Update [3:30 p.m. PT]: Microsoft has clarified how the pricing tiers work around the various airports. In a statement to Eurogamer, a spokesperson says that all airports will be available in Microsoft Flight Simulator, but certain ones at each pricing tier will be have "hand-crafted" elements to them.
"Microsoft Flight Simulator includes nearly every airport around that globe that is represented in Bing Maps, which is roughly 37,000," the spokesperson told Eurogamer. "However, of those 37,000 airports, we have specifically hand-crafted 40 of them (depending on the edition—30 for Standard Edition, 35 for Deluxe Edition, 40 for Premium Deluxe Edition) for the most realistic and immersive simulation experience."
So while those locations will be in the game for all players, they may or may not be hand-crafted per your purchasing decision. Our original story follows:
Wheels are up next month for Microsoft Flight Simulator, but some destinations will cost you a bit more than others. Microsoft confirmed its airplane flight sim will launch on August 18 and come to Xbox Game Pass on PC, but it will have three different pricing tiers with various airports and planes available in each.
The Standard Edition, which is the version that will be available on day one with Xbox Game Pass for PC, will have 20 planes and 30 "hand-crafted" airports. If you're not a Game Pass subscriber, the price tag is $59.99 USD. Upgrade to the Deluxe Edition and you get everything in Standard, plus five more planes and five more airports for $89.99 USD, including O'Hare International and two Cessna models.
At $119.99 USD, the Premium Deluxe Edition includes everything from Standard plus 10 planes and 10 airports. Essentially, if you want everything, it'll run you about $120. Some pretty big airports are behind the Premium Deluxe wall too, including the U.K.'s Heathrow Airport, Dubai International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. On the plane side, the Premium Deluxe carries the SR22 and Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. Looks like if you want to simulate landing (or failing to land) at some major airports, it'll cost a little extra.
Microsoft confirmed that its long-running flight sim was coming back last year, and just over a year later, it's finally taking flight. This comes ahead of Microsoft's big Xbox Series X showcase set for July 23, though it seems like Flight Simulator only has PC plans at the moment. The Xbox Series X, meanwhile, is still poised for a launch this holiday season.