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Microsoft Flight Simulator closed beta will get a release date on July 9

(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab)'s latest development update has flung some dates at us for the final alpha and the closed beta, both coming this month.

Asobo Studios said we'd be getting a timeline for the closed beta release this week, which sounds a bit more informative than what we've actually been given. What we've got is a date for a release date announcement. On July 9, with the next development update, we'll finally know when it's happening. 

Unfortunately, no other details on the closed beta have been teased, aside from the fact that it's apparently slipped back a bit since we first saw it on the roadmap. It was originally expected in mid-July, but now it's coming later in the month. 

Alpha 5 will accompany the release date announcement on July 9, and another batch of alpha invitations has been sent out, so you might be able to go for a flight before the arrival of closed beta. Patch notes will appear when it launches. 

The development update also takes another look at where Flight Sim gets the data that powers its virtual world. Asobo and Microsoft have partnered with several companies that provide data on everything from weather conditions and predictions to global air traffic. The latter comes from FlightAware, which is in the spotlight this week. According to the company, its data stream, Firehose, will allow the game to simulate real-time air traffic, so you'll be sharing the skies with planes that would be near you in real life. 

If you fancy taking the closed beta for a test flight, remember to sign up to become a Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider (opens in new tab). Once you've registered, you'll be able to receive invites to future tests, as well as getting access to the Insider forums.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.