Some of my earliest PC memories revolve around Flight Simulator 5.0. I didn’t believe in manuals at the time, so my time learning the game initially consisted of hitting all the buttons across the keyboard working out which ones appeared to change anything.

The very first time I managed to take off in a Cessna from the default airport (I think in New York?), do a loop around the air field and land again with all my virtual parts intact came with a huge sense of appreciation.

I never really followed the flight simulator genre much beyond that. I jumped into some of the combat ‘sims’ (although these were typically more arcade than anything else), and I did take a punt some 13 years later with Flight Simulator X.

But it was a short lived attempt as my PC at the time didn’t really handle it so well.

I’m now wondering whether Flight Simulator 2020 might put my computer — especially in context of the new super ultrawide — in a similar position. I missed the announcement from this year’s E3 entirely. Had I not, I might have felt a bit differently about it all.

Just need to find my jaw… I dropped it around here somewhere…

It looks simply amazing, and the technical wizardry and actual degree of simulation going on is even more mind-blowing. Not least of which is the fact it draws upon the over 2 petabytes of real world mapping data and imagery from Google Earth, wait- no. Bing?! I had no idea they were also capturing such information.

Anywho. It allows for a ridiculous degree of accuracy, down to the centimetre level! Weather and wind maps will be similarly used.

There will be some procedural generation too to render the necessary definition for the flora and fauna of the world, just… It really all goes to show how far we’ve come in our lifetime.

I can’t wait to give it a spin on this screen, hopefully without needing to upgrade anything else. Although… I don’t currently have any form of joystick. So… Perhaps it will be time to invest in one of those. I could also use it for Elite: Dangerous and — if it ever actually comes out in a worthwhile form — Star Citizen, after all! :D


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Quin · October 16, 2019 at 12:08 am

I’ve dabbled with flight sims over the years but that just looks incredible.

    Naithin · October 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    It really does strike as one of those few, ‘We’re living in the future now’ moments.

    The sheer degree of simultation power going into this thing, combined with AI driven procedural generation to ‘properly’ construct the colours and tree forms or landscape details in general (down to individual blades of grass, for cryin’ out loud!) just blows my mind.

    Then the concept that this can run not only on a home PC but even a *console*… Wow.

Jeromai · October 16, 2019 at 3:27 am

Wow, that looks amazing! Very tempted myself, though my flight simulator experience dates back to the Amiga, where I managed to do even worse than you. Read the manual, figured out how to take off and fly around, completely flubbed the landing.

Remained convinced it was impossible to land in the game until a neighbor, who was a real pilot, but amused at how advanced these newfangled computers had become (that it could simulate something it took up an entire room for his real training) actually demonstrated professional landing procedure. Jaw drop. In my defense, I was perhaps two decades younger than him.

I never did figure out how to land. Perhaps in Flight Simulator 2020…

    Naithin · October 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Hah. Although I will point out — it took weeks if not months of mucking around in FS 5.0 before I could land. Not of dedicated practice time (I was jumping between many games and things — just like I do now ;)) — but still a long period of time as measured by a calendar.

    I don’t know that I really had the right temperament to take the game ‘seriously’, doing country to country flights etc.

    So after I’d hopped around a few cities I was interested in, buzzed some of the limited sites coded in that version of the game, it went back on the shelf as it were for quite some time.

    But there is something about FS 2020 which really strikes me as one of those point in time where you can see the future has arrived.

everwake · October 17, 2019 at 9:05 am

I’m really excited for this to release. Microsoft dabbled with the satellite imagery and random rendering tech in a game called Microsoft Flight. Unfortunately, it never really had enough meat on its bones for the sim crowd and now I can’t even get my copy to work anymore. But the idea was promising then and I’m really glad they seem to be putting in a AAA level of effort into this.

Your title scared me, I thought the game itself was delayed!

    Naithin · October 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm


    Just reference to the onset of my own hype being delayed through… You know… Completely missing the fact that this even existed until the night I posted about it. xD

    I was listening to a video from someone who was initially quite skeptical about MS re-entering the Flight Sim space after (they claimed) rather publicly dropping the franchise, twice. But they had a chance to talk to the team behind it and see it in action behind closed doors and came away a convert.

    My main apprehension is really just around the DLC model sims seem to have taken these days, but not enough to dampen my enthusiasm to jump back into a cockpit in a simulation that looks this good and by all accounts is about as real as you’re going to get short of actually hopping into a physical plane.

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