Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 to Generate $2.6 Billion in Hardware Spending

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 took flight on Microsoft Windows on August 18, 2020. It immediately gathered critical acclaim from gamers and experts alike and is expected to rank among the best PC games for 2020. According to research, it might also boost the gaming hardware market by unprecedented numbers.

Long-Awaited Microsoft Flight Simulator Set to Boost Hardware Spending

Microsoft is renowned for producing what is probably the longest-running PC gaming franchise of all time: its popular Flight Simulator. First released in 1982 as Flight Simulator 1.0, it has since seen no less than eleven major installments in the series. With 37 years under its belt, the FS video game series is the longest-running software product ever released by Microsoft – even beating Windows for the record. But according to research by Jon Peddie Research, the latest installment in the series might also spur an immense amount of spending on hardware by gamers eager to play their favorite title.

Jon Peddie Research, a leading name when it comes to market research in hardware spending by gamers, has estimated that the impact of MSFS 2020 could see hardware sales go up by a whopping $2.6 billion during the next three years. In order to be able to play the game at its fullest, gamers are expected to invest in display and processor upgrades, along with peripherals like flight sticks and rudder pedals. The game might also see players invest in gear for a more immersive experience, such as tailored seats and frames to simulate a cockpit, along with VR headsets.

Players Will Need to Upgrade to Fully Enjoy Latest MSFS Game

It is no surprise that gamers are one of the core demographics in driving up hardware sales. Fans of MOBA games like Dota 2 or League of Legends are known to invest in gaming gear, along with better CPUs and graphic cards to be able to enjoy their favorite games. Yet it is not only dedicated MOBA fans that appreciate the attention to detail when playing a game.

Even in more traditional gaming markets, like casual gaming or online casino games, players benefit from upgraded hardware. When it comes to online casino table games, software developers have turned to themed variants of beloved games, implementing enhanced visuals to heighten the experience. Now including animations and graphics, it’s easily arguable that games are best played with an upgraded graphics card to make the most out of the game– and the same is true for several casual gaming titles. The same could have been said many years ago with puzzle games such as Portal. Typically, puzzle games are not graphically intensive, but Valve presented Portal as a visual feast and one which you could not have truly experienced at the time without a good graphics card.

This is why dedicated gamers or those wishing to play professionally need to carry out some market research before deciding on the best graphics cards for gaming. Yet Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 seems to have taken it to another level if the Jon Peddie Research predictions come true. The research firm has estimated that roughly 2.27 million copies of the game will be sold during the next three years, which will translate into more spending on hardware to improve the gaming experience. This makes sense if we take into account that the last installment in the series dates as far back as 2006 when Flight Simulator X was released.

It is also important to note that the new MSFS 2020 comes with in-built support for VR and 8K, which the company predicts will continue to drive sales beyond the initial three years of the game’s lifespan.

For now, the reviews are raging: MSFS 2020 harnesses data from Bing Maps and Microsoft Azure Cloud, and the game has been praised for its accuracy both with regard to accurate and realistic graphics. Yet it has also faced criticism for its high loading times – which makes the case for upgraded hardware even more pressing.


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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