Analysing the market and making predictions for revenue is a very tricky art, but the research firm JPR (Jon Peddie Research) estimates that the recent release of Microsoft Flight Simulator will possibly generate $2.6 billion in hardware sales. That includes PC hardware like GPUs, as well as third-party peripherals like flight sticks etc.

Flight simulators are incredibly demanding on processing capability and reward high resolution, large displays, and VR use,” said the Senior Analyst of the Gaming Industry, Ted Pollak. “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.

This all comes under Microsoft’s bid to keep the game alive for as long as possible - that idea that the hardware doesn’t yet exist to play MS Flight Sim? That’s an attempt to make it future proof of sorts, allowing hardcore players to invest long-term for the best experience.

A significant number of flight sim fans only play flight sim. We took this into account when calculating whether the money will be spent specifically or partially because of this game,” Pollak added.

Obviously they have no idea that MS Flight Simulator will be generating exactly $2.6 billion, as it’s just a ballpark estimate, but the fact that the numbers are so high are really astounding. If Half-Life: Alyx was meant to drive VR sales, Microsoft Flight Simulator wants to drive PC hardware sales in general.

There’s another factor as to why that number is so high though, because a brand new generation of graphics cards are coming later this year with Nvidia’s upcoming Ampere-based RTX 30 series and AMD’s RDNA2-based GPUs. Considering that, MS Flight Sim seems to have come out at the perfect time, since some players will certainly chase the best hardware for the best performance.

What do you think? Will you buy more and better PC hardware thanks to MS Flight Sim? Are there any other games tempting you instead? Let us know!

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