Microsoft Flight Simulator Is Expected To Generate Billions In PC Hardware Sales

Analytics predict that Microsoft's latest flight sim will have a big impact on hardware revenue.


It's estimated that Microsoft Flight Simulator will generate $2.6 billion in PC hardware sales over the next three years, according to recent industry analysis. The report comes from Jon Peddie Research, an analytics company that specializes in the games industry's hardware revenue.

The company states that the recent release of Microsoft Flight Simulator is expected to impact the sale of PC builds, processor upgrades, display upgrades, flight sticks and throttles, flight system control units, rudder pedals, simulator pit components such as seats and frames, and VR sales. The research was conducted by separating players into three distinct categories: entry-level, mid-range, and high-end. Those that lean towards the latter are expected to spend significantly more by purchasing specialist equipment aside from simply upgrading their PC hardware.

"Based on the assumption of a sale of 2.27 million units of Flight Simulator 2020 selling over the next three years, [Jon Peddie Research] estimates that in that time frame $2.6 billion will be spent on hardware with the specific intent of improving the game's experience. Much more will be spent over the title's complete sales cycle," says the report.

"Flight simulators are incredibly demanding on processing capability and reward high resolution, large displays, and VR use," explains games industry analyst Ted Pollak. "When new flight simulators are released, the hardware to run them at max settings and performance does not even exist yet. This creates a situation of constant hardware demand over the life of the title as fans chase the best experience. A significant number of flight sim fans only play flight sim. We took this into account when calculating whether the money will be spent specifically or partially because of this game."

Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research, added that "beneficiaries of the Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 release will be Intel and AMD due to the demand flight simulators place on CPUs. Simulation gamers know the CPU is not easily upgraded so they pay for the best.

"Nvidia, AMD, and Intel's GPU offerings will also benefit as that processing is needed for high resolutions." Peddie goes on to mention that gaming PC builders such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo are also going to see a significant sales boost as a result of the game's release, as well as VR headset manufacturers. Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn't currently support VR, but functionality will be added to the game in a free update later this year. The first compatible device will be manufactured by HP with other VR headsets to follow.

If you're interested in the latest flight sim yourself, it was awarded a score of 9/10 in GameSpot's Microsoft Flight Simulator review. Critic Edmond Tran said, "Microsoft Flight Simulator is a spectacular technical achievement and a deeply inspiring experience filled with glorious possibilities."

If you are planning on taking to the skies, Microsoft Flight Simulator is available on Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC. We've also got you covered with our pick of the best flight sim sticks, and a collection of some unusual sights that are worth checking out.

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