Microsoft’s latest Flight Simulator debuts on Xbox Cloud Gaming

(Xbox screenshot)

In a short story full of opportunities for puns, none of which I will do, Microsoft announced than the latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is now on its Cloud Gaming platform.

It is the eleventh game in the main series and the first release of Flight simulator since the tenth, x, in 2006. It premiered as a PC game in 2020 and later became a console exclusive for the Xbox Series X|S in 2021.

With the move to Cloud Gaming, Flight simulator is now available with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription on Xbox One consoles, older PCs, and compatible phones and tablets. Of course, this effectively limits Flight simulator to the 26 countriesat the time of writing where Xbox Cloud Gaming is available.

As with other Xbox Cloud Gaming titles, whatever device you’re playing on is really only used to create a video connection. This allows you to log in and run Flight simulator on Microsoft’s cloud hardware without the need for local installation, a lengthy boot process, or even technically capable hardware to run the game.

As a necessary drawback, however, it uses a significant amount of bandwidth, roughly equal to high-definition video streaming. Flight simulator is also limited to running at 1080p and 30 FPS if you’re playing on an Xbox One.

The former owners of Flight simulator can use their previous in-game purchases on the cloud version of the game. Microsoft also said that the first six global updates are included in this edition of Flight simulator, although the recent seventh update, Australiaconspicuous by its absence.

When it was released last July, Microsoft Flight Simulator rose to become the third best-selling game on Xbox platforms. It leverages Microsoft Azure servers to stream real-time data to the user during flight, creating a reasonably realistic representation of the world below the user’s aircraft during flight. This approach has earned Flight simulator a Game Award in 2020 for the best simulation/strategy game.


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