Like many of you, I was enjoying a nice, relaxing and peaceful Sunday afternoon. I was flying from TAPA (V.C. Bird International Airport) to KMIA (Miami International Airport) in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and thoroughly enjoying all the awesome visuals and sheer smoothness of my brand new gaming machine I recently built and very much like how we all learned that Microsoft was developing a new simulator way back in 2019, the news broke that Microsoft/Asobo were planning to release yet ANOTHER brand new simulator next year titled Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.
Since retiring back in 2020, I will admit that some days I question just what day of the week it is and even find myself thinking to myself that “I can’t believe it’s already June”. But after watching the 2 minute and 14 second teaser video, I was wondering if I had some how stepped into some alternate universe and found that it was actually April 1st? Or has June 11th somehow now become the new “Fool” day? You can view the teaser video below.
Unfortunately, the content of the short two minute video sent the flight simulation community into a tailspin. Forums and Discord channels quickly became a buzz of comments, questions and rightfully… concerns regarding what exactly we were watching. Is this an expansion to the existing MSFS 2020? Is this a brand new sim? If this is a brand new sim, then WHY? What happens to all my prior MSFS 2020 purchases? Will this cause 3rd party developers to abandon projects for MSFS 2020? What was Microsoft thinking? Is this just a money grab by Micro$oft? Will this become another Train Simulator like platform? etc. etc. etc.
The somewhat startling thing was this news came out of the middle of nowhere. Third party developers such as Aerosoft, Fenix, PMDG etc. were all finding out about this new simulator at the same time as the community. The entire flight sim community was simply left scratching their heads over what seemed like a pre-mature announcement by Microsoft/Asobo.
Before retirement in July of 2020, I had spent the better part of three decades in IT Management. In my various roles within the realm IT it was always our goal to ensure any sort of announcement didn’t create panic and uncertainty within the userbase. Any sort of surprise announcement would always include a detailed FAQ which for the most part helped to prevent the sort of panic, frustration and thousands of questions something like this could generate. Unfortunately, Microsoft/Asobo failed in this department with this announcement.
As the sun rose and a new day unfolded, Microsoft/Asobo did provide a short FAQ which addresses a few of the large elephants in the room. Yes, MSFS 2024 will be a completely new standalone sequel. Yes, MS/Asobo will continue to support MSFS 2020 based on the current roadmap. Finally, with very few exceptions, virtually all add-ons that work in MSFS 2020 will function in the new MSFS 2024.
I’ve been a computer based flight simulation enthusiast for over 40 years and have truly enjoyed every version of Microsoft Flight Simulator ever produced and of course Prepar3D during the time between FSX and MSFS 2020, a very big part of me is extremely excited about the MSFS 2024 news. Of course, I’m also concerned with the fact that in its current state, MSFS 2020 still has many bugs and limitations. Of course, Microsoft has stated in the FAQ that MSFS 2020 will continue to be supported post the MSFS 2024 launch. So time will tell.
When I first learned about MSFS 2020 and certainly after the initial launch of the new sim, I have quietly had some concerns regarding how Microsoft/Asobo could sustain not only the base product, but also all the future development, expansion and of course the cost of the infrastructure that is required for MSFS to function. While I’m sure the initial sales of MSFS 2020 certainly went a long way to helping achieve that important ROI (Return on Investment), I did question how things would work in the future. After all, while Microsoft has introduced a few extra add-on DLC’s to the MSFS 2020 platform, I personally have not purchased them. Likewise, I also don’t purchase any of my 3rd party add-ons via the Microsoft Marketplace. Every third party add-on I’ve purchased, I’ve purchased direct from the developer.
With all that said, and again for me personally…I’m not sure why Microsoft/Asobo just didn’t create a DLC add-on that incorporated all the new features mentioned in that trailer to be added into MSFS 2020. But of course, I’m not in charge of MS/Asobo so what I think matters very little.
I’m sure over the coming weeks/months we’ll certainly learn a lot more about Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 and I’m also confident we’ll also soon begin hearing from 3rd party developers on just what we can expect from them both in products yet to be released into MSFS 2020 and beyond to MSFS 2024.
It’s too early for me to commit to words whether MSFS 2024 would be something I would upgrade to on day one. I think at this point in time I would need to better understand what the differences between the two sims are based on my style of flying. While the new features showcased in the trailer look cool. I’m just an old commercial and GA flying enthusiast.
Based on all that we know (and don’t know) today, I do applaud Microsoft/Asobo for all that they have done for the flight simulation community. There’s no doubt in my mind that Microsoft 2020 is the absolute best flight simulation platform available to the home sim enthusiast. I’m confident that MSFS 2024 will raise that bar even higher and in my opinion, no other developer of a sim platform can or will exceed the current MSFS 2020 or the future MSFS 2024 in the next year.
I’ll certainly relay any new information as it becomes available and will of course share any personal thoughts regarding that new info in future blog postings. Thank you for taking the time to read.
Until next time….