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!