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what do you think may be the minimum req for the new sim ?

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I am not under the impression of anything being known at this point.  While I agree that the sim areas shown in the video appear to be using custom texturing that is probably some form of satellite/aerial imagery... I do not know of any statement or other concrete information that indicates the entire world will be presented that way.  I also have seen no statements that indicate the scenery will be streamed.  The only mention of Azure is Azure AI which is a wholly different product than simple streaming.  By leaps and bounds different.

Too many claims, statements and assumptions are being made without anything to back them up.

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6 minutes ago, WarpD said:

I am not under the impression of anything being known at this point.  While I agree that the sim areas shown in the video appear to be using custom texturing that is probably some form of satellite/aerial imagery... I do not know of any statement or other concrete information that indicates the entire world will be presented that way.  I also have seen no statements that indicate the scenery will be streamed.  The only mention of Azure is Azure AI which is a wholly different product than simple streaming.  By leaps and bounds different.

Too many claims, statements and assumptions are being made without anything to back them up.

I'm with you on the matter regarding Streaming vs Local storage of files. I don't think they are aiming for a streaming model.

Their streaming platform for games isn't even ready yet. The XCloud project (their streaming service for games) is coming in october and I don't think they would release a game to run exclusively this way, limiting a lot the number of users.

Edited by ca_metal

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2 hours ago, WarpD said:

I am not under the impression of anything being known at this point.  While I agree that the sim areas shown in the video appear to be using custom texturing that is probably some form of satellite/aerial imagery... I do not know of any statement or other concrete information that indicates the entire world will be presented that way.  I also have seen no statements that indicate the scenery will be streamed.  The only mention of Azure is Azure AI which is a wholly different product than simple streaming.  By leaps and bounds different.

Too many claims, statements and assumptions are being made without anything to back them up.

In the interview, he talked about the use of satellite imagery and then noted that there's a place in Nevada where there is none (area 51) and that the AI would procedurally generate it. The insinuation there is that large areas of Nevada that do have have satellite coverage would be there. 

So with that said, how could they accomplish that without using their coming streaming technology? I can't imagine them putting out a 500GB game, even if everything is super compressed and low resolutions. 

I guess we'll have to wait and see but I think this is more than a few localized big cities getting orthos. 

Edited by bonchie
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I do not understand the handwringing about streaming the scenery.

I’d be pretty surprised if there is no local caching. Perhaps you can even specify areas to store locally…

 

Who actually enjoys needing to have multiple terabytes of hard drives just for scenery? 

 

And a monthly cost?

People should recalculate how much they’ve spent on scenery add-ons over the years and figure out the real monthly cost over time… Not to mention that is not even scenery that covers anywhere near what this sounds like it will. 

Edited by irrics
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8 hours ago, Sethos said:

Considering how well Aerofly 2 runs on a modern engine, I think the minimum requirements will be a lot lower than people expect. Though I do suspect a DirectX 12 generation GPU is required.

Depends on how much eye candy you want. I'm sure there will be reasonable support for lower-spec machines. However, if you want realtime ray tracing -- which the new MSFS and the new "Scarlett" Xbox will support -- you're going to need something like an Nvidia 2080 class GPU with hardware support for ray traced effects.

Rrealtime ray tracing is the hot new thing in games. It can be used for aircraft surfaces (like the sexy shot of the plane in the hangar in the MSFS demo), for water reflections, and "God rays" in clouds. 

That feature may not be important for many folks. If you don't care about it, you can run a lower spec machine. But let's be careful about "oohing" and "aaahing" over the gorgeous visuals in the MSFS promotional video without taking this into account. For obvious reasons, MS isn't showing us what the sim will look like on a minimum requirement PC.

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Making it a fully cloud-based sim is going to exclude a huge number of potential customers world-wide. Google are due to start their Stadia cloud gaming service later this year and they say that it will need at least 20 Mbps just to play at 1080p. If you want to play at 4k (60 FPS) you'll need 35 Mbps. It could be years before those sorts of speeds become the norm everywhere in the world. As interesting as it is to speculate on how they're going to do it, surely they'll be aiming it at the largest market they can?

Edited by vortex681

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1 hour ago, vortex681 said:

Making it a fully cloud-based sim is going to exclude a huge number of potential customers world-wide. Google are due to start their Stadia cloud gaming service later this year and they say that it will need at least 20 Mbps just to play at 1080p. If you want to play at 4k (60 FPS) you'll need 35 Mbps. It could be years before those sorts of speeds become the norm everywhere in the world. As interesting as it is to speculate on how they're going to do it, surely they'll be aiming it at the largest market they can?

I'm guessing they'll be ways to play it locally or online with more scenery content. Perhaps a base game with some ortho cities and landclass filling in the gaps but a subscription service gets you streaming orthos in far more places.

On some level though, technology is just leaving those with slow connections behind. I highly doubt there will be a boxed edition, for example.

 

Edited by bonchie

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On 6/13/2019 at 3:03 PM, Paraffin said:

120 fps at 4k resolution and ray tracing? That's beastly hardware.

What, so are you trying to say that my circa 2010 Core i7 970 machine that barely runs FSX with add-ons won't cut it? I'm gutted.

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2 hours ago, vortex681 said:

Making it a fully cloud-based sim is going to exclude a huge number of potential customers world-wide. Google are due to start their Stadia cloud gaming service later this year and they say that it will need at least 20 Mbps just to play at 1080p. If you want to play at 4k (60 FPS) you'll need 35 Mbps. It could be years before those sorts of speeds become the norm everywhere in the world. As interesting as it is to speculate on how they're going to do it, surely they'll be aiming it at the largest market they can?

Hopefully they have a simple slider 😃

Offline scenery

Low bandwidth streaming

Medium bandwidth streaming

High bandwidth streaming

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19 hours ago, bonchie said:

On some level though, technology is just leaving those with slow connections behind.

And it's currently leaving a lot behind. What's the point of putting the time and money into developing a new title which, if cloud-based, will only work well for a limited number of people (of which only a relatively small proportion will want a civilian flight sim, anyway)?

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1 minute ago, vortex681 said:

And it's currently leaving a lot behind. What's the point of putting the time and money into developing a new title which, if cloud-based, will only work well for a limited number of people (of which only a relatively small proportion will want a civilian flight sim, anyway)?

Obviously, the market of people with decent internet connections is large enough to make it profitable Look at the popularity of Steam, where 25-50GB downloads for games are now the norm. Consoles are also moving toward cloud based gaming. Boxed games are all but extinct.

But I think the answer to your question is that they have to go somewhere and the limits of technology are dictating where that somewhere is. You just can't localize on your hard drive the amount of information they are describing with this new Flight Simulator.

 

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5 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

And it's currently leaving a lot behind. What's the point of putting the time and money into developing a new title which, if cloud-based, will only work well for a limited number of people (of which only a relatively small proportion will want a civilian flight sim, anyway)?

I agree, lots of places around the world do not possess high speeds, even within Europe.

More over, a lot of connections have high international contention ratios, making international TCP/IP traffic even slower.

It seems some developers of technologies like this are not taking such things into consideration, we need a replacement for TCP/IP to make communication more efficient over long hops.

Regards 

Simbol

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6 minutes ago, bonchie said:

Look at the popularity of Steam, where 25-50GB downloads for games are now the norm.

There's a big difference between downloading games to play on your local machine, where you could leave it for days to download if necessary, and actually playing games in the cloud.

 

Edited by vortex681
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3 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

There's a big difference between downloading games to play on your local machine, where you could leave it for days to download if necessary, and playing games in the cloud.

I get it, but what do you want them to do?

They are pushing the envelope with satellite and AI technology. That's just not possible in a fully localized game. Maybe they'll have a landclass system that can work offline and that would be great? But there's noway they could fit even the 165 3D city areas Bing has into a localized installation, much less satellite data all over the world.

I'd rather them do everything that's possible instead of holding back advancement because some people still have slow internet connections. For those people, the older sims are still here until infrastructure improves.

I know that sounds a bit elitist, and that's not my intention, but I don't know what else a developer can do except move forward.

Edited by bonchie
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I'm not saying that they won't use streaming to a greater or lesser extent, just that there's a balance to strike if they want the maximum number of sales. We have no idea how much storage will be needed to run the game. Just because they use petabytes of data to create the scenery, that doesn't necessarily mean the the final scenery will petabytes in size. What about compression? That may be another area where AI will step in.

Edited by vortex681

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16 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

And it's currently leaving a lot behind. What's the point of putting the time and money into developing a new title which, if cloud-based, will only work well for a limited number of people (of which only a relatively small proportion will want a civilian flight sim, anyway)?

We don't know how it will turn out, but there could be options for those with slower connections. Here's one possibility:

First, the server could automatically test the user's connection speed by talking to the client. Then the server combines that info with how the user sets the options for eye candy based on the power of their CPU, RAM, and GPU. Available bandwidth could override those settings.

And then, the server builds you a custom version of the scenery on the fly for streaming. Instead of serving the full maxed-out 4K version, you get some lesser version with lower texture res, less autogen, and so on. Someone with a fast connection gets a fancier scenery build, up to the full 4k version.

This would be very different from the current paradigm where we all have potentially maxed-out scenery and other eye candy sitting on our hard drives, and we set sliders based on our CPU/GPU to filter how much of that can be displayed in the sim. This method of "custom scenery streaming for everyone" would benefit Microsoft too, because their bandwidth costs would be less if they're not streaming the full maxed-out 4K scenery build to every client.

Another option, since streaming suggests "look ahead" buffering anyway, might be an option to use a map UI to say "I want to fly in this area." Then instead of live streaming, you let the sim download everything it needs overnight for that one area. This could allow offline flying, using a laptop on a train without WiFi, etc. Frankly, I think this is less likely for reasons of piracy protection. A flight sim that requires a full-time connection, and only works with live streamed data from the host, is the perfect DRM method.

I think the first option is more likely if they can pull it off. It's also wild speculation based on absolutely zero information about what MS is doing, or is capable of doing. 😊

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5 hours ago, bonchie said:

Obviously, the market of people with decent internet connections is large enough to make it profitable Look at the popularity of Steam, where 25-50GB downloads for games are now the norm. Consoles are also moving toward cloud based gaming. Boxed games are all but extinct.

But I think the answer to your question is that they have to go somewhere and the limits of technology are dictating where that somewhere is. You just can't localize on your hard drive the amount of information they are describing with this new Flight Simulator.

 

Steam users don't mind a one-time download to play a game, many schedule it for download while they're asleep... and as for consoles...actually, consoles are not moving to cloud only.  Not even close.  There has been a massive, massive pushback over the purchase of a game at places like GameStop for $50+ only to have to download the game from the internet.  This is going to go back to where the disk has the game.

As for "amount of information"... at no point has anyone from Microsoft stated that the database for the sim contains 2 petabytes of data. Not one person.  Zip, zilch, nada.

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I just watched a 4K movie online... in excess of 6 gigs of data, per hour to watch a 4K film.

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28 minutes ago, WarpD said:

As for "amount of information"... at no point has anyone from Microsoft stated that the database for the sim contains 2 petabytes of data. Not one person.  Zip, zilch, nada.

I didn't say that.

I was referring to the probability of the size of what we saw in the trailer, not the 2 petabytes of data comment. We saw orthos in places all over the earth, from huge mountain ranges, to Hawaii, to major cities, and even underneath autogen in the Bahamas and Dubai. The use of orthos is obviously extensive. We also saw at least 6 major 3D scanned cities that we know came from Bing Earth View data, of which there are 165 of those cities just in the United States.

How big is one of the new Orbx ortho regions? 50+GB? And it's much more compressed looking than what we saw. I see noway that what we saw in that trailer is somehow only a 50-100GB download. So do they release a game with 500GB of data? A TB? As someone that has used orthos in XP, it could even be much larger than that by many magnitudes. I've got a 4TB drive I use just for regional ortho coverage of the U.S.

I realize we are all speculating and I don't know exactly how big it is, but I don't think it's out of line for me to say that what we saw in that trailer would take up a ton of physical space unless they are just scamming everyone and what we saw in the trailer is the full extent of the 3D areas and orthos.

Edited by bonchie

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14 minutes ago, WarpD said:

I just watched a 4K movie online... in excess of 6 gigs of data, per hour to watch a 4K film.

We don't know if that's a fair comparison or not.

Go download Earth View and fly around. See how much usage it takes over the course of ten minutes and extrapolate. I suspect it's not going to come out to 6GB of data usage.

 

Edited by bonchie

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1 hour ago, bonchie said:

We don't know if that's a fair comparison or not.

Go download Earth View and fly around. See how much usage it takes over the course of ten minutes and extrapolate. I suspect it's not going to come out to 6GB of data usage.

 

Wait... you don't think 24fps at 4K resolution is a fair comparison?  Based on what??  Moving 4K of data per frame is going to blow through bandwidth... that's why streaming games (where the game runs on a server like Google's Stra-whatever) won't last.

SATA III transfer rates are 6 Gb/s... my ISP is running at 200 Mb/s which is 0.2 Gb/s... how is bringing data from the internet going to be faster than my own hardware?  If it's not raw data, then it has to be an image at which point comparing the data levels for a 4K film are most definitely worthy of comparison.

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3 hours ago, WarpD said:

Wait... you don't think 24fps at 4K resolution is a fair comparison?  Based on what??  Moving 4K of data per frame is going to blow through bandwidth... that's why streaming games (where the game runs on a server like Google's Stra-whatever) won't last.

The reasoning why it's not a fair comparison is because you are taking a film, where the entire picture on the screen is pulling data from the internet, and saying it's like-for-like with a flight game, except in that scenario no more than half of the screen needs streamed data (though we're guessing at photo scenery being streamed).

No-one is going to fly with a top-down view, with the entire screen filled with photo scenery for any length of time. So the data requirement won't be as high as a film.

The bigger point is US ISPs and their arbitrary usage caps. Significant pressure on the ISPs is going to come from two of the world's largest tech companies on one side and consumers fed-up at reaching their monthly limits at the other.

Data limits have all but disappeared here in the UK as traffic management policies replaced them. The big ISPs are now in a fight over who can provide faster speeds and no throttling during peak times by continually investing in infrastructure (especially as their hardware costs have rapidly dropped). It took a while, but the consumer is in a much better place.

I see the same occurring in the US as Google and Microsoft pressure ISPs to make their muti-billion dollar investment gambles on streaming games come good.

The ISPs even admit data limits are unnecessary http://amp.timeinc.net/time/money/4360431/internet-data-caps-bogus-ploys. Just a shame that the FCC haven't taken them to task yet.

 

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So Amazon Apple Google Sony Microsoft streaming platforms will fail due to the ISP`s, Sony are teaming up with Microsoft to put theirs on Cloud it has the most cloud servers around the world your not pulling data from Seattle.  

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13 hours ago, Paraffin said:

And then, the server builds you a custom version of the scenery on the fly for streaming. Instead of serving the full maxed-out 4K version, you get some lesser version with lower texture res, less autogen, and so on. Someone with a fast connection gets a fancier scenery build, up to the full 4k version.

But then people with a slow Internet connection could end up with something that's not much better than what's currently available. If you strip away the amazing scenery, there's probably not too much that the current crop of flight sims can't do with appropriate add-ons. - and at zero cost if you already have the add-ons.  People won't buy it just because it's new, they'll buy it because it's better. I can't maintain over 35 Mbps (and it's unlikely that this will change for the next year or two) and like many others, I suspect, I certainly wouldn't buy the new sim if I was restricted to running it at 1080p.

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46 minutes ago, rjfry said:

So Amazon Apple Google Sony Microsoft streaming platforms will fail due to the ISP`s, Sony are teaming up with Microsoft to put theirs on Cloud it has the most cloud servers around the world your not pulling data from Seattle.  

The number and location of the servers will only affect the latency. The major problem for most people will still be the bandwidth required for a fully cloud-based game (which won't be affected by server numbers).

Edited by vortex681

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