• Phil Spencer On The New Microsoft Flight Simulator

    Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox

    We don't often point you to articles published by other web sites, but given the high level of interest in Microsoft's announcement last weekend that a new Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming we thought we should pass this on.

    In the interview, Microsoft's Phil Spencer talks a bit about how the new Flight Simulator came about. Just be aware that most of the interview is about other games, Xbox, Game Pass, etc. though now that the new Flight Simulator is going to be tied into that environment it's kind of important to understand all this too.

    What he reveals about the technology behind the scenery is pretty interesting, and quite a leap from what currently simulators do. He is pretty insistant on calling it a "game" though and seems almost surprised that some people (probably like most of you reading here) don't.

    Read The Interview

    Microsoft Flight Simulator Web Site


    23 Comments
    1. Nuhaid's Avatar
      Nuhaid -
      I hope it's not another joke like the Microsoft Flight which was released in 2012.
    1. kalizzi's Avatar
      kalizzi -
      I say hold your horses. Wait and see the catch. Years of experience taught me not to expect anything good out of Microsoft.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      The endless negativity is really sad. "Nothing good from Microsoft"? Seriously? How about FSX, FS2004, FS2002, FS2000, FS98... shall I go on?
    1. max327's Avatar
      max327 -
      Wow!! Absolutely beautiful. I'm still with FSX, holding out for the next "leap forward".....could this be it?
    1. napamule2's Avatar
      napamule2 -
      I bet the reason Mr Spencer insists on calling it a 'game' is (maybe?) because 'IT' may not be 'modifiable' by us simmers. Perhaps no flight dynamics (or 'physics') available (or SDK) to modify or edit? But, I'm 'game', and will reserve judgement or opinion. With the possibilities that new computers and technical programming affords us now a days I guess you might even be able to go to Mars in the new sim. Hey...it could happen. Tighten your seat belts!
      Chuck B
      Napamule
    1. pklitofsky's Avatar
      pklitofsky -
      I have used a number of Microsofts flight simulators in my time but why did they have to mess up FS2004?
    1. rooitou's Avatar
      rooitou -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      The endless negativity is really sad. "Nothing good from Microsoft"? Seriously? How about FSX, FS2004, FS2002, FS2000, FS98... shall I go on?
      Sorry Nels, but I'm one of the skeptics too. Microsoft ditched the team that produced those titles you mention. But you're right, Microsoft has still produced some excellent titles in other genres in recent years (mostly on XBOX), but NOTHING flight sim related. Unless they assembled some long-lost and/or serious talent under the radar, I think we're going to get a very good-looking sim, but light on the technical stuff like flight model, ATC and no support for things like trackIR, multi-monitor etc. If it also runs on XBOX, it will be more game than flight-sim, has to be due to the very defined parameters of XBOX and Spencer is already giving us a hint.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by pklitofsky View Post
      I have used a number of Microsofts flight simulators in my time but why did they have to mess up FS2004?
      How exactly did they "mess us" FS2004? That version works well and is still popular today.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Being skeptical is fine, but I'm seeing people declare it a failure before we even know what it is. Sometimes I think the flightsim community is its own worse enemy. Look at the comments on any subject...there is so much negativity all the time. Something new like this should get us all pumped up and excited, not whiney and complaining.

      Something that's a like more "gamey" and less serious isn't necessarily a bad thing. One area where we are hurting now is in bringing in new people to the flightsim community. Having a sim that was at more of an entry level and thus more accessible to people with no previous experience could be really useful. Having Microsoft get behind it and actively promoting it could be the best thing that happened to flightsimming in a long time.
    1. tiger1962's Avatar
      tiger1962 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      The endless negativity is really sad.
      Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. I think most simmers would rather be sceptical now and potentially pleasantly surprised when it's launched, than be over the moon now and bitterly disappointed when it's launched, as we were with MS Flight.
    1. hoozitthere's Avatar
      hoozitthere -
      Microsoft has given us flight sims that has occupied a big chunk of my spare time since 1995. I do fly XPlane and Flight Gear too, and enjoy them. I take all products at face value and try not to look at the things each sim doesn't have, but rather focus on the features I enjoy. I'm looking very much forward to the possibilities that can be included in this new sim. Hopefully it will be built with a completely new core and include the utilization of a multi-core processors, 4k graphics, 64bit platform, maybe even let use some of the aircraft and scenery that we have, and other features we loved about their past software. I probably won't be disappointed in whatever they put out as long as it's not like MS Flight, I didn't get much enjoyment out of that one. Anyway, I remain....optimistic.
    1. stretch's Avatar
      stretch -
      What we want is an (Open Source) platform...that way we can create add-ons for it. Please don't repeat the "Flight Debacle" that is what "WE" do not want!! Listen to us Microsoft...WE are the customers you'll be selling to, there is not some other mysterious audience that will pop up to purchase and utilize this sim.

      With that said...I'll remain optimistic
      Cheers,
      Aaron
    1. johndoe12345's Avatar
      johndoe12345 -
      Typical Microsoft article. Lot's of language that doesn't say anything! They just cover the technical aspects that mean something to the propeller heads and discuss nothing that means everything to the end user.

      I guess I'll just stick with FS2004 until at sometime in the future, Microsoft proves this new flight simulator has value to me, the customer!
    1. kalizzi's Avatar
      kalizzi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      The endless negativity is really sad. "Nothing good from Microsoft"? Seriously? How about FSX, FS2004, FS2002, FS2000, FS98... shall I go on?
      Nels let me be accused of heresy and speak up -with all due respect- I wasn't talking only about Flight Sim, I am a long serving IT Professional. Microsoft has the nasty habit of suddenly inducing obsolescence, giving their products an artificially limited useful life, disowning their product and retracting their support to force the customer to buy the "newer" version. Shining example how they ditched Win XP while it still rocks, how they are ditching Windows 7 for 10 and how they want everyone to go into Office 365 which is a monthly subscription affair. I am not disputing their technical people but with Microsoft the commercial department has the final say and these are driven by sheer cynical greed. I know it is legitimate to seek profits but this has to be paired with a bare minimum of ethical commitment towards the customer.

      As with Flight Sims, they have a track record of letting down the customers. They disowned FS9 and they disowned FSX, just for pure $$$ penny-pinching motives. Only luckily that LM picked that last one up and created P3D. The latest episode is the weather server for FSX/P3D going down last February and you get the defeatists saying oh go and find yourself such and such freeware weather server. I am using a program that is still requires me to have a license from Microsoft and I have paid for it in full, yet they just disowned it. Have they made it freeware? No.

      Why doesn't anyone greet an announcement by Aerosoft with negativity? Or ORBX for that matter? or many other examples in the industry?

      Best wishes.
    1. karlhajek's Avatar
      karlhajek -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      The endless negativity is really sad. "Nothing good from Microsoft"? Seriously? How about FSX, FS2004, FS2002, FS2000, FS98... shall I go on?
      Allow me to refresh your memory:

      FS98 ff. are mainly a product of subLOGIC, later BAO, and finally Aces Inc., Microsoft's part in it was almost entirely marketing.
    1. zswobbie1's Avatar
      zswobbie1 -
      I have issue with these comments:

      "As with Flight Sims, they have a track record of letting down the customers. They disowned FS9 and they disowned FSX, just for pure $$$ penny-pinching motives. Only luckily that LM picked that last one up and created P3D."


      Microsoft most certainly did not disown FS9 nor FSX. All they did was to release the basic engine for FS9, & a few years later, FSX, which was a natural progression update sim of FS9.

      It was the developers that provided add-ons for those sims, both freeware & payware.

      On July 9, 2014, Dovetail Games announced that Microsoft had granted them rights to develop the next Flight Simulator in the series. Dovetail Games also announced the release of Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition on Steam for late 2014, named Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.

      In 2009 Lockheed Martin announced that they had negotiated with Microsoft to purchase the intellectual property (including source code) for the Microsoft ESP (Enterprise Simulation Platform) product. Microsoft ESP is the commercial-use version of "Flight Simulator X SP2". by DTG for updating to modern PC usage. The Not for Entertainment pro/commercial version of FSX, known as ESP.

      As far as letting down customers?? Really?
      They actually did not ditch Windows 7 for Windows 10. If you recall, there was a Windows 8 & an 8.1.

      Obviously, as an IT professional, you should be aware, that as hardware progresses, so should operating systems, & you also should be aware that current hardware is not optimised for obsolete operating systems & visa versa.
      Obsolescence happens when newer ideas, software & hardware takes over from the old.
    1. zswobbie1's Avatar
      zswobbie1 -
      Just to follow up on my previous comment...I too get rather fed up with the all the negativity.

      At the end of the day Microsoft is a business, and as such is out to make money. I seriously doubt that a few thousand members harking on about FSX 2.0 will alter their thinking of what their business model tells them.

      What will have a bearing...are the millions of Xbox users, and also Xbox Pass holders (see link below for numbers), who may have a passing interest in simulated flight.

      These are the users Microsoft want to capture, as they will dwarf the numbers of hardcore simmers usually found on traditional sites such as here.

      Look at the business model for Truck Simulator on Steam for example. You have constant updates, a fantastic workshop offering additional trucks, trailers, etc...and it all works extremely well. There are plenty of comments on files, and it all goes towards building a larger community.

      So does this mean we should all be getting depressed about the whole thing? Not at all…

      Why? Because it will serve at injecting new blood into the hobby for one.

      Should we be upset if it’s a game and not a hardcore simulation? No!

      Tell me...how many 15 to 25 year olds do you know who have the time or interest to follow a single VOR for 45 minutes? Jeez...not many in today’s mobile and fast moving environment.

      That is why, whatever is developed needs to be relatively casual for it to be appealing. Those users of the ‘game’ who wish to delve deeper (and there will be many), will find the alternatives in the sims we all know so well :-)

      So instead of moaning and bitching about it, embrace the idea to the fact that the hobby we all love and enjoy is growing (but in a different way)…

      Never before have we had it so good… with so many choices

      FS2004
      X-Plane
      FSX (boxed and Steam)
      P3D
      FlightGear

      And a link showing that Q3 users of Xbox exceed 63 million, at this stage.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ve-mau-number/
    1. zswobbie1's Avatar
      zswobbie1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by napamule2 View Post
      I bet the reason Mr Spencer insists on calling it a 'game' is (maybe?) because 'IT' may not be 'modifiable' by us simmers. Perhaps no flight dynamics (or 'physics') available (or SDK) to modify or edit? But, I'm 'game', and will reserve judgement or opinion. With the possibilities that new computers and technical programming affords us now a days I guess you might even be able to go to Mars in the new sim. Hey...it could happen. Tighten your seat belts!
      Chuck B
      Napamule
      I think that the reason Mr Spencer calls it a game is because it actually is a game, coming brom Xbox Gaming Studios & will be marketed on Xbox, with it's 64 million gamers.

      Lol, Chuck, we could go the the Moon & Space with FS2004 anyway, & we had quite a range of space scenery & space ships.
    1. DavidN16's Avatar
      DavidN16 -
      MS is calling it a "game", so maybe they are adding a POINT to the "game" besides just learning how not to crash and navigate to nowhere special. Are they going to include an "FS Passenger", "FS Captain" or "FSEconomy"? Now that would be a "game" changer.
    1. rooitou's Avatar
      rooitou -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      Something that's a like more "gamey" and less serious isn't necessarily a bad thing. One area where we are hurting now is in bringing in new people to the flightsim community. Having a sim that was at more of an entry level and thus more accessible to people with no previous experience could be really useful. Having Microsoft get behind it and actively promoting it could be the best thing that happened to flightsimming in a long time.
      Nels I actually agree with you and zswobbie1, perhaps a more gamey flight sim is just what we need. My big concern at the time with Dovetail's Flight Sim World was that it would further fragment the flight sim market and ultimately lead to dilution of offers from developers. When there are too many players in the same niche market, developers have to start choosing which one to support (like what is happening now with P3D4 and the abandonment of FSX and P3D3) as they cannot offer everything to every platform.

      I can't remember the names of the "games", but I have fond memories of playing story-based "flight-sims", about mercenaries flying fighter jets in third world countries and the "secret weapons of the luftwaffe" etc. They were not technically the most accurate, nor did they even try to compete with FS9 or FSX, but they were highly enjoyable. Despite being a real world pilot and a sucker for realism, I never cared about the accuracy when playing those "games". If that is what Microsoft has in mind for us, I may very well buy a copy and if my son (who has no interest in my realistic flight sims) can join in the fun, that will be a massive bonus.
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