Why it matters: Microsoft Flight Simulator has provided gaming and simulation enthusiasts with some of the most impressive visuals and accurate aircraft recreations available since its release in 1982. The company recently celebrated the sim's 40th birthday with another feature-filled update, expanding the already impressive selection of planes, airports, and locations. It also includes FSR and DLSS updates to ensure users have the best possible visual experience.
Microsoft released the first version of its flight simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0, in November of 1982. The simulator allowed players to pilot a Cessna 182 in the Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle areas. The release not only wowed users in the early 1980s, but it also helped to set the standard for realistic flight simulators for decades to come.
Forty years later, Microsoft is still churning out new technology and new content for aviation enthusiasts around the world. The Redmond, Washington software giant released the latest iteration of the series earlier this week, the Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Update. The update brings the already-successful Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 a number of new features and updates, including the Airbus A310, several helicopters and heliports, unpowered gliders, and even historical aircraft such as the famous Hughes H-4 "Spruce Goose."
Players can experience the game's stunning visuals and realistic mechanics through free flights around the world or via one of the game's pre-created missions and activities. The 40th Anniversary Edition brings PC aviators new challenges and missions, such as the Wright Brothers and the first flight at Kitty Hawk, the first U.S. Airmail Service flight route in 1918, and Charles Lindbergh's famous flight from New York to Paris.
The new release also includes glider-based missions and tutorials for players who want to experience the feeling of unpowered flight. These trainings and missions include aerotow, winch launch training, basic handling, thermal identification, and other skills vital to a successful glider flight.
The simulator continues to provide users with stunning detail and access to any part of the world, regardless of how remote. As of the anniversary edition's release, the game offers detailed recreations of more than 37,000 airports, two million cities, and more than one and a half billion buildings and structures across the game's realistic landscapes. A complete listing of new additions, features, and bug fixes is available in the 40th Anniversary Edition release notes.