Microsoft released its new flight simulator “Flight” via a free 1.5 GB download. The game can even be played free of charge in some basic missions and a limited area in Hawaii.
The new flight simulator is, in comparison to previous Microsoft Flight Simulators, very easy to play via mouse or a keyboard and integrates a decidedly casual component by embracing a free-to-play model and in-app purchases via the company’s Games for Windows Marketplace. Additional airplanes next to the included Icon A5 and the Boeing PT-17 Stearman WW2 training aircraft are priced between 600 and 1200 Xbox Live credits and the Hawaii Adventure pack is priced at 1600 Xbox Live credits. In actual dollars, the two planes and the extension pack add up to slightly more than $40.
While the distribution approach resembles casual/social games, Flight requires pretty powerful hardware to run without lag and display textures and graphics effects in high quality (recommended: dual-core 3.0 GHz CPU, 1GB AMD Radeon HD5670 or 1 GB Nvidia GeForce 9800GT, 6 GB system memory). Microsoft seems to follow and actually extend a trend of much higher system requirements for casual games.