MSFS 2020 Release Date

You’ve probably heard by now that Microsoft announced the much anticipated release date for their new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.  The currently scheduled release date is Tuesday, 18 August 2020.  This announcement and more importantly this date surprised many in the flight sim community, myself included.  While I personally had no doubt that Microsoft would release the new sim this calendar year, I was thinking it would release in the late fall timeframe (October/November).  After all, we only heard a short time ago that the product was exiting the alpha stage to enter beta. 

All the Hype

I genuinely understand the hype.  I too am excited about this new simulator.  I’ve spent all my adult life (and some of my teen years) flying computer based sims.  For me, it all started in about 1983/84 on the Commodore 64.  I then evolved to the PC versions in the early 90’s and my current sim of choice is Prepar3D simply because it is the evolution of FSX and it has made the most sense for me to use. 

Release Details

Instead of me typing all the details out regarding the various pricing options for MSFS 2020, I’m going to share a link to the FSElite website and the article they wrote which covers all these details.  For me personally, I’ll probably go with the Premium Deluxe Edition. But I’m not planning on whipping out my credit card just yet. 

Why I’m Waiting

There are a few reasons why I’m making the decision to wait on purchasing MSFS 2020.  Perhaps one of the main reasons has to do with the fact that just about two weeks ago my 22 year career came to an end after being laid off.  While this has less to do with finances, it has more to do with my focus and attention.  I need to spend my time on searching for another job and some much needed DIY tasks around the house.  While I’m still spending time enjoying simulation based gaming, I know that MSFS 2020 would probably suck more of my time away when I need to stay focused on other more important things. 

Second, these days I tend to do most of my flying on the VATSIM network.  I’m guessing it may take some time before MSFS 2020 is compatible with VATSIM.  Third, and this one is perhaps more important than #2 is the fact that it will also be sometime before study level aircraft make the scene.  What I’m hearing is the larger jets that come standard with the new sim are all default level.  This is 100% OK as this new sim will introduce many to the world of flight simulation and default style aircraft are a great way to learn and enjoy flight simulation.  But I love my PMDG and FSLabs aircraft and would easily get bored flying default aircraft. 

Finally, I know there will be challenges and bugs with the new release.  Having some experience with software development, I’m not sure how it can go from alpha to beta and then literally within weeks ready for prime time.  So Microsoft is doing what most software developers do (and they probably wrote the book on this) is release it to the masses and allow their customers to perform a widespread beta test.  I’m 100% OK with this as I know it happens across the entire spectrum of software development.  I also know that Microsoft will release updates/fixes and MSFS 2020 will become everything we have wanted it to be since we learned of the demise of FSX.

Finally, Finally…..if you’ve been reading my blog site you know I did purchase Prepar3D v5 and I’ve been taking a slow approach making the move from v4.  In the past few weeks I’ve been using v5 exclusively and getting it all dialed in.  I have most of my favorite aircraft installed along with scenery.  v5 is a huge jump from v4 and I’m having fun with it.  Flight Simulation has navigated me through some dark times in the past 35 years.

Well…I need another cup of coffee and I believe I’ve said all I intended to say on this subject.  Thank you for reading.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry


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