If you want to buy Microsoft Flight Simulator like a normal person and download it, then it will download and you’ll play it and everything will be normal. If you want to hold a box, though, you’re going to need both hands, because holy shit.
Simulation specialists Aerosoft have been hired by Microsoft to distribute physical copies of the game in Europe, and yeah, man, just look at that box. So what’s taking up all that space? Aerosoft say the boxed edition content contains:
- The simulator code itself (the ‘sim’) that is around pretty small in size, this is a mandatory part of the sim.
- The world and aircraft delivered by Microsoft, (that content depends on the version (the ‘content’) that is around 90 GB, this is a mandatory part of the sim.
- Optional online streamed content (this is an optional part of the sim)
- 3rd party files (clearly fully optional)
Our DVD’s contains ‘all’ of part 2, apart from the updates Microsoft and Asobo do between the moment the the DVD’s are pressed and release. When you install, the sim will updates all files immediately form the servers and you will get the very latest code for the simulator itself and all content is updated. 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 90 Gb you do not have to download. There is no difference between boxed retail and the verison MS sells directly.
Considering Aerosoft say the price for this tome will be “very close to the price you pay Microsoft”, it might not be the worst idea to buy one of these instead of the download, just to say you had it. If, that is, your PC even has a DVD drive anymore.