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  1. Anyone who is an Autodesk client knows that the feature-improvement each year is minimal. They have slipped into an air of complacency, which is allowing dangerous competitors to gain increasing momentum (and market share). For example, the free Blender is FAST becoming a legitimate AND VERY capable competitor in the animation market. The only reason the animation market is not being overturned overnight is because of the pipeline investments in legacy projects and custom-software built on those. But make no mistake, change is on its way. Slowly at first. Then suddenly. As Hemingway said. The Autodesk architectural program REVIT is just running on the spot, while competitors like VECTORWORKS (mainstream architectural work) and CHIEF ARCHITECT (aimed at the small builder / residential market) are attacking this market with real FIRE in their bellies. There's even rumors (hotly denied!) that SOLIDWORKS is preparing to expand into the Architectural market. Game over for Autodesk if that happens imo. Was an enthusiastic early adopter of SOLIDWORKS (I switched our company to SW in mid 90's when SW had only reached about 3 000 seats). Best decision we made. Very few people that switched to SW would ever consider going back to Autodesk. I see ASOBO bringing the SAME game-changing (intended pun!) FLAIR and INNOVATION to Flight Simulation that SOLIDWORKS did to CAD back in the 1990's. The current complacent commercial players in this market deserve nothing less!
  2. Great question! If I recall correctly, there was an overt hint in one of the early Asobo / MS interviews, that there is going to be some sort of facility that would be similar to X-Plane Plane maker. Nothing has been followed up on this since. I suggested at the time that they should copy the "Repair Hanger" concept of DEADSTICK, or even buy that developer out, and incorporate him into their fold. I'm really hoping they incorporate their own version of Plane Maker. And don't see any reason why they would be averse to that idea. It would be every geek kid's delight (me included!). If they did, this is another feature that Asobo would be sure to implement with their customary - and much loved - flair and steroids, and thereby set the amateur developer scene alight with fire. Such a development would be the greatest threat to the professional Developers, who will clearly have to up their game when all the amateurs in their basements now also have access to amazing new and much more capable SDK's and other game-changing tools. Literally.
  3. That may be true... But their options appear VERY limited! I predict this situation is going the same way of the early days of some other early software development. Remember the word-processing programs like Ami-pro Word-Perfect, and the spreadsheet Lotus 123? All these were VERY popular. Were even the leaders in their fields in the day (and by significant, wide margins too!) Today...? They're TOAST! ALL of them! And it was a very competitive arena with LOTS of very good programs jostling for attention. And just like now, diehard supporters renouncing the alternatives at every opportunity! All this competitive mayhem has finally crystallised today into just SINGLE-PROGRAM dominance. WORD (for word processors), and XCEL (for spreadsheets). The free source Libra, obtains significant following only because it maintains strict compatibility with Word and Xcel. Same story in the word of CAD. Autodesk used to be the dominant player. Then upstart SolidWorks appeared on the scene with the revolutionary premise that serious CAD could now be conducted on ordinary PC's. Autodesk had an arrogant attitude problem that they were too big to fail, and had this CAD market sewn up for themselves. Turns out that SolidWorks cleaned their clock, and is now the dominant mechanical CAD program. And to really rub it in - is now the de facto standard setter! My bet is that the SAME tectonic shifts are underway in the gaming (simulation) market. And that - again - MS will emerge as the dominant player. I fully agree one cannot count one's chickens until the eggs hatch this year end. By this time next year, there will be a sufficiently clear view of the trend. Who is winning. And for who demise is inevitable. Interesting, exciting times as this Battle Royale plays out ahead!
  4. I wouldn't bet on that! Zibo is a passion project - the guy doesn't do it for the money, he does it for his personal enjoyment of the technical challenge, AND the appreciative response from the "community". If that "community" now MOVES en masse to the hugely improved game environment that FS2020 appears to promise (which i think is a distinct possibility), then WHAT would be the attraction of REMAINING to cater for what could then quite likely reduce to (and I speculate!) just an ever-growing backwater? If PMDG have realized their developer future isn't where it used to be, why shouldn't Zibo also not now realize that new, better, and arguably MORE rewarding skies beckon talented individuals elsewhere? So what if he has to start all over again ... ? No Brainer decision in my opinion if I was in his shoes! Zibo will of course do whatever he decides, but I have seen enough of FS2020 to have no further interest in X-Plane anymore. The tide - it's turning. And I'm already headed for the exit.
  5. I'd be very surprised if the Zibo 737 is not ported over sooner or later by the developer. Especially if FS2020 delivers on its promises. Because if THAT happens ... pretty much EVERYBODY is going to transition over as fast as they can. And with that his market too!
  6. But that is EXACTLY the marketing spiel for the (top end) Series X ! It will NATIVELY run games in 4k (and expressly expects that from the new games). The rumored entry-level Lockheart will be the console running HD. Quote below is from https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/03/16/xbox-series-x-tech/ “The team knew they needed to build a next generation console that could run games in 4K at 60 fps with no compromises for developers. They also challenged themselves to deliver a level of performance once thought impossible on console, including support for up to 120 fps for the most demanding and competitive games. While they believe resolution and frame rate are creative decisions best left in the hands of title developers, the team wanted to ensure the system was able to support the needs of the largest blockbusters, competitive esports, and innovative independent creators." This seems a good enough motivation for me to seriously consider a Series X Console ASAP as the optimum value option for playing FS2020. I will ALSO be upgrading my PC (but only next year when the performance options are better and cheaper and MUCH more powerful) - simply because my current PC is now becoming increasingly irritatingly slower for the CAD I do. I'm not disputing that there will be distinct advantages for Developers and Manic-Geek Enthusiasts (cockpit builders et al) to stick with a PC. They will be inevitably happier that they did. No hard feelings! BUT ... for the rest of us Game PLAYERS (I deliberately emphasize the "player" - and NOT the "Geek Mechanic" focus here) who have little interest in having to fiddle with arcane settings in obscure add-ons etc ... it seems the best VALUE upgrade options are now to be found ELSEWHERE ie in the Series X Console rather than the PC. Of course. nothing will be settled until stuff actually gets into consumer hands. Then, if the facts change, so will my opinion.
  7. That will be a bummer for the hard-core developers and geeks! But surely the "developers" will be able to do all this good stuff on their PC's with the SDK? And then this good stuff becomes available to us simple gamers who are not into coding stuff (I speak for myself!) to add into the game via the Xbox store? Just like any other game.
  8. It would certainly seem so! The reason why I keep banging on about the potential cost-saving from going the Console route, is that this frees BIG funds for updating yourself with the new hands-on hardware that will DEFINITELY give you loads more of real pleasure to use. This new hardware is not coming cheap (so far!), and will be a significant addition to any "computer" budget. If all the hardware and add-ons works just as fluently on the Console as on a PC ... it's Game On! Exciting times ahead... I feel like a kid the night before Xmas all over again!
  9. I beg to differ! If this computer is to be used ONLY for "gaming" (and NOT also double-up as an essential workhorse for other seriously intensive computing activity), then - when compared against the prospect of a "cheap" $500 Series X Console supplied as a subsidised loss-leader that can deliver exactly the SAME performance - is indeed a HUGELY expensive OVERKILL for the stated intention of simply gaming with FS 2020. Requiring an expensive Lamborghini or Ferrari in the garage for the only purpose of doing the daily shopping at the local mall, when a simple Toyota can do that same job JUST as effectively, seems not a good value exercise. At all.
  10. Please explain why this aspect is of ANY significance or REAL advantage to the average gamer (or Flight Sim enthusiast) who just wants to get on with enjoying the game. If anything, they are greatly irritated no end when distracting intervention is necessary to enable a game to be played satisfactorily. I know there are many geeks who enjoy getting stuck in (like auto enthusiasts only to happy to find an excuse to lift the bonnet on their temperamental bangers). But I am no longer one of "them". And am VERY glad that Asobo seem to have made extraordinary User-friendly strides in producing a game which appears to finally intend removing the need for this "geek fiddling" right at the starting gate. I strongly suspect the majority of gamers (and flight simmers too!) fall into this category, and will be only too glad to look forward to avoid having to "lift the hood" to continually tweek user-hostile programming, and the irritable, time-wasting add-in cousins they attract Each to his own...
  11. When I look at these prices, I begin to wonder whether a "PC Upgrade" is even close to being some sort of "existential must-have" necessity. Or whether it could be - for some people (most??) - a COMPLETE waste of money. Or, to reframe that in business-speak, an overly EXPENSIVE opportunity cost that could find MUCH BETTER value for most of the unspent money elsewhere. If you're not doing heavy-lifting computing on your current PC, and the only real reason for wanting a more powerful PC is because of "gaming", then it seems that the "value decision" for your next "upgrade move" is becoming crystal clear. And that is ... just buy the new X-Box Series X Console! And be done with it! It's pretty clear now that the Series X Console will probably be in the range $300-$700. And that it will be able to EASILY handle FS2020 without any sweat. Even if the top-end model in this range will be superseded in 2 years time by a flashier "faster ... better ... whatever ... model", (given the stunning recent surge in graphics power, this is highly likely) it would still be the FAR cheaper option just to upgrade - again - to the latest console at that point. You would easily recover some of this expense by selling the "old" X Box Series X on the aftermarket. If, on the other hand ... Your current PC is PRIMARILY used for computing work OTHER than gaming (eg Video editing, Animation , or CAD), then the calculus changes. This is my case. I have no pressing urgency that has created a terrible problem that must be resolved "right now". So I'm waiting until early 2021 before making the PC upgrade. And even then, it will be a hard-nosed best "bang-for-the buck" value decision. No blind buying competition showing off against the neighbors for the then latest "top-of-the-range" over-priced stuff. But as for the necessary "upgrade for gaming" ...??? Seems the Console (and with gaming subscription!) will be the instant Xmas present for our household No delay. No brainer! MS can take my money ... Now!
  12. This pricing is getting very, VERY, interesting! No real facts yet, lots of speculation... some of it quite persuasive even... Here's an example from Slashgear: https://www.slashgear.com/xbox-series-x-price-leak-could-blow-ps5-out-of-the-water-17625277/ One thing is certain... this looks like it will develop into an all-out price-war to hopefully deliver the knock-out blow to establish future dominance in a market worth billions. As dear as FS2020 is to us aviation enthusiasts, in the bigger scheme of this gigantic market potential, its only a tiny blip in the overall gaming market considerations. Very useful as a technology demonstrator. More and more, I'm thinking that the pricing of the consoles must likely be relatively inexpensive - even an explicitly overt loss-leader, because the profits lie in the game subscriptions - not the hardware. It's the Gillette marketing strategy all over again. And MS has a score of note to settle with Sony. Not to mention, cut Google's ambitions off. The longer consumers can sit this out, the better the deals will be. (I hope!). I'm not committing to any upgrades until Jan / Feb next year.
  13. Agree 1000%! Increases in Computing Power have been very incremental in the last decade. Now I smell change - REAL CHANGE - coming! At long last. There is a TECTONIC shift in computing power about to break loose by end this year, next year. And immediately beyond! My simple "Rule-of-Thumb" for upgrading is based on getting value ONLY out of a "SIGNIFICANT" improvement - where "significant" = at LEAST >2x improvement , AND at MUCH reduced cost. Whatever system you have, upgrading for a mere 10% "improvement" seems just an inefficient waste of effort and expense (imho). Go Big. Or go Home! But NOT at any price. I think the very top tier of new stuff seldom represents the best "bang-for-the-buck" value. Top tier = Price gouging imo.
  14. Very much appreciate these knowledgeable hardware comments from Nooch and Chaotic Beauty! I will also be needing to upgrade my hardware, but like the OP, not having done this for many years, have completely lost my touch for evaluating between all the nuances in the latest hardware. I don't have the urgency of replacement that the OP has, but my upgrade is still turning out to be a real headscratcher! My decision - for now - is to WAIT until probably Jan/Feb next year before committing. I have an old Dell 2710, i7, 16GB, 2TB SATA HDD, with an embarrassing Graphics Card. So plenty room for improvement, but still, seemingly able to hobble along until the wallet catches up with the desire! My increasing dilemma is that EVERYTHING in the new PC Spec seems to be driven SOLELY by the Graphics card. Decide on how much you can afford on the card, and then EVERYTHING ELSE works backwards from there? And the COST of the new graphic cards seem to be SERIOUSLY expensive! Now the Console it seems, may be given away at a loss-leader price that will not be matched by a comparable PC ($399 has been floated, but even $799 is manageable). So much so that it seems that if you are not needing your PC for heavy lifting like Video-editing or Animations, then by far the better value option seems to be to just buy the Xbox console, and be done with it. Provided ALL the usual the Flight-sim add-on's can be connected (which I imagine will be the case). I'm not persuaded by the fear-factor that this is a BAD decision which locks you into a NON-upgradeable box. And that 2 years down the line, you will be SUFFERING for that decision, and having to get an upgrade again. So what? That "inflexibility" hardly seems to be a real disadvantage. At all ! You have the potential to save so much going just for the Console, that you can now afford the fancy new (and expensive!) peripherals coming onto the market. AND then ALSO the "new, upgraded" Console that will be launched afterwards then (you can bet your boots MS will be offering future console upgrades). And the other thing, although it seems we have "just missed" it this time, is that Powerful Consoles and Gaming PC's are on a convergence path, where one day the Console will be THE work AND gaming PC rolled in one. No idea when that will happen, but it's very close to realization. Which brings me back to my particular dilemma - my work PC (the Dell) can do with a replacement to cater for the CAD work I do. But not at any price. So Console wins? (for now?). I'll be happy for somebody knowledgeable to tear this speculation apart. I don't know enough to have a fixed opinion one way or the other yet. 💸
  15. Most sane comment on this whole thread ...! I'm also thinking along your lines that the cheapest PC "upgrade" by far is to simply buy a new Xbox Series X. Whether you lay that cash down upfront (and save a bundle by doing so), or choose to pay it off over 2 years (effectively paying more than 2x the cash price!) is a moot point that will depend on your available cash-flow, and personal preferences on how you handle your budget. Nothing new here - exact same EXISTING dilemma as obtaining a cellphone. Cash? or Credit? If you have the ready cash, the wise answer is simple. And if you don't, the alternative becomes practical - provided the expense is a FEASIBLE and NECESSARY priority (big "IF" here!) - and NOT yet another superfluous "want" being foolishly added to an already stinking pile of over-burdened debt. But I digress ... My REAL question here is ... Could I buy the new Series X Game Box, and use that new device SOLELY as my new "windows PC" ie could I run normal programmes like MS Word, Excel, Blender, 3DS Max, SolidWorks directly on this machine??? I accept that by buying a Series X machine, I would be locking myself into a machine that cannot be upgraded from a hardware point of view. But from my point of view, given the prices that the new graphics cards will be costing anyway, it still seems the better deal is to just ditch one's existing PC (I've an old Dell 2710 - which is not upgradeable anyway), and buy a Series X, and be done with upgrades for the next 2 years. I see also the subscription option for buying a Series X includes upgrading to new and better machine after 14 months. There's LOTS of speculation that the Series X might even come in at the $400-$500. So even better. But even at $700 this issue doesn't change. If somebody can answer this question of whether the new Series X could effectively replace a PC, with some technical insight, that would be a real service to the technically illiterate like me! I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person with this question ...
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