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Microsoft Flight Simulator beta start date set for mid-July

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Flight Simulator beta is set to begin in mid-July.

The next stage in Microsoft Flight Simulator's development was quietly put on the schedule in a development roadmap (opens in new tab) published last week. Microsoft Flight Simulator has been in alpha since late 2019, and it still has a loose 2020 release window.

We don't yet know what changes will be in store for the beta version of the game/simulator/plane flying thing. The alpha version already lets players embark on aerial journeys in a number of different planes, all across a mind-bogglingly detailed recreation of the Earth streamed in from Microsoft's vast stores of satellite imagery. Yes, that means you can probably see your house (opens in new tab) from up there, or national landmarks, or the vast reaches of nature preserves, or that one street corner people always turn down too fast.

You can even enable real-life weather conditions to make your flights as realistic as possible - or turn them off if you have a rainy or sunny mood in mind. It's a remarkable game whether or not you know the difference between a G58 and a DR400, and it can be played with an Xbox gamepad or a full-on HOTAS setup if you prefer the in-depth flight simulator experience.

We'll let you know when we have more official details about the Microsoft Flight Simulator beta, as well as when the game is expected to get a full, proper release on PC and Xbox.

Find more to look forward to in our guide to the best upcoming Xbox One games (opens in new tab). 

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.