Microsoft Flight Simulator’s free Dune expansion lets you fly an Ornithopter over Arrakis

As a part of a promo for the second Dune film, Microsoft has added a free Dune expansion to its Microsoft Flight Simulator. Gamers can now experience flying through the skies of the planet Arrakis via the Ornithopter, a fictional dragonfly-esque helicopter used as one of the primary methods of transport in Dune

Dune: Part Two is the second movie based on the 1965 sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert. It’s hard to determine how challenging piloting an Ornithopter actually is, since it’s a fictional vehicle, much like shuttles and fighters in any sci-fi movie. The free expansion for the Microsoft Flight Simulator is available now on Windows and Xbox Series X/S platforms, as well as for XBox/PC Game Pass subscribers. 

Microsoft also made an Xbox controller and a limited edition Ornithopter-inspired Xbox X/S stand, which is only available as a prize in a promotional contest. People probably wish they could buy it, as the likelihood of winning one reduces every time a person signs up for it. Limited-edition controllers are pretty sought-after collector’s items (see to Bethesda’s Starfield-inspired controllers and headsets). 

Microsoft did a similar promotion for another movie franchise — Top Gun: Maverick. Of course, the Top Gun franchise features real-world planes (and a carrier deck). Microsoft’s promo with Dune opens opportunities for collabs with any films or franchises that have fictional planes or fighters. Expansions like this usually leave fans wanting more — and who might even be willing to pay for something that offers a better experience. Some wish Microsoft would release similar expansions for planets such as Coruscant from Star Wars or Pandora from Avatar.

Optimizations and VR support are also expected for Microsoft Flight Simulator.