The much-anticipated new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator will feature a “hand-crafted” replica of Sydney Airport, as well as the ability to take off and land from 37,000 airports in the world.
The game, released on PC on 18 August, is believed to be the first in history to recreate the entire planet in detail, allowing users to pick any spot on the globe and then begin flying.
Users can either download the game upon release or buy a physical version that will come on 10 double-layered DVDs. The game itself will be 2 petabytes in size, or roughly 2 million gigabytes.
Sydney is one of 40 airports to be recreated in particularly high detail, with animated windsocks that react to real-life weather; staff going about their work and accurate signs and taxiways.
The game will uniquely use Microsoft Bing Maps – its rival to Google Maps – to recreate the entire planet accurately. That includes 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, mountains, rivers and roads with cars and real-life activity.
The game will allow users to experience real-time weather conditions, wind speed, temperature, humidity as well as night and day flying.
Players will be able to fly around this world in up to 30 aircraft ranging from the A320neo to a Cessna 152 and 747-8 Intercontinental. All feature accurate cockpits with realistic controls and instrumentation.
Developer Aerosoft has promised virtually every airport in the world will feature – a feat made possible by studying photos from Bing Maps alongside radar information showing exactly where aircraft take-off, land and are stored.
The game, only announced late last year, has been shrouded in secrecy with Microsoft scrambling to remove videos of it from the web uploaded by players testing out early versions. It represents their big investment in their billion-dollar battle with rivals Sony and Nintendo.
The game will come in three versions, ranging from US$60–US$120, with the Deluxe and Premium editions including more planes and airports.