back to article Microsoft revives flight sim by giving it away free

Microsoft has said that it will be reviving its Flight Simulator franchise this spring with a free version of the game entitled simply Flight. Redmond is making the game available in a private beta at present, but plans to release it as a free download eventually. The game needs a minimum of 10GB of hard drive space, a dual-core …

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Anonymous Coward

10GB of Disk Space?

Wouldn't be able to run that on an old DOS 286 AT

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Megaphone

Couldn't run it on two coconuts tied together with string either. What's your point?

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Coat

What if they were carried by an African AND a European swallow?

Yes, the one with the coconut halves in it please.

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Coat

Simply Plight

Sounds like fun but does anything in it go at mach 7.5 like that Orbiter Delta Glider effort (with the scramjets on at full blast)?

ISTR there wasn't much in FSX, apart from that Shuttle add on.

Train sims are positively exciting compared to that shipsim on Steam in which you can sail the Titanic. Trainz or trainsim 2011 makes a refreshing change from Portal 2 or (my favourite) Team Fortress 2.

Mines is the anorak with the Ian Allan book in the pocket.

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TRT
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What about...

Garbage Truck Simulator?

It exists. I suppose it's a bit like rule 34, really. Rule 34.1 Sims are also pr0n.

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The same company does Street Cleaning Simulator. I shit you not. I've also seen Bus Sim, Truck Sim, Euro Truck Sim, Woodcutter Sim, Gardening Sim, and so on.

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Flightgear

Naming it "Flight" puts it just ahead of Flightgear alphabetically. It's ok though, MS will put their name on the front of that and ensure no confusion.

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Flame

MS naming

Microsoft naming has caused me no end of timewasting due to miscommunications

This is primarily due to access. Access to what you say? no , "Access" the database program.

when you have to contend with user-speak via a helpdesk that knows less than the users , these messages become garbled!

Word's no better either

Just this morning I recieved a Job titled "Outlook problem" . What this turned out to be was notification of a entirely un-outlook-related problem that had arrived to the user via email.

The email even stated exactly what the problem was, but this useful info was lost on its journey to me by our "help"desk .

that wasnt microsoft's fault but i went into a bit of a rant there...

phew!

\rant over

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Mushroom

User: my computer stopped working

Help desk: did you touch it?

User: yes

Help desk: then what do you expect? STOP TOUCHING THE EQUIPMENT WE GIVE YOU!

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Devil

You didn't mention...

"My Computer" and "My Documents" and the additional confusion caused by the folder name changing depending on how you look at it. Did no-one at Microsoft THINK that consistency is important, or that real, live people would need to talk about these names? There is a certain feeling of despair when you tell someone to "Look in your 'My Documents' " and they look at you as if you're mad; you just know that the conversation is going to be i) long; and ii) unsuccessful.

OK, that's my extension to your rant... except I didn't mention extensions, PLEASE don't mention extensions!

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Joke

Wonderful...

Now MS are getting into the business of assisting terrorists in their flight training!

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the terrorists won

Didn't MS issue a patch to FS so that you no longer could fly into buildings?

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Mushroom

Is that as much fun

as going up to the edge of space, then plummeting nose-first to the ground?

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Not that I'm aware of, in either FS9 SP1 or FSX - you can happily collide with buildings, antennae, the scenery and other planes if that's your thing.

What they *did* do was disable "visible damage" by default, so if you crashed your aircraft it'd just come to a stop and the flight would reset.

However, they left the breakage models intact, so it can be switched on again by adding a line to the aircraft.ini of whatever plane it is that you want to see going to pieces.

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You may be thinking of...

You may be thinking of the patch issued shortly after 9/11 to remove the Twin Towers from the models of New York. I didn't install it.

And yes, like lots of other people, I found something to sim-fly into those towers.

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Devil

You successfully completed previous mission!

The pilot has a new mission!

-> Make Imperial US flush constitution and go bonkers by crashing into random buildings.

Press left mouse button for "ALLAHU AKBAHR"

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ALLAHU AKBAHR

Isn't he that fish-like-looking general in Star Wars?

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It's a trap!

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Anonymous Coward

Boring - You need "Street Cleaning Simulator" in your life!!!!

Forget about this flying shite, just read the incredible reviews here about the game of the century!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Street-Cleaning-Simulator-PC-DVD/dp/B0051NPKS8

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Anonymous Coward

The ultimate in boredom?

I give you, Lawn Mower Simulator on the Speccy! Yes lots of up and down on a green background!

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MJG

Oh thanks for that... Reading the review on Amazon, nice smile for the end of the week!

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Anonymous Coward

what about

Dishwasher Simulator!

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Stop

Where are you going?

Fingernail Clipper Simulator?

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TRT
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Rule 34.1

If it exists, there is Sim of it.

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I would have thought it would have been sensible for Microsoft to have spun off the FlightSimulator business into a separate company and see if it could survive on its own. If it couldn't then let it fail, but perhaps they did the numbers and found out it wasn't a viable business either way. By tying it to promoting MSN they can justify utilising their IPR to promote their pony.

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Swan dive?

"swan song", shirley?

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Trollface

RE: "swan song", shirley?

Hmm, yes. Although the thought of SB demonstrating his "swan dive" from the top board at CES with accompanying tsunami conditions in the pool as he enters the water does have a certain appeal.

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Well this sounds as atrocious as I feared. There are plenty of gimmicky sims out there. What I love about FSX is its sheer attention to detail, and the way the physics engine is so mental that it's the only app I've ever run to max my CPUs. Buying and installing 25GB scenery packs at silly prices might seen odd, but it makes for a very impressive experience. FSX is so over-the-top (in a good way) that it has its own hard drive in my machine.

And who the hell uses a mouse to fly anything? Last time I tried that was Freelancer, and it was painful.

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I agree with you...

...but from what I've heard about it so far, I doubt it counts as a pure sim and so I probably wouldn't consider it an FS replacement. I know the lines are very grey, but to me it just sounds like a game, and a very limited one at that.

Worse, the Reg implies that it'll be a limited environment with a single plane, that you can pay to expand later. If that's the case, MS will have to lock it down to prevent a 3rd-party market from springing up and slurping their revenue. I can see that leading to lack of choice, if nothing else. Cynically, it's like the IBM PS/2 all over again - slamming the gate after the horse is long gone.

I might download it to give it a go. But I doubt it'll ever be a viable replacement for what we already have. Shame really - can you imagine FS with Crysis2-level graphics...?

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Well, with modern gaming, "shiny" and "pretty" sell better than "fun" and "realistic".

It's sad, really. A fun game with mediocre graphics is still a fun game, a pretty game with horrible gameplay is just a tech demo.

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Anonymous Coward

Train Simulator 2

Dear Microsoft.... Any chance of Train Simulator 2 making a similar Lazarus-like appearance?

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If you want a train sim

then let me point you to Auran's excellent Trainz Railroad Simulator, which not only provides realistic train simulation but lets you design your own layouts, locomotives and rolling stock, as well as putting together your own trains. I've been using it for years, and it's without doubt the best train sim I've ever had, a lot better than Microsoft's offering IMO.

http://www.auran.com

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I'm personally more of a fan of railworks, sure it can be a bit buggy but the latest patch has added a lot of fun new features. I believe the url is http://www.railsimulator.com

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Anonymous Coward

Dumbing down the flight sim franchise

I was a flight sim fan, until MS FS basically killed all of the alternatives then MS FS got canned and there has been very little since. (Ignoring the shoot them up games). Its a pity MS are coming back to the market, I would have preferred to see some new titles from enthusiasts who focus on the experience and not the gaming aspects.

Ah well. continue to wait.

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Go

Neeeeeeeeeyowwww....

Try xplane.

http://www.x-plane.com/desktop

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:53GMT You can also take a look at FlightGear

Free, multi-platform and pretty decent with hardware requirements.

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Anonymous Coward

"some new titles from enthusiasts..."

http://aerowinx.de/forum/topic.php?id=944&page=1

Before you ask: release date unknown, though.

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I AM READY!

Shouldn't Microsoft just name it as WORLD OF FLIGHTCRAFT?

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Very similar named World of Warplanes

from the (Russian) guys who brought you World of Tanks

(PS and to those guys I say - where's the British tree?)

(PPS: I hear rumours that World of Warships won't have British ones initially - have they not heard of HMS Dreadnought?)

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X-Plane

Microsoft giving it away free....... Its probably because they know they still cant beat XPlane who only charge about £30 including lifetime updates.

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Android . .

. . version of x-plane only £1.93 - bargain.

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Anonymous Coward

XPlane "lifetime updates" apply to the integer version number only...

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FAIL

Microsoft developed the platform, adding 3D in the third version ...

Yeah, because Sublogic Flight Simulator was this 2d side scroller...

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WTF?

Strange ...

Microsoft scrapping Flight Simulator X was a big puzzle right up there with them also scrapping MSMoney. Now they bring out a revised and dumbed down version. Since they sacked everyone who ever worked on FS who has done the revisions?

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Yes Keyboard and Mouse

"...Worse still, the game is designed to be played with a keyboard and mouse..."

If they would have made past versions truly playable with a keyboard and mouse the game may have 'taken off' more than it did. Reaction time to keyboard and mouse inputs were pitiful from the 90's through the noughties.

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Should have dropped "simulator" years ago

When I was learning to fly the school had an MS FS and Xplane setup. I had Xplane at home and it was quite challenging and I used it and Flightgear to practice circuits without the cost just to get the repetitive steps down pat. When I tired MS FS the first time I did a perfect takeoff, circuit and landing. Smooth as silk, I let go of the controls and declared it unrealistic because I would never have been that smooth in a real aircraft. Xplane was never so friendly but a far better training experience.

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LDS
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Did you set options to "realistic"?

Guess you didn't take time to check the options and didn't set "realism" sliders to their full realistic position. When installed FSX defaults to a very "easy" experience aimed at novices. If you're already an "expert" pilot you have to configure it.

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X-Plane? meh

I've had MS Flight Sim since version 3.0, up to and including FSX. While X-Plane's flight model may be technically superior to FSX's on paper, I find it just doesn't hold up in reality.

Both flight models have their advantages and disadvantages, and it takes a competent designer to take full advantage of the sim. The default aircraft in both sims are quite poor at replicating their respective full flight envelopes, and you really need to go to third-party add-ons for more-realistic simulation. And the advantage MS Flight Sim has over X-Plane is that there are far more high-quality add-ons.

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Anonymous Coward

FS Add-ons

I tried a Hawker Hurricane add-on once, with realistic settings it was frighteningly unflyable (just about got it off the deck) so given my skill level I felt it fairly accurate....

Mind you I had trouble trying to fly the Spitfire under the bridge on my BBC Model B and as for the 747 Simulator.

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Devil

NDA? What NDA?

http://i.imgur.com/dSBWe.png According to this on the beta site, it will be free.

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