The physical edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator comes on an unbelievable 10 discs.
As Mathijs Kok of developer Aerosoft explained in a forum post (as spotted by Eurogamer), two expanded physical editions of the game will be available in Europe. Both the standard edition and premium edition come with 10 double-layer DVDs with roughly 90GB of content between them – you just get a fancier box with the premium one.
Kok broke it down like this: the code governing the sim itself is relatively small, and third-party and online streamed content is totally optional, so the discs mainly contain "the world and aircraft delivered by Microsoft" which is necessary for the sim to work. It's a whole hell of a lot of assets on a whole hell of a lot of discs, basically. This is easily the biggest special edition for any game in decades.
"When you install, the sim will update all files immediately from the servers and you will get the very latest code for the simulator itself and all content is updated," he says. "This is very much a simulator that depends on the cloud if you want to use it to its full potential. So the boxed version makes it possible for people on a slower internet connection to get the sim installed without downloading the 'content'. So the simulator is in every way, 100% the same. The boxed retail version just gets you a nice box, printed manual and about 90GB you do not have to download. There is no difference between boxed retail and the verison MS sells directly."
In a separate post, Kok explained that preparing these physical editions was a nightmare due to production complications caused by the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "Try to get hundreds of thousands of DVDs pressed and boxes made while Asia was unreachable and most of Europe in lockdown," he says. "It was not easy. It was stressful. But it is done and we are able to start shipping soon. As we reach this next milestone in this project, I can tell you I have never met any team working on MFS that was this nice, this responsive and this focussed on what this sim really is."
The Microsoft Flight simulator PC release date is set for August 18.