Well, doctor, I see a…

UPDATE: Thanks to Tom Gibson for finding the "lost" trailer video on the MS download site. Enjoy!


With E3 in full swing news about the upcoming Flight Simulator X release is starting to filter out of L.A. And by "filter" I do mean it. Like patients staring at a Rorschach test, everyone is trying to make sense of the few new screenshots and videos that have made it beyond the show floor. Or maybe they are more like military photo interpreters, staring at pixels through a magnifying glass trying to tell if that's a tank or a missile...or a cow.


Very few people have actually seen FSX, of course. Yak Yak has, and posted a very nice write up on AvSim, including photos. SimHQ actually had someone in the press breifings with Shawn and Scott and filed this report. (As an aside, it's interesting that they, like many, refer to everyone from the team they meet as "developers". Within MS, that has a very specific meaning--someone who writes code for a living. No offence to Shawn and Scott, but the closest they come to code is picking up a Dan Brown novel. <g>) GameSpot had an annoucemment, then an article (though they misspoke about needing DX10 for water effects). Finally, someone posted their "shaky cam" experience here.


People are interested, though. According to GameSpot stats (near the bottom of the home page) FSX is in the top-ten most popular games across all platforms! Schweet!


It's so interesting reading the reactions to all these. One of the first conspiracy theories to emerge concerned the moving road traffic seen in one of the videos--it was too fast! Debates raged on the boards (here, here and here) with turner112 going so far as to try an compute their speed based on relative scale and distance travelled over time. 'A' for effort but in reality the video was just sped up in the editing bay. Gold stars to sclincoln for figuring that out.


The hullaballu over traffic was followed immediately by posts stating definitively that based on the 6 digital photos and single first-hand experience, FSX hasn't fixed any problems or added any new features worth a darn. (And naturally since one photo showed what everyone assumed was "the blurries" that definitively proved our graphics engine hadn't changed. <g>) By pure coincidence I'm sure, two divergent threads started to grow in the AvSim forums. The "clearly nothing in FSX makes *me* want to upgrade" camp has convened "upstairs" in the general FS forum. While "downstairs" in the dedicated FSX forum the prevailing opinion (with a few exceptions) seems to be "lookin' good, more to come, be happy." I can almost picture them pounding on the ceiling: "Hey, quiet down! We're trying to enjoy the show down here!" <g>


There also the search for the elusive trailer video that we worked so hard on. Rest assured it's out there. We handed it to the press on CD so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it gets posted. Apparently many people thought it would be part of some sort of formal presentation. E3 is anything but formal. We've been showing FSX (and the video) in our booth all week, letting folks get some "hands-on" time.


And, by the way, in an effort to clear up any doubt--nothing you have seen is using DX10. Put another way, everything you have seen is using DX9! (And the machines at E3 are those any mere mortal can obtain--dual-core Dells with a couple 256MB SLI video cards.) And, while I'm at it:

  • No, what you're seeing from the show is not all that's in FSX. We're still saving a few suprises.
  • Yes, the display settings used for the hands-on machines have been optimized for each mission (e.g., they aren't all cranked up). We haven't done perf-tuning yet.
  • Yes, you really can own one of those parabolic dome displays--for about $70K.
  • Did I mention everything you've seen is running under DX9?

Anyway, I expect more excitement in the next couple of days. Kudos to the team for braving the aural barrage of the E3 floor. Enjoy!




Comments (18)

  1. tgibson says:

    Hi all,

    The trailer now appears to be available here:


    Looks great so far; here’s hoping we start to get more info on the AI traffic improvements (etc.) for us hard core types.

    Hope this helps,

  2. J.C. Howell says:

    Keep at it, Mike. Trust me, for every whiner/critic in the forums, there are 5 of us who are sick of trying to point out positives, and then get told that we’re either Microsoft sympathizers, or that we don’t want to see innovation. Heh Heh. Personally, I’m still looking forward to FSX.

  3. denez says:

    Bravo, bravo et encore bravo ! more to come !

  4. Thanks a Million!!! says:

    Has anyone ever told you that you wright gooooood!!!!? Thanks for dispelling the cloud of sadness some comentators in some forums are trying to cover over our spirits. The video rocks!!!


  5. Cesar Martinez says:

    Lol Hey mike there going nuts over things that haven’t been finished yet or just needs some optimising people just don’t understand how complicated this sim is.

    And that fact that it does so much please let the ms fs team know that many of us really appreciate you guys working hard on this project there’s always going to be people complaining about this and that its really funny some times, hey don’t forget to make sure that animated people are well proportioned to the rivets !! please thanks for the updates and info Mike πŸ˜‰

  6. Thad S. says:

    I think you forgot about the camp, in the top floor penthouse, celebrating with Champaign and cheers of, "we’ll done, great job, impressive, way too go, and sold!"

    I have never been disappointed with a release of FS since FS5. Sure, I have been disappointed to find a particular feature that I wanted wasn’t included but I have always been very impressed with each and every release of FS. What’s more, many of the features I’ve wished for over the years have found there way into one release or another. Obviously the FSX Team will not disappoint this time around either. You guys and gals have a passion for what you do and it shows.

    Anyway, I just wanted say thanks for the hard work and dedication; it’s much appreciated by this FS fan. And from those of us in the penthouse, β€œI propose a toast, to a speedy FSX release and many more decades of, impressive, FS development.”

    I do have one question about your statement, "nothing you have seen is using DX10". Various press releases mention a big difference between DX9 and DX10 versions of FSX, as if they’d seen comparison screenshots. Has the press actually seen anything of FSX using DX10, or where they mistaken? If they have seen DX 10 screenshots were they included in the press kit you mentioned and will they be allowed to release those shots to the web?

  7. David Voogd says:

    It seems FSX is now ranked #2 out of 6016 games at Gamespot with 350 wishlist selections and 669 members tracking it.

  8. ckyliu says:

    A very entertaining read sir! Was particularly amused on your commentary about the Avsim forums… very accurate I feel. Many people seem to be trying to see too much in to things…

    I’m sure you’ll remember everyone going nuts about some screenshots that appeared with a Cessna which only had the left flaps down… which you revealed to be simple broken animation. I didn’t read the post until this point had been made – so I can’t really say I’m any better then anyone else!

    I think reading the Avsim forums could be very demoralising to see your work getting hammered by people who really know very little about the project – but I suspect you are smiling smuggly upon the arrogant masses (myself included) knowing what is instore for us.

    Keep it up and remember – not all of us blow everything out of all proportion!

  9. marcin says:

    Hi Mike

    Thanks for everything you are working for us…

    2007 is going crazy for simmers πŸ™‚

    p.s – plesae give us 85mb version of trailer on FS insider as soon as possible.


  10. Dennis_k says:

    Thanks for the great shots from the E3.

    But, as mensiont above, what is going to be the differance between DX 9 / DX10. Is it woth to wait with upgrading for about half an year?

  11. All the new images and videos have been great to review.  I, for one, am also quite pleased with the statement that there’s more features yet to be revealed, I’d hate to think you let the whole cat out of the bag at once.

    Thanks for all of your efforts to let us in on the goings on, not to mention all of your work along with the rest of the team.  There are many people looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labours.

    Good luck in your next project, whenever you’re able to reveal the context.

  12. Joku says:

    I liked the copter rescue. Does FSX have a way to launch a disaster scenario? I am huge into the series on TV called Air Emergency/Air crash investigations  and it would make interesting flying experience to try land a plane purely by using the invidual throttle controls for left and right engines (provided both even worked). And landing a jumbo on water so that as many virtual passengers could be saved..

    I haven’t played FS really so maybe these are something that have been there for years, after all it’s a Sim and stuff breaks up.

  13. Leo76 says:

    Do you know by any chance if it will be running smoothly on an AMD X2 64 4400 or on a Intel T2600?? I am gonna buy a lappy and wonder wich one should I get….

  14. bernard says:

    I have been a flight sim fan for a long time.after trying all the new stuff,I STILL GET BORED because there are no passengers on the planes.microsoft has created many animations,but what about boarding passengers or unloading passengers seen walking from the planes,that would make flight sim more realistic.thank you.

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