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moggel

How long can FSX live?

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Everyone seems busy speculating whether FSXI is "to be or not to be" but, either way, it seems likely we'll have to settle with FSX or slowly move to some other alternative in the next few years. However, as has been pointed out by sereral forumists, in the best possible scenario FSXI is "to be" and we'll just have to wait longer. The question is: How long can it "be" without Microsoft? Third party studios can certainly improve the sim quite alot but there's limits; stuff that can't be changed without the actual FSX source code. What are they and what can be done to improve the sim and prolong its lifespan?I'd like to discuss what's reasonable to wish for, maybe some wort of list even, of stuff we'd all like the third party studios to prioritize in the upcoming years when they can be fairly sure their work won't become incompatible with a new FS platform.I have never journeyd into the SDK myself but, unless I'm misinformed, there's no reason to ask for such things as cloud shadows which is a real shame. My peronsonal pet peeve is the amazingly ugly rain/snow effect which seems impossibe to replace. I'm sure there's some technical reasoon ACES chose to drop the much better looking effect in FS9 but I have no idea what it could be.What else?Cheers/Jonas

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If things stayed exaxtly as they are now -I figure at least 5-6 years. But by that time the hardware will have advanced enough to allow running FSX with full sliders, etc which will make it a whole new sim. Not to mention the fact that MS has stated that they are committed to the Franchise.In the best case, FSII wouldn't have been available until December 2010 at the earliest. That's *still* 2 years away. A lot can happen in two years.I look for the dust to settle and for work on FS to begin anew - possibly with contract people, maybe even the old Aces team.Personally, I'm now taking the time to really enjoy FSX.The world is not coming to an end and the sky is not falling - no matter what some of the media and doom n gloom folks say.There are too many possible and eminently probable scenarios to consider to start playing what if - even as an exercise.In actuality I think it will allow developers the freedom to actively create titles for FSX w/o worrying about compatability with FSII in 2 years. I see a lot of good things coming.As usual, Just MHO,Vic

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Not to mention the fact that MS has stated that they are committed to the Franchise.
They certainly did not say this. They only provided a vague statement that they are committed to "flying games" and this of course can mean lots of different things.

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To answer the question in your headline, "How long can FSX live?" I personally feel that both Microsoft and FSX (because of the drama which it now entails) are legends of fairly monumental proportions. For this reason I doubt that FSX will go the way others have gone in the past, others such as Pro Pilot or Fly! I got a lot of enjoyment out of Pro Pilot, I cut my teeth on this sim. I found that Fly! became an irritation after a while because of the difficulty I was having with my joystick at the time, but compared with FSX both these sims were fairly crude representations of flight. I reckon that FSX is such a sophisticated representation that it will be iconic, at least, for a very long time to come. In fact, I'm considering buying a couple of copies of FSX Gold now, so that I'll be able to use it sometime way into the future. And in case you think I'm nuts, or something, I should add that I've got a pretty high end rig now (a Core i7 940, with two GTX 280s), so I've seen what FSX is capable of, and believe me, it's impressive!To answer your question about what can be done to prolong the life of the sim, I suggest that, in spite of not being able to alter the source code, FSX is already a sim which works without needing repairs of any sort, and so it is one which others may build upon without having to struggle with doubts about its reliability. As has been mentioned several times on this forum, third party developers can now "go to town" perfecting a sim which is already pretty impressive. I think you'll find that FSX has a great future.As for your question of what else could be done to improve the sim, I'd like to see the terain texture resolution exploited to its full potential. I'd also like to see the modelling of some really comprehensive VCs which chips will be able to render in future.While we all feel for those who have suffered because of this diversion from prior development goals at Microsoft, we can't really complain about the future of the sim because it could become legendary in its longevity!

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They certainly did not say this. They only provided a vague statement that they are committed to "flying games" and this of course can mean lots of different things.
"We are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise"however I do agree that right now they are not committed to anything and what happens in the future is based on them simply waiting out the economy

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It can live a very long time. Grand Prix Legends is several years old and still has a dedicated fan base. Having said that, the GPL fan base is fairly small and I would expect things to slow down massively for FSX in the next 2 years in terms of add-ons due to an also shrinking fan base. So, I'd expect FSX to be around for quite some time, but things will become progressively quieter. It doesn't really matter though as long you enjoy it.

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"We are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise"I wonder though if it won't be like the Subway/Taco Bell and likewise franchises that operate out of gas stations now.They are supported, and part of the franchise, but certainly not as feature rich.

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I wonder though if it won't be like the Subway/Taco Bell and likewise franchises that operate out of gas stations now.They are supported, and part of the franchise, but certainly not as feature rich.
LOL!You're a riot!You know.. lets put our faith in a Phoenix.. out of the ashes

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LOL!You're a riot!You know.. lets put our faith in a Phoenix.. out of the ashes
Pass the hot sauce...and the rolaids... :(

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Pass the hot sauce...and the rolaids... :(
now you're talkin.. I'll fly with you anytime. I will bring the wings.. you pick the sauce, I'm game

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now you're talkin.. I'll fly with you anytime. I will bring the wings.. you pick the sauce, I'm game
Sounds like a plan!

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Sounds like a plan!
I cannot believe there are no threads tonight about Microsoft shutting down the entire Aces department and the ending of Flight Simulator after it's 28 year life... They say there may be an internet version in the future but from the sounds of it FS11 is history and Flight Simulator is done... You may like to read one of the many news articles going round... http://www.computerworld.com/action/articl...rc=news_ts_headI cannot imaging how many 3rd party FS software companies will be impacted by this dramatic ending to MSFS as well as all the employees who lost their jobs today...bnick

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I cannot believe there are no threads tonight about Microsoft shutting down the entire Aces
There are such threads (since Jan 22) but there may be problems with your vision or with power of your observation ... :(

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I would expect things to slow down massively for FSX in the next 2 years in terms of add-ons due to an also shrinking fan base
Why would FSX have a "shrinking fanbase" when there is nothing to replace it? Microsoft Flight Simulator isn't like a first person shooter. It isn't something that has an end. I can see people enjoying flying around in an increasingly more detailed FSX environment for many years to come.

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i think FSX will live for quite a while yet, just look at FS9 and how many people are still using and developing for that sim, its taken a while for the hardware to catch up with FSX but i think we are slowly crossing the line with the new i7's and up, theres lots of addons in the pipeline so we are along way from 'slowly fading away' we have now got several years to enjoy FSX and it is indeed a great product when you got the hardware to cope with it... i think we will see an FSvNext at some point within the next 3-4 years (Microsoft or no microsoft) and it will probably be a completely revolutionised version rather than just a rework of FSX. I feel for the staff at ACES but i dont think it is all doom and gloom.. My suspision would have been that the FS11 as was would have just been FSX with a revised graphic rendering engine and few fancy bits of eye candy but nothing greatly different to what we have now. FSvNext whenever it arrives will probably be a complete rework and that might not be a bad thing to start again from scratch..my two penneth worth...

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I would not write FS off from Microsoft. It's hard to say what is going on within any large corporate environment. Then Aces Studios did not deliver on DX10, 64bit, true multi-core support, and frame rates in games, as should have been done earlier (in my opinion). Would this kind of thing be acceptable in the video card indusry? I think not ! Also Microsoft management completely "cleaned house", which also say's something big to me. That is sometimes the best and only way to start over and get it right. K-Mart just can't seem to become another WalMart !I would not be surprised to see a more serious game environment immerge within Microsoft. That could end up being much like other industries are all doing which farm out much of what they do in order to avoid long-term employee benefit liabilities. Always optimisticBob (Las Cruces. NM)

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I'm fairly optimistic too about the future of the sim. Just have a look at the venerable "Falcon 4" which was shut down but then kept alive for alot of years. Admittedly, the source code slipped out somehow and got into the hand of developers which kept releasing several versions. That scenario is, of course, very unlikely for FSX but the very fact the sim wouldn't die made another company realize the financial opportunity eventually so they bouht the legit source code and develop a new version (called "Allied Force") some years ago. The "Falcon 4" might have been big but it's tiny compared to the FSX one. Eventually, Microsoft, or some other studio, will WANT to sell more versions of it I guess. Microsoft keeps saying they're simply utilizing their very skilled resources at ACES for higher prioritized projects, that are more in line with their strategy out of whatever dire straits they're currently in. Possible, the code or experience gained will be re-used in future products that's more or less a new Flight Simulator. We'll see.However, I'd like to discuss the more technical side of FSX and its potential as a platform for the next, say, five years. I mentiond two aspects that seems to be impossible to improve/replace for add-on developers (cloud shadows and precipitation). What other aspects cannot be improved? Most add-ons so far is aircraft models, sceneries and wheather related. A few adds better AI planes. What else are we likely to see, based on what's possible?/Jonas

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Read Randazzo's rather optimistic comment on the Pmdg forum:http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=241934Guy
I have one nit to pick with what is an otherwise excellent summary/commentary:FS was never a "child" of ESP, and never would have been..In actual fact, ESP1 is a stripped-to-the-bone version of FSX! It was the prototype for what was to become ESP2.After the reorganization of the studio, there were FOUR separate and independent teams formed, the first of which -the Core Platform team- was to provide the basic foundation from which three CHILDREN were to be developed:ESP2TS2FSvNextIf ESP et seq. were not successful, the other two teams should not have been affected at all.Now I may not have the credibility and bona fides that others might enjoy, but I can honestly state that I was among the first who registered at the official ESP Developers Forum and actively participated. I know the names of everyone who posted there, and what was discussed, and continues to be discussed... :( http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/ESP/threads/Now, all that said... I agree that FSX will continue to be a sustainable platform, as will FS9 for the next two years or longer. I know that I'm comitted to continue producing for both versions as long as there is any market at all... :(

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Why would FSX have a "shrinking fanbase" when there is nothing to replace it? Microsoft Flight Simulator isn't like a first person shooter. It isn't something that has an end. I can see people enjoying flying around in an increasingly more detailed FSX environment for many years to come.
Because people lose interest in flight simming. Maybe not people like you and me, but for most people it's just a spare time activity that can be replaced with fishing, playing golf, whatever tickles your fancy. As I wrote, this already happened during 2008. There are tools with which you can measure traffic to web sites - and traffic to FS web sites like this one has dramatically gone down over 2008.

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Because people lose interest in flight simming. Maybe not people like you and me, but for most people it's just a spare time activity that can be replaced with fishing, playing golf, whatever tickles your fancy.
Apart from the die hard addicts who post on these forums I get the feeling that, for a lot of people, a flight simulator is the sort of educational tool which a forward looking family ought to have in the modern age. Not because it offers flight instruction, which will be of minimal value to most people, but because of the grand technological vista it opens up to young enquiring minds. Let's face it Aviation is an industrial leader in Western society, and so much of our future is invested in the continuous development of transportation.I reckon that, for these people, a flight simulator sits on their hard disk much like their encyclopaedia does, a handy reference tool available whenever an enquiring mind may feel inspired to undertake investigation.

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Regarding how long FSX can "live":Although I am a big Flight Sim fan/user since the SubLogic days, I am/was really pumped up about the TS2 release. If it makes y'all feel any better, us TrainSim fans are still using the original Train Simulator from MS in 2001. That ol' program still has life in 'er, and it's been nearly 8 years! But I am growing real tired of it all. So imagine using FSX for 8 or so years, then having the new release imminent (within 7-8 months) then MS pulls it out from under you. ouch! ######s. :(

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Up until very recently, I was flying FS9 and was thrilled with the performance and the library of addons. I was one of those guys who was just planning to skip FSX and see how FSXI worked out. Not any more. I picked up my copy this week.The next 2-4 years will be good ones in terms of FSX. Hardware will continue to improve. Addon developers will push the technology as far as they can. Initially, simmers like us might even be willing to spend a bit more money on addons knowing that they won't be made invalid in two years by a new version.But, it won't last. Without the "new and shiny", there's not much to draw anyone to the community. Others will simply quit playing the aging sim. Addon developers will close up shop. It'll become a niche with a few die-hards.And, despite the press releases from Microsoft, they didn't get rid of the Aces team because they are dedicated to supporting MSFS. We're talking about a team of very experienced developers, pilots, etc. Despite all of the flak we gave them, with every version you can see how they worked hard to put the heart and soul of aviation into our computers. These weren't just your typical grunt game coders.Other companies might take a run at it, but the undertaking is complex and the potential for a new franchise is VERY limited. In other words, smoke 'em while you got 'em.

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