Players will be able to get their hands on Microsoft Flight Simulator as early as August thanks to its Insider program. As with the Halo Insider program, players will be selected to preview early versions of the game and give feedback, report bugs, and more. The idea is to get it polished and ready for its full release sometime in 2020.
For those who missed it, Microsoft announced its return to the flight sim franchise at E3 2019. The game presents near-photo realistic graphics, with weather and satellite data powered by Azure. It presents more realistic cities, busier airports, beautiful weather, wildlife, and more.
Enthusiasts have been waiting for this game for a very long time, but it's worth noting these builds won't be all fun and games. Each will be time-gated with only a small slice of the game's functionality. Microsoft will be diving into specific aspects for each build for feedback and participants will vary each time.
As well as builds, players will receive short surveys on the game, gain access to private forums, and get exclusive updates on the game's progress.
“As with all Preview builds, we expect some turbulence along the way but we are committed to doing our best to ensure we get you into smoother air, as quickly as possible. We view Preview Build participation is a critical step in our path to building the next generation of Microsoft Flight Simulator and look forward to working closely with you,” says Microsoft on its FAQ page.
According to the roadmap, Insiders will see an advanced preview of the development roadmap in early to mid-august, followed by clips from the game and detailed information on the first build. In late August Microsoft will kick off the build program and deliver its first builds.