a feature i used extensively in fsx, and there is no calibration, as far as i could find, for controllers. So my saitek yoke works more like a switch to go up or down rather than working progressively. (It seems to have set at least a 50% null zone) So ill stick with fsx until microsoft decides i am a valuble enough part of the market to cater to again.

    1. You might be waiting a very, very long time friend. I’d suggest you check out X-Plane 10, though to be honest I think X-Plane 10’s interface is pretty piss poor (XP10 won’t help with flight planning), and although the cities are laid out correctly thanks to the streetmap data, it still has a few problems were many cities consist almost entirely of low-set housing.

  21. also i agree with what emh said. Ive only been here since fsx but i have a huge, relatively speaking, set up worth a lot of money and was looking forward to an improved fsx. Now Microsoft says im not as valuable as more casual simmers. THAT, is a selfish decision.

    1. You bought FSX. Anything else you spent money on doesn’t have any benefit to Microsoft, their benefit was the price you paid for FSX and that was it. The fact you’ve spent money on a Saitek controller, addon scenery or addon aircraft doesn’t mean anything to Microsoft. They don’t get anything from that. They can with DLC, and if they do end up with a bit of revenue through Flight, they might be inclined to keep supporting and expanding it. I doubt that’ll translate into the hardcore market’s desire for a Flight Simulator 11, but it might go some way to fixing the problems present with flight now (no ATC despite an obvious provision for it for example).

      1. i suggest you read my post again. you are not getting the point. The reasons are clearly stated. And you can read on pmdg and other add on vendors experiences on how they were cut off from flight because they didn’t agree with the DLC model.
        That is the main point…not your analogy on x16 or anything like that…

      2. You’re not getting it. Microsoft don’t owe you anything. They don’t owe the 3PD devs anything, there is no agreement, whatever Microsoft do is at their own discretion. You’re right to feel disappointed that Flight isn’t what you wanted. You’ve got an entitlement complex if you think Microsoft were obligated to do everything you wanted.

  22. Well I have PLAYED flight for a few hours, and looking at the cost for the add-ons I feel that I cannot justify this expense.
    FSX gave us a whole world to fly in, it taught me to navigate, to the point where I was buying Airacs and maps, and the whole thing was complete enough out of the box to let my imagination wander for hours at a time. Although some of the scenery was somewhat unrealistic, at least was whole world, and the freeware market was extremely vibrant and there were some excellent add-ons.
    Am I disappointed with Flight? Yes, very much so. Do I feel that if I followed this I would get value for money? No! Do I feel that this will satisfy us dedicated and loyal MS Flight simmers? NO!!! Which ever way you look at this, it is a game for young boys. Will young boys play this? NO, mine won’t, his mates won’t, it is far to slow adventure wise and does nothing to rock their boats.
    I feel let down by MS after this long wait. I wish they had clearly stated their intentions, so that I could have made my decisions in which direction to take earlier.
    I had a feeling this was going bad, so now the money I would have spent with MS is now going on my new copy of X Plane 10. At least I can email the main man there and get a response!
    I have made my mind up, I will keep playing FSX, and X Plane 10, and that’s where my hard earned money is going.
    As for the language from the reviewer, I found it disapointingg, especially as children will be able to access it.

    1. This wasn’t a bad post until it went onto the “this is a dumbed down game for kids” tangent. I doubt most children would be interested in Flight, just as I doubt most adults are interested in Flight Simulator X, just as even fewer are interested in Farming Simulator 2012. Although Flight isn’t on the same level as FSX, it clearly isn’t part of the arcade game bracket either (despite what some people like to believe, and since I’m primarily a gamer and less of a simmer, I can make that statement).

      As for children being able to access this: guess what, a kid can pull up pornography if they want to. DisCONNECT isn’t a site for kids, but if they stumble upon it, it’s not my problem.

      1. Ha! I guess most children or any adults would be interested in Microsoft Flight! It fits in absolutely no where – it is neither a game or a SIM, it is shit! Are you getting a payback from Microsoft for promoting this shit?

  23. Well, I’m not a hardcore player, with flight simulator. I bought X when it get out and I laught a lot when I saw a city near mine as a big desolated place. Mi city was unrecognizable.

    And I liked to play from time to time, to see the world from the skies and… well, do nothing, meanwhile.

    I did not played the missions, cause there where extremly complex, difficult for me. To land the aircraft was difficult enought… and my english and my flying capabilities make that I almost never used the multiplayer.

    So well, from my point of view…

    I don’t get it.

    Graphically, it has no improvements, respect X. At least I’m not able to notice them.
    For users like me, it has a lot of improvements. A very easy interface… and simpler misions…
    But this all could had been added to X.

    Another point. I play it with 3d vision. It looks good, but need a small changes to make it more confortable.

    I like that it is more near to me, this… but I don’t like all the possibilities that has been lost.

  24. The only thing worse than M$ Flight is a M$ kiss-ass who believes that a community that has supported and made Flight Simulator 1 through 10 the most successful sim on the planet should be shit canned by M$ for expecting at least the same quality simulation produced over the more than 30 years of It’s existence. To expect a simulation and get the Xbox crap with add ons designed to suck anything up to and over $500 a year from our credit cards for any reasonable amount of content only proves M$ don’t give a crap about the community that have supported and made them successful in the genre for over 30 years.

    Well folks, here is my comment: Xplanes is at least trying to improve and give us a simulation and not a dumbed down money sucking game. For their desertion of their loyal long term supporters and customers, micro$oft can kiss my smelly, grey haired geriatric (real world) aviator’s ass

    1. Don’t let the door hit your smelly, grey haired geriatric (real world) aviator’s ass on the way out. I’d hate for you to get a fractured NOF or something.

  25. Oh and if you took the time to look at the numbers, there are far more people expressing disgust at MS Flight than a liking for it. Negative reviews are contagious, and Flight will probably end up being a failure as it will probably only appeal to the instant gratification crowd who get bored with every new game after a week or two. The easier and more accessible you make a game, the shorter it’s lifespan.

    Don’t bother responding as I found your blog by accident, and based on your knowledge (or lack of it) of gaming and simulation demographics, and your fanboy attitude towards serious if disgruntled simmers, i have no intention of returning here to read any more of your ramblings

    1. AMEN! I feel as if all the smart people that used to run things are getting sucked by Aliens and replaced by holograms being told what to do and how we should feel.

      I wrote a lot of comments at once because I will most likely get banned by tomorrow night for standing up to this author even though I did not flame him and respect soldant’s opinions however idiotic and insane they are.

      1. I read all of your comments and got a good laugh out of them. Your self-righteous indignation was one of the more amusing attempts at… well, I’m not really sure what your point was except “I don’t like it.” I particularly laughed at your courtroom threats to recover losses. I had to reply to that separately because it was comedy gold.

        To date not a single person has been prohibited from commenting on either this article or the AVSIM response article, nor has a single post been deleted or removed. But the warning applies: if you voice your opinion and get flamed in response, that’s just tough shit.

        As for standing up to me – plenty of others have done so here, none of them were banned. Also most of them didn’t have valid points or just reinforced what I was saying. For the record, you fit into both categories!

  26. Hi, I usually don’t comment on much I had to say something on this. I respect your review and understand your frustration with how it might seem childish how some are ranting and raving but in a nutshell they are angry because for years we have all chased that dream of the day where our hardware matched the software. I have been a gamer and a simmmer for years and have watched as people would come and go with flight sim because no matter what system you had it just wasn’t enough. These guys aren’t some little kids they have spent many hours and thousands of dollars over some decades hoping to just fly a smooth sim without all the so called tweaks and stuff and Flight looked like it was going to be the answer. Now if MS wouldn’t have been so tight lipped and made it clear what market this was for it might have eased the pain just a little but that I think is what is driving the anger. Just my thoughts though

    1. Progjazz: Whats the matter with you?

      Have you not been reading the replies from the owner of this blog?
      MICROSOFT OWE IT’S CUSTOMERS NOTHING!

      Got that?
      NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH.

      If you complain about a release of a VERY sub-par product that is deserving of criticism and contempt you are nothing but a whiner or a liar, as the product is apparently fabulous for some un-named and undefined beginner segment of the market. If in the past you have contributed to FS via UGC or add-ons you are nothing but a thief fucking Microsoft out of much needed royalties…

      This is a disaster for Microsoft. A once proud franchise cannot survive a onslaught of negative word of mouth via social media, blogs and other means of delivery. It will die a slow painful death and Mr. Ballmer will pull the plug.

      There are competitors though who actually like their customers.
      Who like UGC and add-ons.
      Who would never turn their backs on the millions who have made MSFS into what it is today.

      M

      1. It’s a disaster for Microsoft? Really, if Flight fails, it’s not going to finish the company. Maybe you’re forgetting they happen to develop and support a rather popular operating system and office suite, along with a number of enterprise applications and a gaming console. But please don’t let that get in the way of facts, I’m sure the failure of Flight and the outrage of a comparatively small market is going to finish them.

        I find it particularly ironic that you say that my posts say that you can’t criticise Flight, which is entirely incorrect. You can criticise it as much as you like, so long as your criticisms are valid. Fun fact: “MICROSOFT YOU ABANDONED ME I BOUGHT 3PD ADDONS YOU CATER FOR ARCADE KIDDIES I HATE YOU!” isn’t valid, particularly from Microsoft’s perspective.

        For future reference: “No ATC, no AI aircraft” is an example of a valid criticism.

      2. Dearest owner of blog: Once again you are misquoting me. I NEVER said the failure of Flight would finish Microsoft as a company. Far from it and it would be ludicrous of me to say that so stop it.

        If I was a MS executive I would be horrified then livid at your comments where you take it upon yourself to say they “don’t care”. If you don’t think they are not noticing the huge ratio of critical comments to good you are not thinking straight.

        Seeing as with every comment not agreeing with your opinion on MS Flight that you are becoming more defensive and juvenile I can only conclude that you are playing devils advocate to keep the blog going…

      3. Wait, I’m becoming more defensive and juvenile because people don’t like Flight? Where? I’m actually quite clearly pointing out the general attitudes being reflected here on this very blog, which is exactly what I was targeting in my original statements! The exact kind of entitlement issues and attack on “gamers” is precisely what I was targeting here, and a whole lot of you decided to come here and prove me right. I don’t even need to cite examples from the AVSIM archives, I can just point right here!

        Fact is Microsoft obviously weren’t interested in the hardcore market, everybody agrees on that. It’s no big revelation that if you leave, they not worried. You clearly said that Flight is a disaster for Microsoft. It’s not. Windows 8 being a useless, unusable piece of rubbish would be a disaster. Flight would not.

      4. Never said that they did man I was just shedding some light on what the anger is or what is driving it that’s all. Not saying anyone is right or wrong just what is fueling this thing. Like most I was thinking this was a new flight sim and held off on buying more hardware to see if this was going to be the answer to all our prayers and it wasn’t for us like you said in the review, got it. Am I mad no not at all because it saved me from starting over with this. So no I don’t think and never will think that they owe me or anyone else anything!

  27. Its true. I also owe Microsoft nothing. I understand that one can’t expect to reason with Randians, and so that’s why I will DL this free “Flight”, install it, and then delete it. I will let MS know that they could have had a customer if they’d turned out a real product. Then I’ll start saving for Lockheed’s Prepar3d. I agree with Joe Pilot. The author of this blog should stick to FPShooters and other “games” that the kiddies like. Those of us who pay to fly FS are happy to take our $$ elsewhere.

    1. Paraphrasing: “I have a massive entitlement complex and I’m going to tell Microsoft about it.”

      Microsoft’s Response: “Haha, we don’t care! ;)”

      Thanks for proving my criticisms of the community correct.

  28. It semed to have gotten a bit pesonal between users and soldant ,i have given MS Flight ago but time will tell wether or not its what people are wanting.

  29. “@cusance: Sorry, but your interpretation is incorrect. There is a catering for skill levels, since they do allow you to turn off assists. It might not be up to your standard but that doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft failed to deliver. I’m exceptionally good at playing Team Fortress 2, should I criticise Valve for not making things harder to “match my skill level?”

    Again the community hyped Flight and talked themselves into expecting FS11.”

    Cusance: I am sorry, I thought this was a grown up forum. Young man, when you grow up you will eventually learn to differentiate between the meaning of words. for example the statement that their new game ‘matches’ skill levels, that is a promise.
    In life young man you should go by what people actually say, not by what you assume they are saying. As the game does not in any way enable anyone to seriously ‘match’ skill levels, they havent lived up to the promise.
    It is really as simple as that. may i also say that you should be careful about starting discussion blogs on the Net which are slightly above your level. I of course admire you for doing so and would encourage you, but it is important that you get your facts right or you will encounter quite a lot of opposition as you can see from this blog.
    But keep going. Well done for this effort and dont take things personally. Eventually as you grow up, you will have the benefit of this learning process.

    1. Really, you’re trying to patronise me? And you’re trying to dictate how my blog operates? This is my realm, we entertain my rules here. If you are incapable of keeping a patronising tone out of your posts, you will receive exactly the same treatment in return, and you will deserve every second of it. Particularly when I was polite in my response to your post. If you post in a polite manner you’ll be treated as such. I hope you enjoy the patronising tone of this reply, I crafted it especially for you.

      As for the nonsense about a ‘promise’ – there is no promise here, your interpretation is flawed. Life DOES NOT operate based on a strict and specific interpretation of words. I find it incredibly ironic that you try to talk about “life experience” and “learning” when you clearly are naive enough to believe that words will only ever have one express meaning, and that your interpretation is the only correct one. Quite frankly, if you’re gone through your whole life without learning that such claims are not binding, you’ve got a massive experience gap which will no doubt cause you significant problems. Perhaps it already has? Perhaps you’re not aware that “mere puffery” does not constitute a promise? This is why advertisers can make claims which are clearly invalid and yet not be held liable for civil action. It’s about time you had a good look at how the real world operates and apply it here, instead of “Microsoft should have catered for me, because I said so.”

      My reply to you was courteous and to the point. You have decided to post back with a ridiculous load of nonsense about life experience. Unlike you, I won’t consider how old a poster is before considering whether their words are valid in a case like this. Maybe you should consider this a learning experience, where hostility and patronising tones are met in kind. Perhaps take it as a skill to apply to your offline life, it might make things better. After working as a medic and in emergency departments I know that the correlation between age and maturity is tenuous at best. Some of the comments here just go to prove that point. Actually, yours is probably one of the best examples of exactly what I campaigned against: a massive entitlement complex put forth by people spitting venom and hatred who take exception to receiving the exact same treatment.

      Ah, the self-righteous speech of an egotistical, “life experience” toting, arrogant prick. Do you enjoy having me preach about life experience to you? You could learn an awful lot from me.

      1. My reply to you may have been considered patronizing, but it was surely polite. I could not quite understand your obsessive ranting against the so called hard core simmer community, of which i am not one by the way, so I fed all your posts through a psychological profile analyser. My reply was based on its outcome which was amongst other things that you are male, non european, it said most likely southern hemisphere, and most likely between the ages of 13 and 16.
        There was another possilbe outcome but I discounted that as I think you are NOT of below average education, but if adult, most likely have issues with others. In particular I strongly suspect that somewhere along the timeline of your life you have had some bad experiences with the so called hard core simmer community.
        quite possibly with specific websites. Were you rejected by them maybe once?
        So hence my reasonable initial assumption that you were a child. The fact that you apparently are not, would seem to indicate you have issues which you should seek some assistance for. Trust me when I say that some issues can quite severely damage you as a person.
        again, you will note that my words are polite, but again you may find them patronizing. they arent intended as such, I am trying to be helpful to you, but it would be expected and run to form.
        I would guess that somewhere in your life you have had some big dissapointments and this shows in your writing, although you probably dont realize this.
        you are quite wrong when you put forward the notion that people’s words should not be relied upon. this is a distorted view of the world which will not serve you well. Words, what people say and how they respond is and will always be the main guiding red line most people adjust and formulate their behaviour by. this is not wrong, but the way it should be. It is therefore also perfectly reasonable to frown upon words which seem to incapsulate a statement as to how things are or will be, when that situation does not then materialize.

    2. Wow, after 20 years in law enforcement, I must say, that was the biggest load of bunk (weakly) disguised has expertise in human psychology I have heard in a long, long, time. It’s outrageousness in it’s display of ignorance only topped by it’s unbelievable and thinly veiled air of unwarranted superiority.
      Reminds me of 8th grade dropouts that suddenly think themselves constitutional lawyers when you catch them in the act of (inserft favorite stupid criminal violation here).
      Jeez…..

  30. Nice review! Thanks for taking the time to give insight into this new project. As a soft/medium-core Flight Simulator user since FS3.0 and through FSX I could easily be one of those who complains endlessly about the new direction of MS. However, I quickly think back to a year ago when I decided to build a rig that could “finally run FSX” and how completely disappointing it was to discover that a top of the line homebuilt PC was still incapable of running FSX cleanly on it’s high settings. Your review of Flight’s performance is encouraging although the inclusion of only the Hawaiian Islands and a handful of planes for almost what FSX retailed at upon its release is a little frustrating. I am aware of the fact that this is a work in progress and that different DLC content will be made available so that I can eventually, ultimately, tailor my own FS experience. Instead of complaining I am looking forward to what MS does to make the brand grow and be economically viable, thus improving the chances for the broadening of the audience that the game appeals to including those more “hardcore” flight simmers. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the new experience and lovely visuals which actually run beautifully on my new machine!

  31. There’s a couple reasons why I won’t go with Microsoft Flight: (a) I run an older PC and it won’t meet the minimum requirements, (b) there’s very little opportunities for adding/modifying aircraft, sceneries/landclass or airports, and (c) it seems rather limited in many aspects. Granted, it’s Microsoft’s toy and they can do what they want however they want, but there seems relatively little-to-no community input. There’s been a lot of people who’ve done great things with aftermarket sceneries and planes over the last several years, their input and contributions made us what we are today: a learning, growing community, albeit now a progressively-dwindling, more anonymous community. There’s nothing like corporations anonymizing and isolating society more and more, this merely amplifies that. So, now that we’ve removed the last avenues of creativity and input, it’s time for me to take my FS2004 and go flying off into the sunset. It was fun, but I’m saying “CAVU” to y’all..

  32. I’ve been an avid aviation enthusiast for some time now. I can’t even remember when I started other than I was young. I remember buying FS95 some time ago and was hooked. I’ve bought almost every version of Microsoft Flight Simulator since and I was very impressed with the Fly series as well. I was sad to see that series not fly as they had a great model as well. Although I agree with much that you have said I think they could have done better at catering to a bigger audience and not alienating the original fan base that got them to this level in the first place. Call me entitled I don’t care.
    That being said what I believe they should have focused a little more on is the tower communication in which there is none. So what if I can tune to it… it’s not what it should be. No I’m not one of those that have a cardboard box 747 cockpit… Yet LOL… Anyways… I just wished they would have put a little more effort into certain aspects of what made the Flight Simulator series a hit before Flight was even introduced. Graphics wise MS is right on. The virtual cockpit is definitely better. Jumping to waypoints is another great feature. I don’t like doing long flights myself but if there was a method to jump I would entertain doing even transcontinental flights. I get what they have done and although I’m not into flying through hoops and turning tricks I get the fascination with it and it does get some others that wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy FS to go on that type of adventure. I like the jobs aspect and have already done so. I’d like to see more structure to it and have to stay within an IFR flight plan. That’s just me. They did a great job with graphics a much needed improvement over FSX.
    Overall the new Flight simulator has potential. They just need to address some items left out. Until they do though, I don’t see myself purchasing extras. I’m also looking forward to more types of planes and jets as well. I like to fly a variety of planes. I’m concerned though that the avid enthusiast of the series will not come back even if they work on some of the things that the avid Sim Fan wants. I’m afraid that this will turn into a project that won’t be finished because it’s not going to keep the interest of everyone.
    Last year was a great year for me as I got out of the virtual realm and got to take my first flying lesson at age 38. This proves that you’re never too old to achieve your dreams. My first flight was everything I dreamed it would be. Once I left the ground for the first time let out a big wooo whooo… funny cause it went through the mic and I could hear myself. My years of flying in the simulator gave me an edge once I got into the real deal. Thank you Microsoft and Fly for giving me that.

    1. The point I was making about the radios is that there’s obviously some functionality intended, it just isn’t there yet. I’m basing that on the fact that Microsoft just didn’t bother to implement panel controls for some things (like the Maule’s autopilot) yet they clearly took the time to list the frequencies and let you tune the radios. I’m not sure why they’d bother if they didn’t intend to implement it eventually.

      1. The nav radios *work* with the included VORs, ILS, Localizers, and DME.

        The com radios *work* insofar as you can use them during multiplayer to chat voice with someone else on a “private channel.” Given that at least two need to be on any given freq to communicate, and that there are only sixteen players per session allowed…

        …simple math tells us that there can be up to *four* separate conversations going on simultaneously. That’s pretty darn neat! 🙂

        There’s also a common channel on which everyone can voice communicate.

      2. Thanks for that Bill, I didn’t know that the radios had an impact on multiplayer comms! That’s also just a tad bit worrying… I presumed that they were included but were non-functional… as they’re functional, I worry if they’re only carrying out their intended purposes and isn’t indicative of future AI-based ATC.

        Then again, the original point may yet stand! One thing I wish Flight would do is let you view the map during a mission. As it is to fly on instruments you’d need to plan the route in advance and create your own nav log, it’d be much better if they let you refer to the map during a mission.

  33. Over the past 20 something years. I have spent over $27,000.00 on flight simming (software and hardware)… so I guess that makes me hardcore.

    Having said that, I’m not stupid. FSX is what I use when I want to “pretend” to be a pilot. I use Flight when I want to have some FUN!

    Please don’t think all hardcore simmers are dicks… cause some of us aren’t!

    1. Oppps… I forgot to put a smiley at the end of my comment. Here’s 2 to make up for that 🙂 🙂

      1. No worries. I know not all the hardcore simmers are dicks, and I know that plenty of them also see the merit of Flight. They know this isn’t directed at them. The vast majority of the backlash here complaining about the treatment of “hardcore simmers” (or more specifically the vocal ones who hate Flight with something approaching religious fervor) are ironically the same ones trotting out entitlement arguments.

        Flight is fun. It’s not the high-level sim that FSX is, but it’s fun, and clearly that’s what MS was aiming for. Apparently that’s a crime? 😉

      2. It is or should be a crime when they are not very clear about the direction so people can choose wisely what to save up for.

        Isn’t that called blackmailing?

  34. I blundered into this blog by accident from a google search about something else, and found myself reading the review and the following posts with great interest as well as sadness at the personal nature of some of the comments. Having tonight tried ‘Flight’ – I think the review was pretty spot-on – thanks for taking the trouble to write it!

    I am an FS user of many years, having started with FS3 and have bought every subsequent version up to FSX, and some years ago, used FS to help my VFR navigation while training for a real world PPL, So I guess I’m a ‘hardcore’ sim user, but I’m not member of or contributor to avsim, am not interested in long haul IFR flights and don’t associate myself with most of the comments here about the hard core FS-ers.

    I thought I’d just put tuppence-worth in on behalf of those of us who are avid but low profile FS enthusiasts and who are not part of apparently ‘warring’ factions. Whether we’re a large group or a tiny minority I’ve no idea, but we certainly exist!

    I was very disappointed by my first experience of Flight, particularly in the face of expectations built by pre-release publicity. I am not criticising Microsoft – what they do is up to them, but ‘flight’, I suspect, will never ‘do it’ for me, and I fear that in time, FSX will cease to be compatible with future versions of windows and will eventually become untenable. I’m already getting warning messages about compatibilty with Windows 7 graphics from FSX! I hope that before that time, someone else will have a realistic alternative, unless of course Microsoft rethinks it’s approach. I’ve never tried X-Plane, but perhaps that might be an alternative if FSX is eventually broken (not deliberately, I’m sure) by some future service pack or OS version.

    The big thing FSX offers to my mind that Flight will probably never offer – is a global ‘base level’ of detail, including real world terrain, mostly plausible textures, most of the real world airfields and navaids everywhere on the globe. This base level is adequate for a lot of exploring and VFR flight even though it leaves plenty of scope for 3rd party (or Microsoft payware!) add-ons to add local enhancements. The real value of FSX to me is to be able to go anywhere on the globe and explore – in a variety of aircraft. This will never be achieved by patching together a jigsaw of probably expensive add-ons in ‘Flight’, however impressive the detail of individual packs may be.

    I flew the two initial missions and then played with free flight for an hour or so. General things that I miss in addition to the above (some of which may be there but not obvious how to use) include

    * runing the program in a window rather than full screen
    * using my (Microsoft’s own!) force feedback joystick with force feedback
    * being able to open multiple windows showing different views, kneeboard etc.
    * using dynamically downloaded real-world weather (the FSX ‘native’ real weather isn’t great, but some add-ons provide really good dynamic weather)
    * a simple windows-style menu bar to explore the full set of options available
    * many of the features mentioned already elsewhere in this blog

    Finally – after the first few water landings, things didn’t feel quite ‘right’ so I thought I’d take a look at the flight model. A few simple experiments showed that ‘Flight’ doesn’t model ground effect at all, whereas the last few releases of Flight Simulator do. This lack may not make a huge difference to most casual flying, but it makes me wonder what else might have been missed from the flight model. Not that I’m really motivated to investigate further.

    Is X-plane heading for a truely global substitute for FSX?

    1. Having tried XP10 I really doubt most FSX fans would swap. It’s a hell of a lot less polished, doesn’t have the support from the major 3PD devs like Orbx (and converting FSX scenery isn’t particularly successful for Orbex stuff), and although it does accurate city road structures, cities consist almost entirely of low-set housing. I know it’s from a small team, but it’s very much a functional, procedural style sim. To be blunt, I’d take the default FSX scenery over XP10, even if my home city is reduced to a 20km indistinct blob in a non-existent desert.

      Although I can sort of agree with you about FSX covering the globe and how that had an appeal, the fact is that FSX did a really poor job of it for the vast majority of the planet. The high-detail cities were adequate, but the vast majority of the planet consisted of autogen attempts that weren’t even close to reality. If you weren’t told what city it was supposed to represent, it might as well have been anywhere and you wouldn’t know the difference visually. Of course there has to be some compromise (you can’t model the entire world!) but given that Flight focuses mostly on VFR flights I can understand their approach to look at particular segments of the world, particularly those that are suited for VFR flights.

      Again, it’s a different focus to FSX, and I doubt Flight will ever return to the FSX full globe experience… although the globe definitely was present in the beta!

      1. Thanks for your reply and the information about X-Plane. I’m not considering moving from FSX at all, but was just speculating on where I might go when the day comes that FSX will no longer run – hopefully quite a long time in coming!

        I take and agree with what you say about the poor detail in the global coverage. However, for large areas of the world, that isn’t catastrophic. I have had a fantastic time flying VFR in the mountains of Chile for example, where the significant features are mostly terrain which is accurate, and where the autogenned stuff, while it might not be correct, is at least mostly convincing and plausible. I love exploring down the valleys with the mist hanging over the mountains, with navaids dropping out all the time due to the high ground causing added navigation challenges. Yes there are lots of airfields set at the wrong height so that the runways are in craters, or have auto-genned trees growing in the middle of them – but that doesn’t really detract from the spectacular surroundings. Landing on an artificially difficult runway (short, crosswind and tall trees on short finals or in the middle of the runway) may be unrealistic but does add some additional fun challenges! Who needs missions provided when those features are part of the scenry!).

        I’ve also spent a lot of time flying a cub vfr, with no navaids at all, and without cheating with GPS or maps with routes on – and that is perfectly possible in the UK with no 3rd party addons at all.

        I have to say that I consider FSX to have been underpriced for the great package it is, in spite of it’s faults – we have been spoilt. Perhaps now reality is kicking in, sadly in a way that abandons what we had. I’d far rather have had an FS11 – even at three times the price, than the situation we are now in.

        I have spent a little more time with Flight though and have actually found something new in it that I do like. Flying close around the mountains when there’s a bit of a wind really does demonstrate the fickle updrafts and downdrafts around all the mountain ridges. I now find myself wondering if it models mountain wave, and will try a few experiments to find out – I wish they had provided a glider!

        I have also found out one other surprising thing – something that I’m not sure why they bothered modelling at all. If you are the sort that like to drive your aeroplane along the roads like a car, it behaves a lot more realistically than FSX, and models interaction with the surroundings as though it were a driving video game. The two criticisms I’d have, one is why waste development time and CPU cycles modelling ground behaviour that nobody in their right mind would ever expose a real aircraft to, and that the aircraft is artificially robust. It can tolerate impacts to wingtips that would destroy a real aircraft, instead of which the plane swings around the trapped wing, but if you can free it, remains in perfect condition!

        I was also frustrated to find that it is impossible to stop the engine in flight without lowering the landing gear, and having the brakes on. I tried to use the mixture controls instead of ‘B’ to stop the engine, and nothing happened. It’s as though there are no mixture controles on the default aircraft. Don’t suppose it’s possible to simulate an engine failure with a water landing!

        I’m not going to spend any money on Flight but’s starting to be fun for a while finding out what it does and doesn’t do!

      2. Regarding mixture: The Icon A5 doesn’t have mixture controls (or if they’re there I’m not aware of it), but the others sure do. If I pull back the mixture to 0% the engine cuts as you’d expect. There is however a weird issue with the mixture control in the RV6A where it always seems to need to be set at a specific percentage regardless of altitude.

  35. Just booted up X plane 10 again after having a go in Flight.
    Let me just say AHAHAHAHAA…..
    Who the hell would still sit around with these old gimpy, ugly looking semi-functional so called simulators outdated one decade ago?

    People, yes you who complain about Flight being sub-par FSX, should get into businesses here in the present (future in your case) and realize just how much Flight makes flying everything FSX never had a chance of being.

    Flight has some real potential which lays in the hands of it’s creators.
    We hopefully never have to fire up +30 gigabytes of worthless crap game incl. add-ons (not all add-ons are bad ones, just the majority 28 of them) hoping it might work just a little bit.

    Well see what happens to Flight…. the rest is going out with the thrash for ever.

    1. Hilarious post considering 5 minutes looking at Flight’s files shows it’s just FSX (actually, probably the FS11 “update” that Aces was working on prior to being canned) tweaked, transformed into a game with reduced physics/complexity, and increased mission focus, and divided up/modified to sell content piece by piece for considerable more money than they would have sold it for as Fs11.
      So basically YOU would sit around with a so called simulator, outdated one decade ago, happily convincing yourself that this is some kind of entirely new wonderfull program that wasn’t possible before.
      Not to mention, a fraction of the content is going to end up costing quite a bit more to boot, consider ring just Alaska, Hawaii, and a hand full of planes will cost just has much has previous FS versions that gave you the whole world, and tons more planes right out of the box. Most people who stick with this for more than a month are not going to just buy a few islands, a handfull of planes and one low population state (translated more likely to run good FPS), and MS knows that. Your basically happy your going to have to pay more for the privilege of getting less, making MS even happier, and you’ll probably still end up with huge amounts of data taking up your drive anyway in the end.
      Even more ironic, there is no guarantee that once they add things like AI, and/or any truly large airports, cities, or large complex terrains, “missing” features”, etc, that the performance will be any better than FSX. Hawaii has always run slick has pigshit with all the AI turned off, weather minimal, etc, in previous MSFS, even with autogen and textures cranked up, so it’s no great surprise that Flight can do good FPS in Hawaii. The surprise would have been if COULDN’T handle it considering for release MS simply got rid of, or minimized in the case of weather, all the features that slowed down previous MSFS versions (and even the Beta had textures that tanked Flight’s performance for a number of people). At it’s heart it’s still the same basic program, with the same limitations seen in previous FS, just with the textures/autogen updated (like they’ve done with every “outdated” version), physics reduced, features removed and the format changed to make it more of a game.

      Man, MS saw you coming…..Hype: twice has addictive than crack with alot less bang for the buck.

      1. Lololol, I know, right. Facepalm…..
        I love Flight, but the ingnorance of some of the fanboy defense force is a bit scary.
        It’s quite obvious that it’s the same basic beast under the hood, and this was just the version Aces was working on before, altered to fit the sales model and target audience that MS corprate wanted when they had the “little dissagrement over the future direction of MSFS” that some of the former Aces people hinted at years back.
        Sure, it runs great on my current machine with the minimal release scenery maxed out, but when I stick it on my six year old Dell I handed down to the kids, it has even more problems with blurries, stutters, crashes, etc, than FSX had on the same machine, and just like FSX I had to mess with the flight.cfg to get it to run even remotely proper. Still has the blurries though, and that’s with everything turned down. Alot of the same tweaks work, but the allowed values for Flight are often much higher. TextureBandwithMultiplier defaults at 4000 now I think….lol.
        So yah, it’s not only just the MSFS engine updated, there’s every sign that if they released Flight has FS11 with all the AI, world, etc, it probably WOULD NOT run any better than FSX on anything but the best machines today. And probably not so well on the best either. Just making the UI pretty, and turning it into a simplified game with small FPS friendly areas to fly in doesn’t make it any less “outdated” than X-plane or FSX. Allthough I do find it funny to call the two industry leaders “outdated” when there isn’t anything else but an updated FSX (MS flight), and another updated FSX (Prepar3d), to compare them too. It’s like calling last year’s model car outdated just because somebody has the exact same car with better fuel system, a turbo, and a coffee can muffler. Sure, the modded car might run better than the stock, but it’s still the same car to begin with, and neither one are really “new”, but niether one is “old” or “outdated” yet either. Push the modded one over redline, and it’ll breakdown just the same.
        Just wait though, he’ll be back to tell us we’re wrong. Dealing with the reality that this IS what FSX could have gotten very close to performance wise if they had CONTINUED TO SUPPORT IT, (and what FS11 could have been out of the box), rather than abandon both for a new sales model, would give the average fanboy a terminal stroke.
        BTW, love the addiction reference….LMBO, I don’t promote the use of crack, but sooooooo true….

      2. @Dan:
        The basic content part of Flight may be the same but the core engine has seen major overhauls. For a start, it actually makes proper use of a second CPU core, which on its own gives it a massive boost over FSX when it comes to CPU-limited performance. Also it makes much better use of the GPU. FSX came from a period when dual-core CPUs were only very new in the desktop market (so pretty much nobody had them), and it also emerged at a time when we were transitioning to DX10 (which nobody really used in the end anyway). FSX’s engine is severely crippled. Flight improves that significantly. The fact that it isn’t yet modelling ATC or AI aircraft doesn’t suggest performance problems at all: pretty much everybody has a multi-core CPU these days, there shouldn’t be any reason for FSX-style traffic to slow things to a crawl.

  36. And one more thing. I know a number of people, including myself, that waited with open minds for Flight, and now that we’ve seen it, have taken money that we saved, and would have other wise spent on new comps and what not for a more traditional MSFS type program, and started spending it on XP10, and FSX and/or XP10 payware. I pretty much refused to buy either untill I got a look at flight, and never really spent much on payware anyway.
    So in the last week, MS got $20 from me. XP10 got about $80, Saitek’s getting about $200, and various payware outfits got about $400 total for stuff for FSX and XP10 combined. I still have $1500 saved from my flightsim fund, and i’ll probably not spend most of it on FS stuff, but mabey a little more. I’m not however buying more Flight DLC unless they get real about prices, and even then I’ll cap it at about $60 total. While I do like playing arround with Flight, I can make other Sims look better, run better, and provide me with much more overall function than the current Flight price model will ever allow. I simply won’t pay more than I would have paid for FS11 just to get less product in the end, even if they do make an effort to lower the price. From the current prices, I could very well have easily spent the same $500 amount on Flight, but it still wouldn’t give me everything I want in a sim. Namely a huge aircraft “museum” and a whole globe to VFR. Yes, there ARE actually people like me who set goals like “Visit every country”, “Follow the entire coast of whatever continent”, “visit every airport in whatever country in a Piper J3”, etc, and do these things low and slow. We want scenery that is cosiderably superior to Flight’s current offerrings and i’ll never be able to do such things in Flight without unjustifiably huge amounts of cash invested. More cash than I just plunked down on payware, and from the looks of it so far, at lesser quality than the payware I just bought for my older sims instead.
    That doesn’t mean I think other people shouldn’t invest in Flight if that’s what they want to do. That’s fine. All I’m saying is for some of us it’s a wasted investment no matter how other people want to hype up flight. MS Flight is not for people who liked having a thousand planes, a world to fly them in, and the total flexibility of how you want to use them that other supposedly “outdated” programs provide.
    Flight is for people who want far less out of a program, like having someone else provide the activities, and don’t want to have to learn the complexities involved in a dedicated, full bore simulation. One thing Flight is not is a complex, dedicated, full bore simulation. It is however a fine little game with a little simulation added in for measure.

  37. Thank you, Soldant for addressing the issues and for the review of Flight. My background is this: I’ve been with the FS since Sublogic days very early on, I think it was 1984 and the C64. I’ve been a purchaser of every iteration since then, and have enjoyed every one of them. I have developed a few aircraft for FS98 (KC-135T being one of them). I also did a few repaints. I’m a long-time simmer, but I haven’t done anything major like build my own cockpit. I did actually get my private license and I owe part of that learning to Flight Simulator which helped me out with NAV equipment and basic flight. I loved it when FSX came out and have bought REX2 and MegaScenery packs. The one thing I do find boring about Simulation (not an attack on any sim) is airline flight which I find very dull. I prefer nap-of-the-earth and dead reckoning. I was studying bush style flying when I was going through flight school. So that’s where I come from.

    Your review was right on the mark. And so was your response to the large vocal and mostly hot air coming from the very vocal simmers group.

    They are even spamming the Flight FB page, which is truly sad. And whenever someone who has actually dove into Flight responds to them, they just don’t respond back.

    It’s like a hit and fade thing. Almost as if it were encouraged back on the forums elsewhere “Hey everyone go and say how bad Flight is over on their FB wall, let’s get Microsoft to apologize…”

    It seriously is rather childish. It’s no wonder MS is moving away from them. And I like that it is.

    I really enjoy Flight.

    It’s very real. I love the fact that multiplay has opened up to a vast field on Live. I mean, that’s huge. And when you can VOIP on certain comm channels, that is absolutely spectacular and much more realistic than some dumb, robotic, prescripted ATC that vectors you badly.

    There are things that Flight needs to work on, granted. Clouds being one of them. They did put a ton of effort in the land scenery which is just incredible.

    The aircraft models are superb.

    In the RV-6 and Maule the Radio/NAV is all there and you can tune into VORs and ILS and ident just like in real life.

    I just got done flying a freeflight mission where I was going from VOR to VOR in inclement weather. It was hard! I had all the “easy” flight handling unchecked (and will leave it that way).

    I didn’t find that arcade at all, and the way the aircraft performed was just like I had done in real life in the Cessna’s that I flew (except I didn’t get into storms when I flew VFR).

    All in all, I really love Flight.

    Thanks again for a well-balanced review.

    ~Dale Jackson
    aka StratoArt on Live.

  38. I completely agree with you on Flight. This is a fantastic game for someone who wants to get a feel for light-sport aircraft. No, it is not highly technical; you won’t go from playing Flight to jumping into a plane and flying around the world. But how many arm-chair pilots are doing that anyway? I am actually a student pilot and I found some features of flight to be really helpful. The checklists for instance were great to give you just a basic idea of what kind of procedures go into the various phases of flying. This is just a great easy-to-play game that is just technical enough to give you a feel for what the real thing is like. If that’s what you go into it expecting, you will not be disappointed.

  39. wow .. this game is like playing a game in 80ts . . . . . . only the graphic is good… its not a sim…. waste of time …… am buy the x plane 10 …

  40. Hi Soldant,

    Thanks for the review, really enjoyed reading it.
    Off on a bit of an tangent really, but after reading the reviews, comments regarding Flight I thought I’d stick my tuppence worth in on Microsoft closing down the Flight Simulation franchise, I always like to comment on the very latest topics!

    I am not a hardcore flight simmer, that said I’ve had all MS Flight Sims from FS2000 onwards. I’ve always got my pleasure from setting myself up for a difficult approach or low level through the Grand Canyon etc. I’ve never been one for procedural flying I just like blasting about and apart from freeware aircraft I never added any third party content, I was more than happy with the core package. I was mystified and disappointed when MS binned MS Flight Sim. By all accounts they were at no point ever losing money on developing and retailing Flight Sim.

    What really had me scratching my head though, was how they were shooting themselves in the foot businesswise. MS Flight Sim was a Windows only product, couldn’t play it on a Mac or a console, you had to have another Microsoft product to play it. One thing that was noticeable on every new release of MS FS was how on both hardware and flightsim forums, flightsimmers talked about how they would either have to upgrade this or that or buy a new pc to meet the requirements of the latest version. That’s another copy of Windows sold with a new system, that’s another person buying a pc again, instead of a Mac. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the flightsimmer demographic was one with a more than average disposable income to spend on upgrading when required. On release the latest incarnation of MS FS was usually ahead of the curve of other than the very latest hardware.

    Microsoft do not owe anybody diddly squat, but it can’t of done them much in the way of harm, in creating a thriving third party PC software industry or creating an upgrade market for processor, graphics card and other PC hardware manufacturers, not to mention the goodwill they got off flightsimmers who were probably more well disposed towards Microsoft than they might otherwise have been. It’s unquantifiable but I can’t help thinking it was good for Microsoft on so many levels in their position as the number one Windows pc software provider.

    I think they were nuts to close it down, they could have still gone down the Flight road without dumping Flight Sim. They released Crimson Skies alongside CFS 2, one an arcade, jump in, blat as much as you can, airborne shooter, the other a combat simulator, guess what? I bought and loved them both. I’ve got to say I think they’ve screwed it again, well for me anyway. I’d have happily paid 60-70 quid for a complete sim/game but I really can’t be arsed with this DLC smorgasbord model, I think it must be my lazy bugger instinct, I literally cannot be bothered. The other thing that put’s me right off, is the Windows Live connect to the internet for this that and the other tosh. Any chance I can just install it and play offline with full functionality and content? Ooooerrr, I hadn’t realised until reading that bit again I have turned into a miserable old git, although on the bright side I am happliy miserable.

    I’ve downloaded the freebie Flight and given it a blast and quite enjoyed it, but I’m afraid MS won’t be getting any dosh out of me unless they release it in a years time on DVD with all available content for 60-70 notes. When they first started talking about Flight, it was going to be a definite buy, but with the DLC model it’s a no no and I’m seriously looking at X-Plane 10 for the first time. Correction, my credit card is out and I’m off to Amazon, X-Plane here I come! Toodle pip!

    1. While I agree with you that FSX does have some peripheral benefits, I don’t think the flight sim sector itself really makes that big of a difference. Much of Microsoft’s dealings with its OS ultimately result from OEM sales with partners such as Dell, and although people owning a PC is obviously of significant benefit to Microsoft I don’t think they lose much sleep over Intel or AMD sales since the PC has been the dominant box since the early 1990s and shows no signs of changing.

      From a “gaming” perspective (used in a broad sense here) Microsoft’s support of DirectX does a lot more for encouraging OS and hardware uptake than a flight simulator, so you could apply the same arguments to pretty much any game. The irony is that FSX wasn’t really ahead of the curve at all; it had fairly rudimentary DX10 support, and doesn’t properly support multicore processors which were finally hitting the desktop market in force in 2006. Really, multicore support would have been a big boost to a flight sim, so if anything Microsoft were short-sighted.

      But with all that said, you are right that they did miss an opportunity along the way. Better 3PD engagement would have been beneficial but there needed to be cooperation there too, namely “no free lunch” which is fair enough. But you are absolutely, 100% correct that Flight’s DLC pricing is borderline absurd. Taken within the context of addons for FSX it might seem reasonable but from a broader perspective and considering the target market it’s fairly steep. It’s something I hope Microsoft reconsider. Also the P51 is a joke, I can’t remember any positive comments about that back in the beta, and I can’t see any positive comments about it now.

      1. Hi Soldant, Yeah you’re probably right about the flight sim sector, I pretty much only do driving and flight games which in the big scheme of pc gaming are just two genres and probably two of the more niche at that. Looking at something like The Sims, the flight sim sector pales into insignificance sales wise. I guess it’s human nature to think your particular likes more important than than they actually are!

        Didn’t express myself very well on the latest incarnations being ahead of the hardware curve. What I was trying to say, is you needed the latest hardware to run each new release of Flight Sim with all the bells and whistles at a decent framerate, not that it was particularly advanced, just very good at bringing a system to it’s knees.

        Thanks for the response, some very good points well made. Cheers.

  41. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned!

    I have dared to stray from the ONE TRUE PATH!!!!

    I had read the reviews about Microsoft Flight.

    I was warned that it is UNCLEAN. IMPURE. THE TOOL OF SATAN…

    And in my vanity, I scoffed. As a real-world pilot, I scoffed. CFI (Instrument and Multiengine, even!). Sometimes float pilot too. And as a former military helicopter pilot, I scoffed. Even as a systems engineer (who “flies” jetliner professional flight simulators as part of my “day job”)…

    Then I read of the righteous indignation of the “hardcore simmers.” And I felt naked and ashamed. ASHAMED! That I’m not WORTHY. Because I must CONFESS…

    …That I think that the ATC models are RUBBISH! (MSFS and X-Plane)

    …And that helicopter sims are my FAVORITE (even the Alphasim/Virtavia Dauphin which I bought on sale!)

    …I own ALL of the Flight Replicas Piper Cub Family (even the L-4 and PA-11!!!)

    …That I don’t mind paying for DLC for my “Rise of Flight!” :-O (I even preordered the Hansa-Brandenburg and The Channel Map!!!)

    I AM THE MOST “NICHIEST” OF THE NICHE!!!!!

    I have committed blasphemy because I have said that IT’S ALL JUST A GAME!!!! IT’S ALL JUST A TOY!!!!! Not to take myself TOO seriously & to relax & have FUN & DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!!! (Though I too enjoy the best “realism” that the producers can offer, such as the A2A Cub, Carenado Cherokee 180 (IMHO, having instructed in one), and the Dodosim Jet Ranger…)

    So I was dismissive of Flight at first. Not angry. Not betrayed. Just dismissive. But after reading all the fuss, I became curious. I then committed the most MORTAL SIN OF ALL…

    I TRIED Microsoft Flight. AND I LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!! :-O

    Yes!!!!!! Me!!!!! A REAL PILOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And instructor. And engineer.)

    “Flying” an Icon seaplane in Hawaii with Lara Croft as my flight instructor, I won her ukulele and her coconut bra!!! I mean, how cool is THAT??????? Maybe not the MOST fun you can have with your pants still on, but surely it places somewhere on the list…?

    And I “flew” the little Icon UNDER a bridge! And landed next to the ocean liner in port (WITHOUT getting strip-searched by TSA!!!)! And I EVEN LIKED the crosswind effect (i.e. sideslip landing on the runway) and the “chop” effect flying off the water!

    “Arcade?” Maybe just a smidge. But Microsoft Flight is the “Sport Pilot ticket” of the flightsim world. And folks who don’t want the “Full Meal Flightsim Deal” can relax and have fun. AND IT’S OK… 🙂

    …And now that I’m “OUT OF THE CLOSET,” I can admit that SOMETIMES I like to play the FSX missions TOO! At night, when nobody else is watching… Even the cheesy fly-the-Learjet-through-the hoops and the land-the-Robinson-on-the -“samba physics” -yacht missions!

    Oh, I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!! But I guess I’ll have to surrender my pilot “tickets” now… 😛

    But seriously folks, it’s a GAME. You can find fault wherever you want to. Especially helicopter simulations for MSFS or X-plane. NOBODY’s got that EXACTLY right. But instead I’m DELIGHTED by the genius, creativity, and inventiveness of the developers (“OEM’s” and 3rd parties) who’ve brought out such enjoyable products over the years within the constraints of desktop simulation.

    And if Microsoft Flight introduces some new folks to our hobby, WELCOME! 🙂

  42. This Game sucks balls… I would probably put this on the same level as 18 wheels of steel,,,

  43. I apologize if this gets a little rambly.

    Those who think that there was no market for another installment of the Flight Simulator series and the “hardcore simmer” community is a meaningless handful of dorks don’t really have the foggiest idea what they’re talking about. FS9 and FSX both sold quite well and the secondary market around both of those games remains quite healthy. The “hardcore simmer” community isn’t insignificant — on the contrary, while it isn’t quite on the level of the petroleum industry, there IS a significant third-party add-on industry, and MS spent a lot of time courting developers in an attempt to cash in.

    Starting around the time FSX was released, Microsoft started scoping out how to turn that industry into $$$ for MS and began to buddy up to some of the prominent third-party developers as they started developing a new platform — what would eventually become MS Flight. MS wanted the recognizable third-party developers to get on board to attract interest, but this is where things go awry and “hardcore simmers” get frustrated. Some kind of licensing for third-party developers would work out fine, but what MS came up with was a command-and-control “app store” business model that pretty much prohibited developers from signing on unless they lost their mind and wanted to essentially surrender all control of pricing, marketing, and distribution to MS.

    It’s evident that MS wanted to use third-party developers as contractors to make DLC for the game. There would be DLC for casual gamers, DLC for those looking for combat, and DLC for airliner sim freaks. That idea, isn’t the problem, and neither is MS Flight’s actual gameplay. The problem is that MS created a business model which quashed the spirit of open development that was the lifeblood of MSFS.

    I’m not going to rip on MS Flight’s end product gameplay because in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Anyone who knows anything about software development knows what I mean when I say that the only thing I’m interested in is the game engine. FSX was the last of a long line of facelifts on an aging platform, and it really shows if you’re familiar with it. Third-party developers would love nothing more than to get their hands on a next-gen flight sim platform. Is that MS Flight? Given the length of the development cycle, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a potent engine behind MS Flight.

    It’s not about the game itself — it’s about the business model. MS Flight might be arcadey to some people, but frankly the default FSX aircraft are rather arcadey themselves. The good thing is that there are all kinds of quality add-ons, both freeware and payware, that users can pick from. However, for MS Flight, at least at this point, there isn’t going to be much of a market for add-ons. Sure, there’ll be some things to purchase, but will the selection be anything close to what one can get for FSX or FS9? Not likely.

    What about the future? I don’t think that “hardcore simmers” have no hope for a viable platform from MS in the future. Personally, I’m not convinced that there’s as big of a market as some think of people who want more than an arcadey point-scoring game, but less than an actual flight simulator. If the sales don’t support it, sooner or later MS is going to have to adapt to the realities of the market. They have to know that they can re-boot again, adjust the business model, and revive the “Simulator” brand name to regain any market share they lose to X-Plane or whatever.

  44. IMHO, Flight is far too young to be seriously critical of it just yet. I must say, I don’t really care for the new marketing angle, i.e., free download, after which you’ll pay out the nose for every additional speck of dust, but it certainly is intriguing so far. I’ve had high hopes since the announcement of it’s development, and I’m simply not convinced that the development team has shown all of it’s cards yet. The nice thing, for them, is that they’ve positioned themselves to take this thing in any direction the money leads them to at this point. They still could very easily add optional control/IFR/flight realism for those who want to pay for it, and leave it out for those not interested. After years of enjoying the FS franchise products, I’m still intrigued with the promise Flight could offer. I’ve found myself really, really wanting the Maule, so that I can nail the cargo jobs. The foreign concept of paying that kind of money for something I’m used to downloading and tweaking for free is all that keeps me from actually doing it. The fact that I really, really want the Maule also tells me that the development team has done a good job MAKING me want it. Which is why they exist in the first place, right??? I mean, they aren’t there to serve us…..they are there to make paper-cash-money to feed Mr. Gates his $100 Hamburgers topped with caviar. And if a few of us can convince ourselves that they are here to serve us, well, then……I’m sure they’re ok with that, too.

  45. Personally, I liked what I read on the associated review (again, pertaining to the sim, anyways; pretty much skipped anything that didn’t pertain to it). Thanks for the insights. While I’m very late coming to the recent release, it’s nice to know what I’m going to be facing before I fire it up.

    I’ve done a few reviews for Avsim over the years as a contributing staff reviewer, so I think that speaks to how much I love up-to-FSX. So yeah, reading about how much more generalized Microsoft SEEMS to be (reserving judgement – real life hasn’t left me a lot of free time lately to explore Flight) did leave me with an eyebrow raised. I’m one of those weird-types that loves a long drawn out checklist for starting an engine or suffering consequences for not flying-the-numbers. It’s the pilot me in (private pilot only).

    Admitting here how I felt a little cheated, I was personally hoping for a highly retooled and polished version of FSX, retaining the fair accuracies that allow me to use the sim to maintain my instrument-flying skills (maybe Flight will do this too; I have yet to find out). Doesn’t sound like I’m going to get it – they opted to go a different route. Such is the way the business world works, though. If they figure another crowd could benefit, so be it.

    Like you said, Flight seems to be going in a direction that allows better accessibility, hitting a demographic that likes to fly without the added tasks like system management. My own wishes notwithstanding, I can’t say that I fault their decision. Like you said, a lot of people don’t want to deal with the little accurate details – I learned that teaching Civil Air Patrol cadets about flying, where we just set everything to easy and started with the plane in the air; they seemed happier not having to remember the 20 steps leading to HOW to get it in the air.

    The way I see it, FSX and it’s predecessors has satisfied the curiosity of what it’s like to dance in the clouds. And in some cases, they’ve actually inspired those to shoot for the real deal. If Flight does the same thing… let’s just say that in the tiny world of my brain, flying is still flying, and if a product conveys that sense of freedom, then it’s succeeded. Even if it’s at the expense of not having to worry about viscocity of the engine’s oil.

    Now time to download this thing and see what it’s got.

    Regards,

    Alex

  46. 1. Those who can’t fly…SIM
    2. Those who cant sim…PLAY
    3. Those who play…. criticize the rest.

    A. Pilots use sim to stay sharp
    B. Simmers use FSX to train/learn
    C. Gamers don’t have the patience to improve

    * Those who learn are open to improvement
    ** Those who want to improve, usually do
    *** Those who game, live at home until they’re 40

    FINAL: Everyone finds value in their own unique way.
    1. As the BEATLES sang… “Let It Be”
    2. As Rodney King said…”Can’t we all just get along”?
    3. As Bill Clinton proclaimed… “I didn’t inhale”

    I end agreeing with Rodney King… “Can’t we all just get along”?

    1. With an attitude like that – no, we can’t get along. Ever consider that you’re part of the problem? No, wait, that’d require some semblance of insight.

      1. Ok… It is apparent I’ve touched your…”Sensitive bone”?
        Let me take a Real WILD GUESS here and go out on a limb.
        From my posting…. You fall into these categories…

        3.
        C.
        ***
        and 3 again, but I think you do inhale

        Tip: Move out of your parents house, you’ll feel better.
        Flight is only a cheap game, and will always be just that.
        Thanks for your reply!

      2. God I love it when you people validate my statements. I don’t even have to prove anything any more, I just point to the comments section. Have fun playing your procedural sim that nobody else cares about!

      3. Have fun playing your now dead failure of a “casual” sim. Turns out even less people cared about MS Flight.

        Of course, most of the ones that did care apparently were hardcore enough that thought they should at least get cockpits, larger aircraft, faster aircraft, helicopters, and aircraft that actually fit well with the activites provided. I guess that was too hardcore, so rather than give what little fanbase they did have what they wanted, what they screamed for at the end, MS just gave up.

        Then again, mabey the problem wasn’t the concept itself, but rather the fact that MS seems to have confused the “casual simmer” with “braindead idiots that are easily confused by round things with numbers “.

        Either way, Turns out all those awfull hardcore guys that predicted a total fail knew the market a whole heck of alot better than MS did.

        But yeah, your right, you don’t have to prove anything anymore. Even the casual market wanted much more than Flight was ever going to be, and MS just did a spectacular job of proving it. Guess that little hardcore niche was the only thing keeping FS alive all these years afterall. Flight didn’t last 6 months without them.

      4. Yes, I did note that in my follow-up. Remember this was posted shortly after Flight went public.

        Of course the danger is that Microsoft won’t enter into the flight sim market again, leaving you with that unpolished mess that is X-Plane, or whatever happens with Prepar3D. Unless another claimant approaches the throne…

        In either event though, the childishness of the exact people I targeted in this article manifested itself right here in this comment thread. Whether Flight lived or failed, that point still stands.

      5. Why only Xplane and prepar3d, surely FSX is alive and well?
        It hasnt had any input from MS for a long time now and still its going strong.
        So no, the simmer community is fine. Its the game player who has lost out.
        Its a shame as MS could have handled it differently and thus kept everybody on board.

      6. FSX is alive, but it’s a relic from a time when single core processors reigned and is ultimately held back by being closed source. You can bolt as much stuff as you like onto it, but there are fundamental underlying engine issues which ultimately hold it back. While FSX isn’t going away it really is time for a new product. That was one of the more exciting things about Flight – it had a brand new engine that properly took advantage of multi-core CPUs and made better use of the GPU, giving vastly superior performance. To use a slightly ridiculous analogy, it’s like taking Windows XP and bolting more and more updates onto it to try to make it take advantage of newer tech. Eventually the kernel (or other core part of the software in other cases) needs to be overhauled. FSX is well past that point.

      7. FSX started way ahead of the rest. So yes time has caught up, but it totally depends on what you use it for. IF the interest is only ‘gaming’ in the Flight sense, then FSX does not compare with modern games. But then Flight did not either. IF your interest is in navigation, flight planning etc then FSX is still the best out there. I doubt if any have ever really fully explored FSX that way. And it is this aspect of FSX which also can be developed by third party.
        On a good gaming machine with the highest graphics FSX is smooth and very impressive. I have made some video grabs, some friends thought were actual real flight footage. So the stregth of FSX is very much as a simulator. It isnt a game. However, NO flight program will ever succeed unless it includes a full simmer aspect. That is why Flight failed.
        Yes its time for something new to take us beyond FSX (no mean task!) but me thinks that the rumours of the death of FSX have been somewhat overdone.

      8. Nobody’s claiming FSX is dead. But the process of bolting more and more stuff onto it will eventually hit a roadblock. For comparison, Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (one of the most realistic military sims ever created with people that take it as seriously as you take flight sims) can still run like a dog on modern systems because it was built for a different time (again when single-core CPUs were all we had) and had fundamental engine issues. Even today it isn’t hard to cause the game to slow to a crawl. FSX suffers from the same issues where you have to play with it and tweak it to get it running acceptably in all situations (particularly with addon scenery) while a newer engine would allow not only for more consistent framerates, but also better visual fidelity.

        And you’re right that FSX tends to have the best interface and tends to be better for flight nav (X-Plane 10 is an absolute joke in that respect) but by the same token there’s still roof for improvement, especially given that the average hardware profile today is a far cry from when FSX first came out (pretty much everyone has a multi-core processor these days).

  47. Look, all of you who seem to think FLIGHT has an actual promise or does represent an actual significant game development, FLIGHT is a cash cow for MS, thats all. If you have bought everything they have released sofar, then you will have already paid more than FSX would cost, you will have less experience, play, whatever and you will still be flying in a sterile world. wake up, its just a money making vehicle. By all means spend your money that way, but please stop pretending it has anything to do with flying or the “flying experience”. It hasnt. Its not even close.

    1. AMEN…. my thoughts EXACTLY. It’s a toy without any value for aviation… in any capacity!
      Thank you Cusance!

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