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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight - PC

Platform : Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP
Rated: Everyone
4.1 out of 5 stars 336 customer reviews

Price: $124.99 + $3.99 shipping
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  • Dynamic weather system based on realistic atmospheric physics, with true three-dimensional clouds that form and dissipate
  • Worldwide scenery with accurate 3D terrain and auto-gen objects that fill in the world with appropriate buildings and vegetation
  • Enhanced interactive air traffic control (ATC), including traffic at all airports around the world
  • Improved support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration in multiple windows and across multiple monitors
  • For 1 or more players over LAN or Internet
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Product Description


Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000096L71
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches ; 6.4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: January 13, 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,614 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I am in love with aviation, and therefore FS has become a part of my computing experience. I purchased FS 1998, and though it was a tolerable product, I in no way felt that it was a great simulation of flight. It just didn't have the look and feel of flight. However, I was blown away by the progress made in FS 2002. Though the clouds were not always realistic (modeling gave them a two-dimension look that was disconcerting to say the least), I thought that the overall experience was pretty good.
I saw FS 2004, and I thought it was probably mot much of an improvement based on reviews I had read. Let me just say that the first reviews I read were wrong. FS 2004 is a major improvement over FS 2002, and it stands as a all-time great product for aviation buffs like me.


1. Weather: for the first time, flying on FS2004 simulates almost perfectly the experience of actually flying. Clouds have the mist look when you fly through them. The weather systems seem to generate randomly, just as in the non-virtual world. Also, I like the weather themes that can generate snow conditions, thunderstorms, and fair weather with high altitude stratocumulus clouds. In short, the weather is a fantastic approximation of reality. FS 2004 truly represents a quantum leap in simulations. (although IL-2 still has the best clouds).

2. ATC: FS2002 had the feel of real ATC but with some stupid problems. For example, if you fly using IFR (instrument flight rules), and you failed to reach your assigned altitude, the ATC would terminate their services (what the heck is that about?). If you wanted to fly at a different altitude you couldn't. Also, you couldn't change you IFR route, or change from VFR (visual) to IFR in flight. FS2004 makes those changes.
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My qualifications: More than 3000 hrs of real world flight time, Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine and Flight Instructor certificates, and an incalculable amount of my life spent "flying" every major flight sim ever made for the PC, starting with the original MS Flight Simulator on an Apple IIe in 1983. For whatever it's worth, folks, I'm an expert on this subject.

FS-2004 Century of Flight is the new state of the art, the new gold standard. By itself, this software is worth going out and buying a new, hot PC just so you can fly it.

If this is your first flight sim experience, you'll have fun just doing loops and looking at the pretty scenery.

But here's the truth: the more aviation experience you have, the more you will appreciate this sim. Quite frankly, I can't think of a single significant element of the real-world flying experience that isn't precisely modeled and simulated in FS-2004.

Want to climb in the 172 and practice NDB approaches down to minimums in rain and a stiff crosswind? No problem, you can do that here. Want to captain the 747 from San Francisco to Honolulu by moonlight? Consider it done. Want to fly neck-straining aerobatics "in the box" over the runway at Oshkosh in Patty Wagstaff's Extra 300? Start the engine and go. Want to load up the DC-3 and fly "The Hump" to gain an appreciation of true aviation heroism? Yep, you can do that too. With or without the snowstorms and turbulence.

Quite frankly, if you can come up with a non-combat flying scenario of any kind, you can almost certainly experience something very close to it in FS-2004. This sim isn't just fun, or accurate - it's realistic training and practice for the IFR pilot.
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Comment 314 of 327 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I have been using flight simulators since MS Flight Simulator 4.0, and have more diverse experience than only Microsoft's offering to call upon. While any simulator can be made quite realistic with the latest hardware and enough money, it is important to note that Microsoft's offering is no different - you cannot, as they say, make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. This means that if you're running an underpowered system, you will not be able to run the simulation optimally.

Published system requirements:

* Pentium 450 or greater processor

* 64 MB RAM for 98/Me, 128 MB RAM for 2000/XP

* 8 MB/3-D with DirectX 7.0 or later videocard

* 1.8 GB hard drive space

My recommendation:

* P4 2.x GHz processor; the faster, the better

* 512MB RAM, with ideally 1GB under the hood

* 128MB / 256MB AGP video card that pushes TONS of pixels - the more, the better

* At least 5GB free hard drive space - You'll want to do a full install, and that comes in just under 3GB (2.88GB, I think)

I run on:

* P4 3.0GHz processor


* Windows XP PRO (SP1)

* 256MB 8xAGP GeForce 5700 series NVidia video card

* Sidewinder joystick (soon to go, thanks to some pedals and a yoke I ordered!)

* On-board surround sound processor

The software itself is practically infinitely extendable, with software and hardware add-ons supported. A quick look around in the flightsim community will support my assertion that the software is CHEAP compared to what can be done to augment it.
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