I've been a fan of Microsoft's Flight Simulator series for many years - I cut my teeth on Flight Simulator 2004 and moved up to FSX a couple of years ago.
The default scenery has always been a little rough around the edges - as you would expect considering the series spans the entire globe - so I've previously invested in texture meshes to bring the world to life - in particular the US state of Alaska.
Thanks to Ultimate Alaska, I've explored miles of terrain and flown over forests, rivers, glaciers and small towns in a variety of light aircraft. But just as the thrill of exploring 586 sq miles of Alaskan countryside begins to die down, Microsoft have announced their plans for the next game in the series.
Microsoft Flight will launch later this year via Games For Windows and judging by recent screenshots, it looks as if texture meshes and third party downloads could be a thing of the past.
Not only is the game visually stunning, but it will also be free to play, giving everyone the chance to explore the skies above beautiful Hawaii. Further regions, aircraft and customisation options will be available to buy, while Microsoft have said they will frequently release new content.
Not only that, but virtual pilots will also have their own online pilot profile, while achievement points will be included to boost your Gamerscore.
There have been some grumblings about the fact Microsoft Flight will use the flawed Games For Windows client but I'm still incredibly excited to see the game in action. The only problem is that I might need to upgrade my creaking PC sooner than planned to get the best out of the game.