Microsoft clearly has no care for the silly paramaters we call "seasons," as its launching Microsoft Flight on February 29, bucking the original "spring" launch window. Microsoft Flight's official site will be hosting downloads of the free application starting that Wednesday -- no other distribution channels are named, but we suspect it'll also be up on Games for Windows Live's Marketplace as well.

That guess' accuracy is bolstered by the news that the "Hawaiian Adventure Pack" wil be made available as well on the 29th, coming in at $19.99. The pack is said to include the "remaining Hawaiian Islands, a new plane, and 20 new missions," should you have already exhausted your enjoyment of the other content, perhaps during the simulation's beta period. More details on the DLC can be found just after the break, including two additional planes, priced at $7.99 and $14.99 (for regular and "deluxe" models, respectively).

At this point, we were gonna make a flippant joke about Flight being little more than flying simulation, but then we thought about that Louis CK bit and started feeling all guilty. So, here we are. Either way, how about those DLC prices, eh? Madness!
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"Microsoft Flight" Lands Feb. 29, Delivering the Hawaiian Islands as First Content Pack
Download the Big Island for free, with the option to purchase the Hawaiian Adventure Pack with new regions, missions and plane

Prepare for takeoff! On the heels of a successful beta, Microsoft Studios announced "Microsoft Flight" will be available to download worldwide for free starting February 29, 2012. In addition, the Hawaiian Adventure Pack, which includes the remaining Hawaiian Islands, a new plane and 20 new missions, will be available to purchase the same day for players looking to expand their horizons.

An entirely new PC game, "Microsoft Flight" lets players jump into the challenge, thrill, and wonder of flight with no special hardware or past experience. The game will be available to download from www.microsoftflight.com, with the option to purchase content packs, aircraft and other content from Games for Windows -LIVE. "There was an overwhelming demand for access to the 'Microsoft Flight' beta and the number of requests was far more than what we initially planned for," said executive producer Joshua Howard. "We received amazing feedback from the beta participants and it's great to see this level of excitement from fans as we move toward the release of 'Microsoft Flight."

Explore the Hawaii Islands From Above
In addition to exploring the Big Island of Hawaii for free, fans can unlock access to the skies over the remaining Hawaiian Islands by purchasing the Hawaiian Adventure Pack, the first in a series of expansions For "Microsoft Flight." The entire island chain offers hundreds of miles to explore and includes stunning recreations of landmark features, from the breathtaking Waimea Canyon in Kaua'i to the high-rise hotels of Waikīkī. The Hawaiian Adventure pack includes new challenges and over 20 new missions that will test a player's skill. It also includes the Vans RV-6A, a two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplane made famous for its speed and maneuverability. For more information on the Hawaiian Adventure Pack, including pricing, please visit: http://www.microsoftflight.com.

Tour the Skies in Two All-New Planes
Players who sign in to "Microsoft Flight" using their Games for Windows – LIVE account will have the ability to purchase additional content for the game, including two new planes that offer entirely different flying experiences:

The Maule M-7-260C is a rugged utility aircraft that is especially adept at handling take-offs and landings on rough, unprepared surfaces. Players can find out what makes the Maule the plane of choice for adventurous bush pilots by trying tricky landing challenges that push the aircraft's ability to land on rough airstrips. They can enter the Maule's beautifully recreated cockpit and take the controls to transport people and cargo to complete jobs and advance their pilot career.
The North American P-51 Mustang is a historical fighter plane with strong performance characteristics, maneuverability and sharp looks. Stripped of guns and some weight, this version represents a restored Mustang that might be found at airshows today. The Mustang's superb agility makes it a great option to choose to complete hoops courses and master many other skilled challenges and missions found in the game.


All aircraft in "Microsoft Flight" have been created with detailed graphics and accurate physics to immerse players in the flying experience. Some models allow players to take the helm using highly rendered, accurate cockpits and master authentic piloting procedures, or they can simply use their mouse and keyboard to control any plane in an exterior view. More experienced players can tailor the flight controls to match their skill level, making "Microsoft Flight" easy for beginners while still challenging for the most accomplished PC pilots.

Go Behind-The-Scenes with the ICON team
Today the "Microsoft Flight" development team released a new video that gives fans an inside look at the thorough and meticulous process behind the creation of aircraft in the game, including the ICON A5, available to fly first in "Microsoft Flight." From early design modeling to the integration of unique speed and flight physics, the video is a great chance to explore the accuracy and details that define the gameplay experience in "Microsoft Flight." To view the video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XuoC79IKoY&feature=youtu.be

For more information, news, and access to gameplay footage for "Microsoft Flight," visit http://www.microsoftflight.com.

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"Microsoft Flight"
Fact Sheet
February 2012

Title: "Microsoft Flight"

Availability: February 29, 2012

Developer: Microsoft Studios

Format: Digital download

ESRB Rating: "E" (Everyone)

Pricing: The starter pack includes the Big Island of Hawaii, which is free-to-play. Prices for downloadable
content will vary.

Features:

"Microsoft Flight" is an entirely new PC game that lets players jump into the challenge,
fun, and freedom of flight with no special hardware or past experience.
Whether players want to fly freely or choose to master real instruments and
controls, "Microsoft Flight" is easy for a beginner while challenging for the most
accomplished PC pilots. The game immerses players in the flying
with realistic graphics and accurate physics, and will continually evolve with
new terrain, aircraft and challenges that can be downloaded via expansion
packs.

Top features include the following:

You're at the Controls. "Microsoft Flight" offers hours of exciting gameplay for
free with the initial download. Set the pace by choosing to turn on flight aids
or use the cockpit controls to perform authentic piloting procedures. Choose
how to play, whether it's completing missions, finishing challenges, exploring
the sky or finding aerocaches. Players looking to deepen their experience can
download additional packs that add new aircraft, regions and customization
options. As a player's experience grows, so too does "Microsoft Flight," with
frequently released new content like daily aerocache challenges and regular
mission updates designed to keep the experience fresh.

If You Can Use a Mouse, You Can Fly. With "Microsoft Flight," players can
jump into the challenge and fun of flying with no special hardware or past
experience. At the push of a button players can see all available missions, be
transported to specific locations, view the airplanes in their hangar, or track and
share accomplishments. After a brief tutorial, they'll be soaring past the lush,
breathtaking cliffs of the historic Waipio Valley or witnessing the vast crevices
of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with a view from above.

Stunning Realism. "Microsoft Flight" features a visually stunning and realistic
representation of the earth with region-specific weather patterns, foliage and
terrain, landmarks and flight physics. Players can explore the world in highly
rendered, accurate cockpits of airplanes, or fly with a view of the airplane from
the outside.

Downloadable
Content:
Expand your journey with the Hawaiian Adventure Pack, the first game add-on that will
be available to download via Games for Windows – LIVE. The Hawaiian
Adventure Pack includes seven new islands to explore, a new plane for the
hangar and more than 20 new missions, available for $19.99. Additional
airplanes are available as Basic and Deluxe models and may be downloaded
individually. Basic models are $7.99 and include exterior views only and
Deluxe models include cockpit and exterior views for $14.99.

Product
Specifications: "Microsoft Flight" is optimized for the average PC user, with no special hardware required.

Minimum:
•Dual Core Processor 2.0 GHz
•256MB graphics card, DirectX 9.0c compliant
•10GB hard drive space
•WinXP SP3 or newer
•2GB RAM

Recommended
• Dual Core Processor 3.0 GHz
• 1024MB graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5670 or nVidia GeForce 9800T or
equivalent
• 30 GB hard drive space
• Windows 7 SP1 64-bit
• 6GB Ram

About Microsoft Studios
Microsoft Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox 360 video game
console, Windows-based PC and Windows Phone. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft
Studios is committed to creating an innovative and diverse gaming portfolio across all platforms, including
such landmark franchises as "Halo" and "Microsoft Flight."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.