The free version of Microsoft Flight will give players the freedom to fly the skies over the volcanic island of a Hawaii in a variety of aircraft, completing a variety of missions, testing skills in flying challenges, or finding hidden aero-caches on the island.
Microsoft promises foliage, terrain and landmarks designed on real-world locations, as well as region-specific weather patterns. More importantly, aircraft have been designed with accurate cockpits and authentic piloting procedures.
Reading between the lines of today’s press release, it seems that Microsoft Flight won’t be as hardcore as previous entries in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series, but will lean toward accessibility.
“Many people dream of flying, but few have the chance to experience the fun of exploring the world from above. Microsoft Flight provides players the opportunity to explore that curiosity and interest,” said Joshua Howard, executive producer of Microsoft Flight. “Aviation can be incredibly technical, but we’ve taken great care to build an experience that makes taking to the skies thrilling and accessible for everyone.”
However, there will be the option to tweak the flight controls to make things more difficult for experienced players.
If you want to grab yourself some additional free content you’ll need to sign in to Microsoft Flight via your Games For Windows Live account to automatically receive the Boeing Stearman plane, supplementary missions, and access to Achievements and an Online Pilot Profile.
Additional content will also be available at a price, including new aircraft, regions and various customisation options. Microsoft also promises daily aerocache challenges and regular updates throughout the life cycle of its flight sim.
Furthermore, aviation fans will be given the opportunity to fly the new ICON A5, a high-wing amphibious monoplane with a carbon fiber airframe and an automobile-inspired cockpit with space for two. Real-world production of the new plane, which has been designed by the aeronautical engineers behind the Voyager spaceship, begins later this year.
Microsoft is currently accepting applicants for the closed beta phase. You can sign up here.