Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X is back on sale, this time on behalf of Dovetail Games that acquired the rights to the game (and its engine) back in July. Dovetail released its slightly reworked version of the simulator under the Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition name, and it includes the Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration Expansion Pack of Microsoft’s original title.
Now available for purchase on Steam, Dovetail has integrated the Steam online gaming platform so that simmers can once again fly together in online multiplayer sessions. This should be a huge boost particularly after FSX’s previous multiplayer platform GameSpy decided to shut down its servers in May.
Dovetail Games confirmed that beyond the slight naming change and the addition of the online multiplayer, not much has else has been changed or improved upon compared to the original game. Only very minor changes have been made to the graphics engine, the game is still based on DirectX 9, its DX10 support is still in its glitchy preview, airports and their respective frequencies and airspaces haven’t been updated to today’s real-world statuses, and there’s still a lot to wish for in terms of multi-monitor support and CPU/GPU optimizations.
Why then would anyone buy FSX: Steam Edition if you already have the original FSX? Good question, and here’s Dovetails rather honest response:
“The main reason you would even consider picking up FSX: Steam Edition if you already have a significant FSX-O[riginal] setup is the implementation of Steam for multiplayer purposes. That's the big single thing we've done is replaced GameSpy with Steam.
Yes, there have been a few tweaks made that may improve the performance of FSX for some users, but if you already have the simulator we're making no secret about the fact that at this point, what we're offering to you is limited. The people we're hoping to attract first and foremost are those to whom FSX will be a brand new experience, rather than those who have already invested a great deal of time and energy into the hobby.
We know this will be a little disappointing to those who had hoped for a revolutionary rebirth of the simulator, but we've got a way to go before we can talk about our future plans. At the moment we're focusing on introducing FSX to a new generation of flight simulation fans.”
If it helps, you’ll be glad to know that Dovetail has avoided doing anything that would break existing FSX third-party add-on support, which is arguably one of the most important factors in play here. They have also fixed several OS compatibility issues so flight enthusiasts should have no problem running the simulator on the latest version of Windows 8.1.
Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is now available on Steam. It’s also 80% off its original price, so you can grab it for $4.99 for a limited time! If you’re new to the simulation genre and are interested in flying, you’ll enjoy Flight Simulator X. But be sure to check out some of the included flight tutorials and missions -- this is no arcade game. We’ve included the direct Steam link below. Have a pleasant flight!