Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Microsoft Flight Simulator X (known in the Flight Simulator community also as simply FSX) is the next version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. It includes a graphics engine upgrade as well as compatibility with Direct3D 10 and Windows Vista, having been hailed as the most important technological milestone in the series to date. Some stores (Best Buy in particular) in the United States and Canada have started to sell

Flight Simulator X marks the tenth version of the popular line of simulators. PC Gamer had erroneously reported in its January 2006 edition that the game will be released in February 2006. This report was premature and Microsoft has since corrected the information in subsequent press releases. According to several sources, including GameSpot and, the game will be released on October 17. According to Microsoft's Web site for the game, a standard edition (USD $49.99) will feature 18 planes, 28 detailed cities, and 40 highly detailed airports. A deluxe version ($69.99) will feature 24 types of aircraft, 38 highly detailed cities, and 45 highly detailed airports.

Microsoft has released details and screenshots of the upcoming simulator including mission-based gameplay with mission specific aircraft as well as an upgraded rendering engine capable of increased detail. Flight Simulator X was officially unveiled at the 2006 international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a gaming showcase for Microsoft Windows Vista. Microsoft has released screenshots as well as a list of frequently asked questions as a press release on Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider, as well as numerous flight simulator communities (see External links).

Following the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May 2006, new screenshots, videos and an official trailer were published by Microsoft. The overall reaction by the community has been quite positive, and the graphical quality of the simulator has greatly increased.

Flight Simulator X is notable for being the first product in Microsoft's Flight Simulator series to have a trial/demo version, which contains a subset of features of the retail product.

The first limited demo of Flight Simulator X was released to the public on August 9, 2006, and put up for download on the official website. Even though playable, the August demo represented a beta release of the product, and had a number of bugs, some of which were recognized in the official installation's README file. On October 2, 2006 the demo was superseded by the trial version, which, besides having fewer bugs, is almost identical to the demo. Both the demo and the trial feature Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles and the surrounding area only (as opposed to the entire world), including the Princess Juliana International Airport. There are four playable aircraft (Bombardier CRJ-700, Beechcraft 58, DHC-2 Beaver and an ultralight aircraft), and three missions, one of which is actually an introductory tutorial.

Flight Simulator X will be released in two editions, Standard and Deluxe. As can be seen below, Deluxe incorporates some additional features, which are known to include an on-disk Software Development Kit (SDK), three airplanes with the Garmin G1000 Flight Deck, and player Air Traffic Control.

In addition, the Deluxe Edition features 24 aircraft compared to 18 in the Standard Edition, 45 high-detail airports compared to 40, 38 high-detail cities compared to 28, and 50+ structured missions compared to 30+.

The presently known new features in Flight Simulator X include:

* Improved graphics including enhanced texture resolution, new Earth model facilitating polar flights, true road data, region-specific textures, 3D animals, star constellations, etc. Also, the scenery textures now line up with the automatically generated (Autogen) buildings. Maximum rendering-engine-supported scenery resolution of 7cm/pixel (not available with default scenery).
* Improved default airport functionality -- appropriate dynamic vehicles, jetways etc. now featured by default where they exist in reality.
* The built-in GPS support has been upgraded to include Garmin G1000 integrated glass cockpit, which is featured in select aircraft in the Deluxe version only.
* Improved ATC featuring certain non-FAA procedures where appropriate (for example, altimeter/QNH scale in European units) and numerous minor updates such as an improved progressive-taxi feature.
* Improved and new default aircraft including, for example, an Airbus A321. Default aircraft systems modeling is rather extensively improved ,featuring, for example APU, fire protection, passenger advisory sign switches etc.
* Improved weather system, including better visibility modeling.
* Revamped multiplayer functionality featuring Shared Skies, a feature allowing multiple users to share the same cockpit.
* Tower Controller, a feature in the Deluxe version allowing users to simulate local control at many airports worldwide (multiplayer only).
* Revamped sound system with support for 5.1 surround sound.
* Proprietary SimConnectAPI to allow FSUIPC-like access to Flight Simulator functions and variables.
* Mission engine allowing creation of dynamic missions with developer control of many simulation variables, sound file playback, AI aircraft traffic etc. in relation to what the user is doing -- essentially an evolution over the APL and ABL adventure programming languages featured in previous versions of the software. Dozens of missions ship with the product, and a mission level editor is expected to be released on-line shortly after release of the main product.
* Most of the vintage aircraft that were a key theme in the previous version have been dropped, with the notable exception of the DC-3, which is even featured in one of the default missions that ship with the product. On the other hand, mouse-as-yoke, a feature that allows the mouse to be used in steering the aircraft, is re-introduced, after having been absent for 2 versions. This will make FSX more accessible, for instance, to many users with motor disabilities.
* The maximum altitude in the game has been increased to 100,000,000 feet, as opposed to FS2004's 99,999 feet.

The following aircraft are featured in the Deluxe edition of Flight Simulator X:

* Airbus A321
* Air Creation SL450 Ultralight
* Bell 206B JetRanger III
* Boeing 737-800
* Boeing 747-400
* Bombardier CRJ 700
* Bombardier Learjet 45
* Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
* Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP
* de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Floatplane
* DG 808S 18 Meter Sailplane
* Douglas DC-3
* Extra 300S
* Grumman G-21A Goose
* Maule M7 260C Ski
* Maule M7-260C Super Rocket
* Mooney Bravo
* Piper J-3 Cub
* Beechcraft Baron
* Beechcraft King Air
* Robinson R22 Beta IIPermission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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