It’s been a year, and I still remember feeling like a teenager the night of the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator. As I have already commented on another occasion, the day (or rather, night, because the download was activated with the change of day, at twelve o’clock at night) I slept very little but, in return, gee, I recovered the illusion of waiting for the return of a saga that, for decades, has been key in my relationship with games and with computing. Does anyone remember the EI System stores (later changed its name to PC City? And the joystick Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro? Because of the latter I spent more time in the former than I could justify.

My interest in simulators came from before, in fact the first time I tried one was in the mid-eighties, in the computer section of El Corte Inglés in Castellana, Madrid. Those who knew it will remember the computers on tables with chairs, where you could sit quietly while you played with the Amstrad, the Commodore, the MSX that I loved at the time and, of course, soon after the first PCs. There, if I remember correctly, was where I had my first contact with Microsoft Flight Simulator.

But well, enough of nostalgia, if I get a little more run I’ll tell you when I did the military (in Melilla, of course, but that’s another story), let’s return to what concerns us, Microsoft Flight Simulator. And there are two good, very good news for all fans of flight simulation, and that either by having purchased it or by their subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass, have been taking to the skies for a while now … or counting the days to do so.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator: ya disponible para Xbox y parche de rendimiento para PC

Microsoft Flight Simulator comes to Xbox Series

The wait has been long, yes, longer than initially anticipated, as many were expecting Microsoft Flight Simulator to arrive on the next-gen Xbox this past Christmas. However, the release has been delayed until today, and is that for a few hours it is already possible to download it for Xbox Series S/X.

The download is not light, yes, many users who had already made the pre-installation in recent days are having to download today about 30 additional gigabytes, according to what can be read on social networks. However, and also based on the comments that are already circulating around the same with respect to the first experience, the valoraciones of Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox that we can find are generally very, very positive.

Although it is known that the best control system for a simulator like Microsoft Flight Simulator is the combination of joystick and keyboard, for what we have already been able to test in the PC version and the initial assessments of Xbox users, the good design of its interface seems to adapt quite well to an exclusive control via the gamepad of the console. Something that the menu system certainly has a lot to do with.

Another key point we’ve been waiting for news on, performance, also seems to score positively. As we’ve said before, and anyone who’s tried it knows, Microsoft Flight Simulator is terribly demanding, so there were legitimate doubts about whether the new Xbox would be able to run it properly. I’ve only read about some “pull” when flying over particularly dense maps, such as the city of Madrid, which have a tremendously high level of detail. Otherwise, and for all these first impressions, it seems that we are talking about a great job of optimization.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator: ya disponible para Xbox y parche de rendimiento para PC

Microsoft Flight Simulator receives its expected performance patch

For weeks we were waiting for the new update of the game, and not because of new detailed maps or the addition of aircraft, no. The main reason for this wait was the lack of detail. The main reason for this wait was the announced performance improvement, which we already told you about a few weeks ago, an improvement that, as we could see in the video allowed to double the frame rate on the same computer, even in the most demanding modes and tremendously dense maps.

Today the Microsoft Flight Simulator update is now available and, as we can read in their notes, a key point of it comes by optimizing the use of multiple CPU cores, as well as better use of GPU functions. The combination of both changes is what results, according to Microsoft, in this big jump in the game’s performance.

But this is not the only novelty that brings this update of Microsoft Flight Simulator, we will also find new free exploration flights, improvements in the images and mapping of the maps, scores in the challenges of landings, have been optimized training flights to facilitate the evolution from the flight of single-engine in VFR to the realization of commercial routes with an Airbus A320neo and has iIncluding a new artificial intelligence-based flight assistant.

Microsoft Flight Simulator: ya disponible para Xbox y parche de rendimiento para PC

Other improvements include using the left joystick on the Xbox controller to navigate menus, maps and so on, improved interaction with cockpit elements, improved accessibility with the inclusion of a screen reader, the addition of two liveries and, well, I’ve saved the best for last: there are now four aircraft with variants where the landing gear is replaced with skids and floats to allow landing and take-off on snow/ice and bodies of water. These are the aircraft with these variants:

  • Cessna C172 classic
  • Cessna C172 G1000
  • CubCrafters XCub
  • Zlin Ultra

In addition, the checklists of these aircraft have been adapted accordingly. The appropriate visual effects are displayed according to the type of surface you land on.

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As you can see, we’re really talking about a very comprehensive update. Enough so that right now I’m thinking about finishing writing and sacrificing a few hours of sleep to dedicate to Microsoft Flight Simulator. After all, it’s already Tuesday, so it won’t be that long before the weekend comes and I can catch up on some sleep.

And in case you were wondering, yes, finally, but not without effort, I ended up buying a Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro so the EI System clerks would stop staring at me all the time. If I remember correctly I bought it along with a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 (plus a Sierra Pro-pilot and a Combat Flight Simulator), got home, installed and configured everything and… well, and flew.

Microsoft Flight Simulator: ya disponible para Xbox y parche de rendimiento para PC

More info: <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>official website