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Microsoft Classic Games (Games) Games

Microsoft To Offer Flight For Free This Spring 241

Posted by timothy
from the something-tells-me-wine-won't-suffice dept.
hypnosec writes "Microsoft's Flight Simulator series, which was in dormant state until now, will see a re-launch this spring and that too for free. The name of this series will be simply Flight, and players will have free access to the digital sky with this simulator. In other words, it will be available as a free download; however, the user would need to buy additional content to enhance their experience. The content that can be purchased includes aircraft as well as new environments. Microsoft states that the most amazing part of this game is the user can experience some real life locations like Big Island of Hawaii along with 'region-specific weather patterns, foliage, terrain and landmarks.'" [Video demo here.] I'd like to know where the ESRB finds "crude humor" or "mild violence" in there.
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Microsoft To Offer Flight For Free This Spring

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  • by CuriousGeorge113 (47122) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:26AM (#38596608) Homepage

    Sounds like they are taking a page right out of Zynga's playbook. Offer a game for free, get a user addicted, and then convince that user to spend money on "improve their game experience." I know a few people that have spent quite a bit of money on farmville, mafia wars, etc. with in-app purchases. Way more than anyone would spend to download a full version of a game.

    I'd rather pay up front for something and have a complete product (or at least, know how much of that product I'm getting). I'm real aversive to Zynga's model, because there is no way, up front, to know how much you are going to spend to get a good experience playing the game. You just have to keep buying more and more credits as time goes on.

  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:47AM (#38596954)
    Actually MS has always had some of the best flight sims out there. I've been a fan of MS flight sims since the days when Combat Flight Simulator and the MSN Gaming Zone reigned supreme. The bad thing is my current computer just can't handle flight since X was released.
  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:59AM (#38597164) Homepage

    Usually I just look at the post history of somebody to see if they have some sort of bias.
    You might not want to do that in this case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:26PM (#38597720)

    NO they haven't. They've had some of the best looking visuals but their simulation part has always been - wanting. X-Plane has historically been the opposite. Meaning, X-Plane has historically lacked in visuals but offered superb simulation. Since X-Plane 9, it has generally met or beat MS in both visuals and simulation. About the only thing MS' offering beat X-Plane at has been some advanced avionics, such as Garmin 430 and 530, so on and so on.

    In a nut shell, if you really want a simulation, MS has never been much. If you want pretty visuals, MS has always been worth looking at. If you want both, these days, X-Plane is the only game in town.

    And in case you're wondering, when professionals want a low cost flight sim for real aircraft research and development, they reach for X-Plane too. MS' offering is never even considered simply because the flight models are laughable. X-Plane even has an FAA certified variant.

  • by ah.clem (147626) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:23PM (#38600874)

    This is quite common; I have been doing it for many years on VATSIM (ATC Simulator) and flying with a virtual airline (DCA). It is a lot of fun if you are really into simulation (not games). For radio comms, Teamspeak is one of the popular voice systems. Realtime weather is also available once you log into the VATSIM servers. You do have to know your stuff, but the VATSIM folks are really pretty helpful and don't mind if you keep your plane parked for a few hours and just listen to the chatter to get an idea how to communicate properly. All of this is free to use but you have to fly responsibly or get bounced. I have never had a problem with griefers on VATSIM, probably because of the time commitment it takes to do a realistic simulation. We fly DC-3 aircraft; it is pretty amazing to do WW II re-enactments of major air ops and be in the middle of a dozen or so other C-47s while dodging flak on the way to drop zones. We have some actual pilots in the group, some retired, and some that can't make the medical. Yeah, it's incredibly geeky, but it's also a lot of fun. And it's all free; we all put time into creating historic flights/designing the environment we fly into/over and try to make it as historically accurate as possible.

  • by the_bard17 (626642) <theluckyone17@gmail.com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:52PM (#38601378)

    The flight models in X-Plane have been better due to Laminar Research's approach; MSFS has traditionally used look-up tables for aircraft modelling, whereas X-Plane uses finite element analysis [wikipedia.org]. Even with FEA, though, Garbage In Garbage Out applies.

    Furthermore, XP is packaged with a variety of tools to create and manage aircraft models. Blender and GIMP can be used to enhance their visual modelling. There's a "free as in beer" world editor [x-plane.com]. Put it all together and the FS community can put together content for X-Plane.

    There's a lot of controversy being generated over at the AVSIM forums [avsim.net] right now, due to rumors stating that there will limited opportunity for third parties to create (and distribute, free or otherwise) content for MS Flight. It's my belief that community support is what makes a flight simulator really shine. If MS has killed or maimed that community support for Flight, I'm not sure it'll go anywhere.

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