Microsoft Flight Simulator is launching this August

Microsoft Flight Simulator is getting ready to jet off into the clouds very soon. Even if you don't get into the closed beta at the end of the month, you won't have long to wait for the real deal. It's coming on August 18. It's so close you could almost lick the cockpit, but try to contain yourself. 

The closed beta begins on July 30, so if you want an early look you'll need to sign up to become a Flight Sim Insider. If you'd rather just wait for the finished game, you can preinstall it now so you can jump right in at launch. It looks like that option is only available with Xbox Game Pass for PC, however, but that will also net you the full game for only £4 a month. 

Given the cost of the game, that's definitely sounding like the best way to play. A trio of editions are available, and even the standard one will set you back £60/$60. With that, you'll get 20 detailed planes with unique flight models and 30 hand-crafted airports (every airport will be available, but not all with the same level of bespoke detail). That's the version you'll get if you're a Game Pass subscriber. 

The Deluxe Edition throws five more planes and airports into the mix, and for the privilege you'll need to shell out £80/$90. The Premium Deluxe Edition, meanwhile, will give you ten more planes and airports, but it's extremely pricey at £110/$120. 

You can take a look at the list of bespoke planes and airports over on the announcement

It ain't cheap, but then again it's also absurdly ambitious. The scale, the level of detail, the mind-boggling amount of data it uses to create the elaborate simulation—it's hard not to be impressed. It's one of the games we've been looking forward to the most this year, and we'll be telling you if it's lived up to its promise pretty soon. 

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.