Template:Infobox VG Microsoft Flight Simulator X (the X is pronounced ten, as in the Roman numeral, known in the Flight Simulator community also as simply FSX) is the latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator after Flight Simulator 2004. It includes a graphics engine upgrade as well as compatibility with Windows Vista, having been hailed by Microsoft as the most important technological milestone in the series to date. It is the first version in the flight simulator series to be released on DVD-ROM.
Flight Simulator X marks the tenth version of the popular line of simulators. It was officially released to the US market on October 17, 2006. According to Microsoft's Web site for the game, a standard edition features everything from navaids to GPS and airways. It also includes 18 planes, 28 detailed cities, and 40 highly detailed airports. The deluxe version features 24 types of aircraft, 38 highly detailed cities, and 45 highly detailed airports.
Flight Simulator X was officially unveiled at the 2006 international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a gaming showcase for Microsoft Windows Vista. Microsoft 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). This also included mission-based gameplay with mission specific aircraft as well as an upgraded rendering engine capable of increased detail.
Following the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May 2006, Microsoft published new screenshots, videos and an official trailer. The overall reaction by the community was quite positive,Template:Fact and the graphical quality of the simulator has greatly increased.
Flight Simulator X has a required system rating of 3 for Windows Vista and a recommended rating of 5.
- Main article: Microsoft Flight Simulator
On 22 January 2009, it was reported that development team behind the product was being heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts, with indications that the entire Microsoft Flight Simulator team was being made redundant. Microsoft later confirmed this and stated they are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, and expected to continue to release products in the series, but had nothing specific to announce at that time.
Standard vs. Deluxe Edition Edit
Flight Simulator X was released in two editions, Standard and Deluxe. Deluxe Edition incorporates some additional features, including an on-disc Software Development Kit (SDK), three airplanes with the Garmin G1000 Flight Deck, and the ability for the player to Air Traffic Control other users with a radar screen.
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 51 structured missions compared to 30+.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition combines the Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration expansion pack into one. Also, it has more missions than the two editions/packs combined. Template:Fact
New features Edit
The 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, minimal 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 7 cm/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, (select aircraft in the Deluxe version only).
- Improved ATC featuring certain non-FAA procedures where appropriate (for example, altimeter/QNH scale in metric 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 during multiplayer gaming.
- 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.
- Most of the vintage aircraft that were a key theme in the previous version have been dropped, with the exception of the DC-3 and Piper J-3. Both aircraft are featured in the default missions that ship with the product.
- The maximum altitude in the game has been increased to Template:Ft to m, as opposed to FS2004's Template:Ft to m. FSX's maximum altitude is therefore approximately 2.39 times the diameter of the Earth at the equator.
- Camera shake in the virtual cockpit as the aircraft banks, accelerates, brakes, flies through turbulence etc.
- Realistic flexible wings in some commercial airplanes, the wings flex when the aircraft is going through turbulence, increasing rate of ascent or descending, major plane movements, flaps being fully extended, general vibrations to the plane, etc. An example of an aircraft with this wing movement is the Boeing 747-400.
- New water effect which has 3D waves with curled up object reflection according to the wave movements and with sunshine reflection.
- Aircraft can cast shadows on themselves.
- Red Bull Air Race World Series racing.
In some missions, extra AI aircraft are included but aren't available to the player in Free Flight. These aircraft include:
- TBM Avenger ghost planes of Flight 19 - from Lost in the Triangle
- Boeing 787-9 - from Paris Airshow Demonstration Flight, Loopy Larry & Jet Truck Drag Race
- Ekranoplan - from Aleutian Cargo Run & Tokyo Executive Transport
- Airbus A380-800 - from Paris Airshow Demonstration Flight, Loopy Larry & Jet Truck Drag Race
- Boeing 747-8 - from Loopy Larry & Jet Truck Drag Race
- Antonov AN-225 - from Paris Airshow Demonstration Flight, Loopy Larry & Jet Truck Drag Race
- Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde - from Loopy Larry & Jet Truck Drag Race (in British Airways livery)
- Two variations of UFOs - a flying saucer is seen while flying and two black triangular UFOs; one is seen landing at Area 51 just before the player lands and launches again while the player is taxiing, and a larger, similar one parked on skids - all from Secret Shuttle
- Two UFOs - a small UFO and a much larger UFO, that can be seen in the background - high altitude intercept (acceleration)
- Parked space shuttle - in Free Flight at Edwards Air Force Base
- Parked B-1 Lancer - in Free Flight at Edwards Air Force Base
- Variations of military jets and helicopters - different types from Tutorial 1: First Take-off, Tutorial 11: Helicopter Maneuvers 1, Flour Power, Loopy Larry, Jet Truck Drag Race, Civil Air Patrol Search, Africa Relief and Catalina Day Spa
- Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird - from Tutorial 1: First Take-off and Secret Shuttle next the F-22 Raptor.
- Boeing B-52H Stratofortress - from Tutorial 1: First Take-off & Loopy Larry
- V-22 Osprey from tutorial 1: first take off
- F-117 Nighthawk from tutorial 1: first take off
- F-22 Raptor at Paris Airshow Demonstration Flight on the flightline ,secret shuttle next to the SR-71 and also can be seen at Edwards Air Force Base near the hangars and other various places around the base
- Su-37 Flanker at Paris Airshow Demonstration Flight there are 2 on the flight line next to an F-22
Missions and rewards Edit
The inclusion of Missions adds a new facet to the simulation, adding task oriented goals, and encouraging users to fly worldwide, rather than just from their home field. Although a similar concept was available in previous versions, the new implementation of multipath & event oriented situations substantially extends the potential for user interaction.
Pilots earn Rewards for completing various missions, and reaching specific accomplishments throughout the game, (in 'Free Flight'). Some of the rewards exist as hidden "easter eggs" to be discovered by pilots. Some missions have multiple and hidden rewards, receipt being dependent on performing additional actions.
Some hidden rewards include:
- Earning a postcard for spotting an item of interest.
- Earning a badge for landing at a special airport, e.g., highest, most remote, lowest.
- Earning a reward for completing a challenge not associated with a mission.
- Earning a trophy for landing a number of times or the number of airports landed at.
In each mission description, a map is included with it. It notes that they are for entertainment purposes. The maps and charts are supplied by Jeppesen.
Missions list Edit
This is a list of all missions in Flight Simulator X (both Standard and Deluxe Edition).
Demo versions Edit
Flight Simulator X is notable for being the first product in Microsoft's Flight Simulator series to have a game demo, which contains a subset of features of the retail product and requires Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista for installation.
The first limited demo of Flight Simulator X was released to the public on August 9, 2006, and put up for download on the 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 a newer release, which, while having fewer bugsTemplate:Fact, is almost identical to the first demo. The DHC-2 Beaver was removed in favor of a Learjet 45. Both the demos feature St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles and the surrounding area only (as opposed to the entire world), including Princess Juliana International Airport. There are four playable aircraft (Bombardier CRJ-700, Beechcraft 58, DHC-2 Beaver/Learjet 45 and an ultralight aircraft), and three missions, one of which is actually an introductory tutorial. Demo versions can be downloaded from Fusion Sim. Demo versions are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Polish.
Patches and expansions Edit
Service Pack 1 Edit
Microsoft released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Flight Simulator X on May 15, 2007. It addresses the following problems:
- Activation and installation issues
- Performance enhancements
- Third-party add-on issues
- Content issues
Service Pack 2 Edit
Microsoft released another service pack for Flight Simulator X about the same time as its expansion pack (below). The update is primarily for Vista users that have DirectX 10 (DX10) compatible graphics adapters. The DX10 version takes advantage of DX10's improved shader model and more pixel pipelines and increased performance for Vista, approaching overall FSX performance on XP. It also adds the capability for players who do not have the expansion pack to participate in multiplayer activities with users of the expansion pack, along with support for multi-core processors.  FSX-SP2 also fixes some more bugs over Flight Simulator X. SP1 is not compatible with SP2 or Acceleration in Multiplayer. People with SP1 cannot enter a session with players who have SP2 or Acceleration in Multiplayer.
Flight Simulator X: Acceleration Edit
Template:Infobox VG Microsoft released their first expansion pack for Flight Simulator in years, called Flight Simulator X: Acceleration, to the US market on October 23, 2007 rated E10+, and released to the Australian market on November 1, 2007 rated G. Acceleration introduces new features, including multiplayer air racing, new missions, and three all-new aircraft, the F/A-18A Hornet, EH-101 helicopter and the P-51 Mustang. Unfortunately, in many product reviews, users complained of multiple bugs in the initial release of the pack. One of the bugs, which occurs only in the Standard Edition of Flight Simulator X, is that the Maule Air Orion aircraft used in the mission has missing gauges and other problems, as it is a Deluxe Version-only aircraft.
The new scenery enhancements cover Berlin, Istanbul, Cape Canaveral and the Edwards Air Force Base, providing high accuracy both in the underlying photo texture (60 cm/pix) and in the detail given to the 3D objects.
There are many downloads that both versions of Flight Simulator X can use, ranging from free aircraft and liveries to commercial, high-resolution scenery. They may change many aspects of the simulator, such as adjusting the visuals, gameplay, adding new features or content such as scenery objects and modifications. Numerous free downloads are available from community websites (such as Avsim.com, Simviation.com, Flightsim.com, FlightSimulatorXMissions.com) and the downloads include, but are not limited to:
- Civil jets
- Prop planes
- Vintage planes
- Ultralights and gliders
- Military aircraft
- New paint jobs for default aircraft
- Concept (proposed future) aircraft
- Add-on scenery
- Miscellaneous items (Cars, boats, etc.)
- ↑ Template:Cite news
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- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Flight Simulator X – Product Information
- ↑ Template:Cite web
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- ↑ Fusion Sim : Demo Download Page
- ↑ Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1
- ↑ http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/microsoft-flight-simulator-x-soars-to-new-heights-with-multi-threading/
- ↑ PTaylor's WebLog : FSX-SP2(DX10) delay factors
- ↑ "Flight Simulator X: Acceleration" Now Available!, FSInsider, October 23, 2007
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ http://www.fsinsider.com/downloads/Pages/FlightSimulatorXServicePack1.aspx
- ↑ http://www.fsinsider.com/downloads/Pages/FlightSimulatorXServicePack2.aspx