Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020's release will lead to billions of dollars being spent on PC gaming across the next three years, according to a report from Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
Estimating that 2.27 million units of Flight Simulator will ship over the next three years, JPR suggests that over $2.6bn will be spent in that period by gamers upgrading their flight setup.
This comes after a stellar launch period for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, scoring a 93 on Metacritic, tying with Half-Life: Alyxfor the Best PC Game of 2020 award. Here's why JPR believe it will drive huge commercial success for the PC hardware industry.
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Microsoft Flight Simulator's hefty system requirements
The main driver of this revenue stream is what JPR describes as 'Economically Active PC gamers'. These are gamers who have will regularly upgrade and update their PC gaming set-up, described as having a high 'refresh rate'.
JPR's Senior Games Analyst, Ted Pollak, stated that "Flight simulators are incredibly demanding on processing capability and reward high resolution, large displays, and VR use. When new flight simulators are released, the hardware to run them at max settings and performance does not even exist yet. This creates a situation of constant hardware demand over the life of the title as fans chase the best experience. "
Breaking down Pollak's statement, we can see that JPR estimate a significant number of gamers will be incentivised to upgrade their PC gaming setup in the next three years for Microsoft Flight Simulator. With NVIDIA and AMD set to launch their latest graphics cards later this year in the RTX 3080 Ti and Big Navi GPU, fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator may update their setup to run the game and its highest, most realistic settings, taking full advantage of the real-time capabilities included in the game.
Indeed, JPR notes this consideration in their report, explaining how "NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel’s GPU offerings will also benefit as that processing is needed for high resolutions."
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Peripherals and more peripherals
Aside from internal PC upgrades, Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to boost the sale of PC gaming peripherals. Like many sim games, it offers full support for a wide range of controller options, including flight sticks, yokes, throttles, pedals, and flight system control units.
These components don't come cheap. Kitting out your set-up with high-end products from the likes of Thrustmaster will set you back hundreds of pounds, alongside your powerful PC.
While a £300 joystick may sound steep for most players, JPR's Ted Pollack emphasises the willingness of Flight Simulator playersto splash out on the most realistic set-up.
"A significant number of flight sim fans only play flight sim," explained Pollack. "We took this into account when calculating whether the money will be spent specifically or partially because of this game."
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