Microsoft Flight–My Opinions
As a flight simulator blogger, I use this blog to provide reports to you the reader about my flight simulation adventures, news about the hobby of flight simulation, product reviews and from time to time share my personal opinions about the hobby. If I’ve mentioned the new flight sim software from Microsoft simply called Flight, it was only briefly. I do not recall providing any in-depth opinions. This is mostly due to the fact that the flight simulator community really doesn’t fully understand what MS Flight will be or won’t be.
Having been active in the hobby for over 25 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes with regards to Microsoft Flight Simulator. I remember the hype leading up to FS9 and certainly FSX. I also remember purchasing FSX and really not using it for many months afterwards. I also believe that a lot can be said of the fact that FS9 still has a very strong following amongst fellow flight sim enthusiasts. I do see some software developers beginning to phase FS9 out and solely going in the direction of FSX. This is of course bitter sweet for those who are still running FS9. The bitter part comes from the fact that they will no longer be able to purchase some add-ons for FS9, but if they have purchased or built a new computer in the past couple of years then it more than likely will run FSX without issue. But of course there is the cost of re-purchasing add-ons for FSX if they want to exclusively use it. I fully am aware of the cost it takes to re-purchase add-on software. Before I took my almost five year sabbatical from the hobby, I was using FS9 for most of my flying. My PC at that time would run FSX, but there wasn’t a lot available yet in the add-on department. When I return last Fall, I decided I would build my flight sim PC to run FSX and fully adopted that as my flight sim platform.
But what about Flight? I started hearing the rumors of the rumors of the rumors about Microsoft Flight very soon after returning to the hobby. I read forum threads speculating what Flight was and what Flight wasn’t. I believe I read more “what it wasn’t gonna be” thoughts than the opposite. To this day, I’m still not certain we really know much more about it. Sure Microsoft has a website up dedicated to Flight, but it really doesn’t say much.
The rumors I mentioned before state (and I quote from several forums) “Microsoft Flight will not be what we have grown to know and love with the long running line of Microsoft Flight Simulator products”. Another reads, “MS Flight will be more like an arcade game versus a simulator” On the more positive side, I read this statement “MS Flight will be what FSX should have been with regards to performance”. I think what this person was trying to say is MS Flight is being developed for today’s technology and not like FSX where most users didn’t own a machine at the time FSX debuted that would run it to its full potential.
But these quotes are just (in my opinion) just rumors, guesses and assumptions (do you know what happens when you assume)? On the MS Flight website there is an FAQ page and in my opinion it tells me nothing. Addtionally, PC Pilot and Computer Pilot Magazines have provided some Q&A type details in their magazines over the past 6-8 months. My opinion about these Q&A sessions is the writer from the magazines isn’t asking the right questions. Of course you can’t sell future extremely pricey magazines if you divulge everything in one edition.
However, I must give credit to PC Pilot Magazine as in the May – June edition, they do ask Microsoft if Flight will have an opportunity for third-party developers to produce products. MS answers by saying they fully know they can’t do the work alone and they are creating the tools for others to develop add-on software.
At this time I believe “the jury is still out” on just what MS Flight will mean to the flight simulator community. While I’m just as much in the dark as the rest of you, I can tell you that regardless what MS Flight is or isn’t, worse case scenario it doesn’t mean our hobby is dead or dying.
As for what I plan to do when MS Flight is made available, well….I’ll probably purchase it just as I did FSX but it’ll more than likely sit on the shelf until (and this is if it works with VATSIM etc.) until enough quality add-on products have been developed.
Until next time…