Did anyone see this one coming? In an astonishingly surprising announcement today, Microsoft has unveiled its latest iteration of the beloved flight simulator franchise: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, set to be released next year. The new version of our beloved simulator was announced during the Xbox Games Showcase and is expected to include a host of new features that will enable players to experience flying in more diverse and exciting ways than ever before.
The new simulator promises a remarkable list of aviation activities. Microsoft and developer Asobo seem to have brainstormed every imaginable use of an aircraft beyond merely flying from point A to point B. The result is an astonishing array of options, including aerial firefighting, search and rescue operations, helicopter cargo transport, air ambulance services, crop dusting, mountain rescue missions, skydive aviation, aerial construction, cargo transport, VIP charter service, air racing, glider piloting, scientific research, low altitude training, experimental trips, executive transport service, airship tours, and hot air balloon trips.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 will obviously be available on Xbox Series S / X and PC. The developers are also introducing some thrilling new features, including a crossover with the Dune movie series. As a bonus feature, Microsoft unveiled an ornithopter straight out of the Dune universe, timed perfectly with the release of the upcoming Dune sequel this fall.
The trailer for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, shows off the game’s incredible range of new aircraft and activities. The introduction of these new features and the continued success of the franchise are clear indications of the game’s broad appeal and the enthusiastic response from the global community of flight simmers.
While it’s not entirely clear yet what technical improvements Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 will bring, the franchise has a history of being at the cutting edge of gaming technology. The current version of Flight Simulator, released in 2020, makes extensive use of cloud-streaming technology, which could suggest that the 2024 version will continue to leverage the latest technological advancements to provide an even more immersive experience for players.
Microsoft says this will be a “brand-new simulator is designed to take advantage of the latest technologies in simulation, cloud, machine learning, graphics and gaming to create the most sophisticated, immersive and awe-inspiring flight simulator of all time”, and it will be powered by a “significantly evolved Asobo Studio engine”
This seems to indicate that we’re looking at a full new release, rather than DLC like the Top Gun Expansion or the 40th Anniversary Edition. Developers and simmers have all been taken by surprise by this announcement and is unclear at this time if MSFS 2024 will feature backward compatibility with existing addons.
This is a developing story, so there’s plenty of questions in need of some answers. We’ll let you know more once more detailed information becomes available. Stay tuned!