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Cruachan

Be careful what you wish for: a cautionary note

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I handle the situation like this:

If there is a new Addon for P3D - I'll buy it.

As long as there is no ETA for MSFS2020 and no benachmarks/specs available I'll go with P3D. And before buying any addons for MSFS2020 I guess I'll have to invest in a 3950X and a 2080ti (or two) to enjoy MSFS2020 as in the advertising-videos.

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Among the herd of elephants in the room is this one - developers may not be playing on a level field.  It's possible that PMDG's announcement of the NG3 for MSFS is a marketing ploy to generate present income.  It's also possible that, even in the absence of an SDK, they're having informal back-door conversations with the MSFS development team about what, in broad terms, might be required to bring a product to market.  PMDG is big enough and influential enough that Microsoft and Asobo might have a commercial interest in getting them out of the gate fast.  Such informal conversations happen from time to time.  I recall A2A reporting on a discussion they had with Laminar in which, by their account, they explained to Laminar what kind of hooks they'd need into the X-Plane engine in order to make Accu-Sim viable in X-Plane.  Not an exact analogy since there is in fact an X-Plane SDK.  But it's comparable to the extent that it represents an informal discussion between a major developer and a sim development team.

It's also possible that big developers are having these discussions even though the majority of developers are not.  That would be patently unfair to the majority of developers, but such things do happen in business.

The usual big caveat here - this is all speculative on my part.  I have no information about any of this and there's a good chance I'm wrong.  All I want to do is point out that we really don't have any idea what's in play in the MSFS development effort, and the absence of an SDK doesn't necessarily rule out some fast-track add-on efforts along the "first among equals" lines I've described.

I'd actually prefer to be wrong about things like this.  But in business, stuff happens.

 

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Alan Ampolsk

"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!"
-- Saint-Exupery

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7 hours ago, mr340 said:

Then why or how did PMDG manage to make this promise for their future products ?

Read PMDG's wording carefully ... it's marketing and the future is not yet defined.  I'm sure PMDG will deliver an Aircraft for MSFS eventually and be accurate to their statement ... but it sounds like your read what you "wanted to hear" rather than what was specifically written.  What we're seeing from Microsoft is marketing arm in action and it's working on both consumers AND developers.  What we're seeing from other developers is a desire to be around now and in the future. 

Developers take the "red pill" we don't want the "blue pill".

Cheers, Rob.

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On 11/14/2019 at 8:14 AM, ideoplastic said:

I think it is important to point out that those beautiful vistas on the videos full of realism and real life scenery will require very powerful computers and that those who don't have one will end up with a much simpler scenery display. The best scenery will be for VFR flyers with PCs that can cope with all the detail as seen on the promo videos. Most pilots flying jets won't get the same result until they come to lower altitudes to land or take off.  Currently here in the UK the latest Flightsim PCs are within the £2600 to £3900 price range and I wonder how many people will be able to afford them. Not knocking Microsoft in any sense but some users may find themselves a bit disappointed if their rigs cannot come up to expectations.

Considering MSFS is in pre-alpha state, the sim actually runs pretty well on hardware that isn't completely nuts - their rigs at the preview event and public events are using 2080 Tis, 32GB RAM, and i7 CPUs of course, but those setups are also running the sim at a reasonably consistent 60fps and 4K resolution, and with little to no optimization yet (again, pre-alpha code).  And it's running at the absolute highest detail settings too.

Even just reducing that down to, say, 1080p, will probably allow it to run reasonably well on more modest PC hardware, if not a complete potato.

 

On 11/14/2019 at 4:58 AM, Cruachan said:

Hi Aaron,

As time passes and your sim grows in complexity then yes, and perhaps inevitably, there will be a slow down in your purchasing profile as you become more selective. In this, I am no exception. This will always be the case. My concerns centre more around the nascent and less experienced simmers visiting these forums who will be reading posts that seem to be saying don’t buy anything else because at some point in the not too distant future we will have a sim that does it all out-of-the-box. While this is unlikely to be true, Microsoft’s impressive marketing of MSFS2020 only serves to encourage this belief without the provision of actual hard evidence.

Regards,

Mike

You've referred a couple of times to this marketing of MSFS, but I don't really get what you're referring to.  They've put out two trailers, had one preview event for sim community people to see what they are up to, ask questions, and try the sim themselves, and the rest has been updates to their "Insiders" on the progress of the sim, and videos explaining some of the core aspects of the sim and how they work.  Everything else has just been people excitedly chattering among themselves, and mining the internet for every last speck of information.

Most of the genuine hype was generated from that September preview event, but that was driven 100% by people like Froogle, Bel Geode, etc. just... talking about what they saw and heard.

ASOBO themselves have been very forthright and plain about what they are and aren't doing, except for areas where they simply don't have answers yet.

Edited by Scottoest

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:40 AM, Arklight1 said:

I'm watching MSFS 2020 with reserved excitment.

 

The new trailer that came out today was released by their XBOX division (I'm assuming?).

 

I have high hopes for it, but something tells me that "accessibility" will be trumping realism in this next iteration of our beloved simulator. Hope I'm wrong. 

"Xbox' has become the blanket branding for all of Microsoft's gaming-related endeavors, not just the console.  They even renamed their studios organization from "Microsoft Studios" to "Xbox Game Studios".

As for the sim, ASOBO have said their intention is to make MSFS a "hardcore" flight sim, and then the console version of the game will be a port developed from that.

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5 hours ago, Scottoest said:

You've referred a couple of times to this marketing of MSFS, but I don't really get what you're referring to.  They've put out two trailers, had one preview event for sim community people to see what they are up to, ask questions, and try the sim themselves, and the rest has been updates to their "Insiders" on the progress of the sim, and videos explaining some of the core aspects of the sim and how they work.  Everything else has just been people excitedly chattering among themselves, and mining the internet for every last speck of information.

Hi,

Believe me, I’m not agin nor do I wish to decry any of the excitement and enthusiasm. I share in that. My concerns are focussed more on the potential loss of some excellent third party developers who are finding their hands bound behind their backs by the absence of an MSFS2020 SDK. They are unable to defend their position while, at the same time, being frustrated by all the negativity expressed towards them by significant numbers of users.

Regards,

Mike


My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair H110i GT Cooler, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, (Drivers: 441.66 (Win7), 472.12 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS PG278Q (G-Sync) at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.1.12.26829, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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25 minutes ago, Cruachan said:

Hi,

Believe me, I’m not agin nor do I wish to decry any of the excitement and enthusiasm. I share in that. My concerns are focussed more on the potential loss of some excellent third party developers who are finding their hands bound behind their backs by the absence of an MSFS2020 SDK. They are unable to defend their position while, at the same time, being frustrated by all the negativity expressed towards them by significant numbers of users.

Regards,

Mike

I think the amount of negativity being encountered is a little overblown, but what negativity is there, is probably just due to a) excitement at a sim that seems poised to have a lot of this stuff out of the box, and b) perhaps some residual frustration at how much they've had to pay for certain add-ons, in a market where those third parties were largely the only game in town to fill in the gaps.

I'm also sure there's some ignorance of the economics of scale at work, because people only see these things from their end, as a consumer.  So people will chafe at paying PMDG $100 for a plane model, but not recognize that it's an economic reality of the small potential customer pool they have, versus the amount of work required.

As for the SDK - while I get that uncertainty is probably stressful for third-parties, as MSFS is like a 10,000 pound elephant in the room of the flight sim community right now, it's not like MSFS even has a firm release date yet.  The sim could still be a year away, or even more.  They aren't even confirmed to be in an alpha state yet.

And if you are a developer, there's a developer feedback thread in the MSFS forum right now, and it has been confirmed that ASOBO do check sites like AVSIM for feedback.

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What I don't understand, or maybe I do, is why Microsoft started advertising this vaporware, that isn't even in Alpha stage all over the place. Seems like they just wanted to rain on everyone's parade, since they know it would throw a monkey wrench into current purchases of sim products. It would be like Apple saying they have some brand new phone, that costs half of what a current Iphone does, has dozens more features , is better than any Android phone, is guaranteed for life, etc...etc... and it will be ready for sale "sometime in the future". 

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spacer.pngBob Cardone         MSFS 2020     PMDG DC6,  JF Arrow  , Carenado Seminole , Mooney(maintenance)  

TrackIR   Avliasoft EFB2    ATC  by PF3    FlyVirtual.net  CLX PC

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bobsk8 said:

What I don't understand, or maybe I do, is why Microsoft started advertising this vaporware...

You apparently don't know what vaporware is, do you.  And how you want to get alpha testers if knowbody knows about the new sim?

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1 hour ago, Bobsk8 said:

What I don't understand, or maybe I do, is why Microsoft started advertising this vaporware, that isn't even in Alpha stage all over the place. Seems like they just wanted to rain on everyone's parade, since they know it would throw a monkey wrench into current purchases of sim products. It would be like Apple saying they have some brand new phone, that costs half of what a current Iphone does, has dozens more features , is better than any Android phone, is guaranteed for life, etc...etc... and it will be ready for sale "sometime in the future". 

Wow. This is the worst take. This thread went from OP's vague, dramatic speech about supporting third party devs to a conspiracy theory that Microsoft is out to destroy them. 

p.s. You don't know what vaporware is.

Edited by Chapstick
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-Alex 

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18 minutes ago, Chapstick said:

  Way to go, AVSIM.

 

Please do not liken  the Avsim community to this particular poster. Thanks ! 


Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MFS Standard version with Steam

 

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38 minutes ago, domkle said:

Please do not liken  the Avsim community to this particular poster. Thanks ! 

You're right - I've edited my post.

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-Alex 

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1 hour ago, Chapstick said:

Wow. This is the worst take. This thread went from OP's vague, dramatic speech about supporting third party devs to a conspiracy theory that Microsoft is out to destroy them. 

p.s. You don't know what vaporware is.

Try Google search genuis. This is what I came up with in a .05 seconds. 
va·por·ware
/ˈvāpərˌwer/
nounINFORMAL•COMPUTING
software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

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spacer.pngBob Cardone         MSFS 2020     PMDG DC6,  JF Arrow  , Carenado Seminole , Mooney(maintenance)  

TrackIR   Avliasoft EFB2    ATC  by PF3    FlyVirtual.net  CLX PC

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chapstick said:

conspiracy theory that Microsoft is out to destroy them

Not a conspiracy, just business ... I have no idea why Microsoft felt the need to announce a product over a year or more from it's targeted release date, do you? 

Microsoft must have been aware of what making this public would have done and has done to the existing developer community ... or are you suggesting 3rd party sales haven't drastically dropped off for the development community?

I agree, Microsoft aren't stupid ... they're a well oiled marketing machine and to think they wouldn't be aware of the impact this extremely early announcement (and yet still have not delivered anything to anyone) would have on the development community seems a tad naive.

Microsoft could have and should have:

1.  Contacted the development community first (which they did to some degree).

2.  Provided the development community with an SDK so they can start working on making products available for the MSFS and more importantly flesh out bugs and missing elements and provide detailed feedback.

3.  Once most of the issues have been flushed out (which may push target dates), then 1-2 months prior to actual release target, make the announcement and provide "release candidates" to the end user community to bang on and see if anything major comes up.

This approach would have kept a healthy development community, would most likely improve Microsoft's sales number (on PC anyway) on release day because "more content" would be available so there would be less "missing" features.  However, Microsoft elected to NOT go this route ... they obviously have a game plan and 3rd party developers aren't a big part of that plan at this point in time.  If they were, it wouldn't have been executed this way.

Microsoft could have said to Asobo, it's been 3 years in development (MS indicated started in 2016), we need to show something even when it's not really ready (and it clearly is not ready without an SDK from my perspective).  Again, that's just business and the nature of delays, not a conspiracy.  Eventually this will get sorted out, but there will be developer hard times and causalities over the long premature waiting period that I feel could have been avoided but wasn't.

Cheers, Rob.

  

Edited by Rob_Ainscough
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2 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Not a conspiracy, just business ... I have no idea why Microsoft felt the need to announce a product over a year or more from it's targeted release date, do you? 

Microsoft must have been aware of what making this public would have done to the existing developer community ... or are you suggesting 3rd party sales haven't drastically dropped off for the development community?

I agree, Microsoft aren't stupid ... they're a well oiled marketing machine and to think they wouldn't be aware of the impact this extremely early announcement (and yet to deliver anything to anyone) would have on the development community seems a tad naive.

Microsoft could have and should have:

1.  Contacted the development community first (which they did to some degree).

2.  Provided the development community with an SDK so they can start working on making products available for the MSFS and more importantly flesh out bugs and missing elements and provide detailed feedback.

3.  Once most of the issues have been flushed out (which may push target dates), then 1-2 months prior to actual release target, provide "release candidates" to the end user community to bang on and see if anything major comes up.

This approach would have kept a healthy development community, would most likely improve Microsoft's sales number (on PC anyway) on release day because "more content" would be available so there would be less "missing" features.  However, Microsoft elected to NOT go this route ... they obviously have a game plan and 3rd party developers aren't a big part of that plan at this point in time.  If they were, it wouldn't have been executed this way.

Microsoft could have said to Asobo, it's been 3 years in development (MS indicated started in 2016), we need to show something even when it's not really ready (and it clearly is not ready without an SDK).  Again, that's just business and the nature of delays, not a conspiracy.  Eventually this will get sorted out, but there will be developer hard times and causalities over the long premature waiting period that I feel could have been avoided but wasn't.

Cheers, Rob.

  

Which was pretty much the point that I was trying to make, but I guess it went way over a few heads. 😏

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spacer.pngBob Cardone         MSFS 2020     PMDG DC6,  JF Arrow  , Carenado Seminole , Mooney(maintenance)  

TrackIR   Avliasoft EFB2    ATC  by PF3    FlyVirtual.net  CLX PC

 

 

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