Microsoft Flight is coming to Windows this Spring, and it will be a free download plus you'll also be able to get achievements. Here are some highlights from the press release:
"Start Exploring For Free
After downloading "Microsoft Flight" for free, players can jump into hours of exciting gameplay on the Big Island of Hawaii.
In addition, players who sign in to their Games for Windows - LIVE account automatically receive additional free content, including the legendary Boeing Stearman plane, supplementary missions, and access to Achievements and an Online Pilot Profile. Those looking to deepen their experience can purchase and download additional content that adds new aircraft, regions and customization options. The frequently released new content for "Microsoft Flight" includes daily aerocache challenges and updates that make every flight unique and fun.
Be the First to Fly the Definitive Light Sport Aircraft ICON A5
Microsoft Studios worked with the personal airplane manufacturing team at ICON Aircraft to give aviation fans the exclusive opportunity to fly the all-new ICON A5 before real-world production starts at the end of 2012. Designed by the world-class aeronautical engineers behind the Voyager spaceship, X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne, and Virgin Galatic's SpaceShipTwo, the ICON A5 is the "jet ski for the skies," a high-wing amphibious monoplane with a carbon fiber airframe and a comfortable, automobile-inspired cockpit with space for two. The ICON A5 will be the first aircraft available to players for free in "Microsoft Flight."
"ICON Aircraft and "Microsoft Flight" both share the goal of making the fun of flying accessible to everyone who's ever dreamed about it. ICON does this by fusing world-class product design with the very best engineering, and Microsoft by combining the excitement of a great gaming experience with the authenticity of a top notch flight simulator," said ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins.
Be the First to Experience "Microsoft Flight"
Today the team behind "Microsoft Flight" released an exclusive video that features all-new footage of "Microsoft Flight." To view it, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/. Additionally, the launch sequence has begun! Be among the first to try "Microsoft Flight" by signing up for the closed beta. The voyage continues at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 10 - 13. Those that attend will have the chance to play "Microsoft Flight" before it releases this spring at the Microsoft booth, located in the Central Hall."
You can sign-up for the beta here.
Here are a couple of Microsoft Flight videos:
In other gaming news, Microsoft Game Studios and Arkadium have signed a multi-year, multi-game partnership deal to develop and launch more casual games.
"Arkadium has a ten-year track record of developing entertaining and well-architected casual and social games," said Matt Booty, GM of Connected Experiences for Microsoft Studios. "Our team is excited to be partnering with a developer that we believe will help us entertain millions of people as we expand our reach to a broader audience."
Arkadium has a game development studio in New York City with a mobile development office in Toronto. And, has developed hit games such as Mahjongg Dimensions for play on Facebook, iPhone and iPads. Arkadium also has developed games for MSN, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, ESPN, ABC, Lifetime and Discovery.
Financial terms were not released.