Microsoft plans to resurrect its limbo-bound Flight Simulator series, but simulator wonks may have cause to be more than a little nervous. That's because something's conspicuously absent from the venerable title this time, and it may not bode well for the series' aeronautical pedigree.
Following the pop-cultural trend to truncate by lopping off numbers or appending a clumsy 'Begins' to a title, Microsoft Flight Simulator as a namesake is officially no more.
Say hello, instead, to Microsoft Flight.
No one knows what that means--Microsoft may show more of the game as GDC Europe 2010 continues through tomorrow, so we'll see--but it sounds awfully inauspicious for simulation enthusiasts. Though alternative series like X-Plane have recently rivaled Flight Simulator in air-physics-related fidelity, Microsoft was pretty much the gold standard for flight enthusiasts in terms of content breadth, depth, and customizability.
Microsoft's PR line only reinforces the sense that the company's designing to the lowest common denominator: "Microsoft Flight will bring a new perspective to the long-standing genre, welcoming everyone, including long-time fans, to experience the magic of flight."
When the company sacked its Flight Simulator team back in January 2009, no one knew where the series would go next. It seems we have a partial answer, for better or worse. If it's not the one you were hoping for, remember--there's always the increasingly formidable X-Plane, available for Windows, Mac, or Linux, and, unlike Microsoft Flight Simulator, optionally available in fully FAA certified garb, too.
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