Yes, We’re Here

Well, Flight Simulator X is starting to trickle out. Despite restrictions in the street date a few rogue Best Buy’s and Wal-Mart’s have been slipping boxes on to shelves. US stores aren’t supposed to have the product on sale until October 17 but it’s on sale in Canada so anyone willing to take a drive can get it. Of course, that also means we’re seeing the first flurry of FSX posts in the public forums. As expected, most of the first round have to do with performance, with many of these summarized as “I thought I’d get better performance with my system.” Paul has a good blog post on performance issues so I won’t bother to rehash the issue here. Suffice it to say, however, that we are seeing a lot of what we see every version with users trying to find the sweet spot that works on their system. As we’ve stated numerous times we design the engine with room to grow so you shouldn’t expect to run it flat out from day one. And, also as expected, there are few individuals who just can’t stand it when people like the new version and post in every thread how we suck, can’t program, lie to customers–all in all business as usual for a new FS release. I look forward to the noise level decreasing and we can see what people think of the actual game features. Right now it’s hard to pick those posts out from the fray. In the meantime we’ll keep watching the boards and getting back to work on what’s next for all of us.

Comments (21)

  1. Marc says:

    I got my copy last week from Best Buy in California. It makes me wonder why you guyz would ask retailers to wait 2 weeks to sell FSX. I think moving up the release date would have been the best way to go. Just my opinion. Maybe you can elaborate why you guys wanted the retailers to hold on to a hot title like FSX for so long? By the way nice to see a post from you!

  2. cmhodge says:

    Glad your back. I’ve been checking your blog daily (need to do something while I wait for my copy of FSX to arrive 🙂 ).
    I’ve managed to find a sweet spot in the demo (at least away from the Princess Juliana area), as I mention in my blog.
    However, given the struggles of so many people, and the sucess some have had with hacks to reduce autogen textures and such, perhaps you (ACES) should consider a patch that would allow users to opt for these simpler textures (ideally, this would include the textures, and a checkbox in the Display Settings to chose default or reduced).

    Just a thought. Looking forward to having the full release!

  3. George Stoddard` says:

    Lord guys, ya’ll gotta have thick skin:-)
    Seriously, so far as I see, great job by the ACES Team on FSX. I’ve been pretty steady on reading posts on the various forums. As you say, nothing new as far as the nay sayers on a new release. Been trying several of the tweaks posted and FSX is working very well for me.
    Thanks you,
    George Stoddard

  4. Toril says:

    I love the new FSX!!! I hate to admit that I was getting a bit tired of just flying around, I didn’t evolve and it eventually got a bit boring in FS9. Not so now, thanks to the missions. I like them **big grin** of course we are all different, and all the hotheads in the forums are often too serious about their FS. I do notice that someof teh scenery is floating in the air and some have big glitches, will ther be fixes? at Dagali airport in Norway

  5. OwenHewitt says:

    Hi Mike,

    I like the new blog layout, btw!  I’ve echoed your comments on a recent entry into my own blog.  The dust will soon settle performance tweaks will be found!




    Owen Hewitt


  6. Of course, every person’s complaint is that FS<insert version here> was not specifically designed for the particular person’s specific hardware setup, but then, where’s the fun?

    Deep, deep down at a quasi-masochistic level of our psyches, we have to admit that a big part of the Flight Simulator experience is finding that right amount of tweaking of sliders, that "must have" airplane, scenery, … and just when I think I have it right, a new version comes out and I get to start all over again.

    But, the real question to ask is how soon will some enterprising modeller combine the lav_dump_valve with the water ballast and make a mess on the apron?

  7. Nice to have you guys back Tdragger!

     I am a little irked at some of the comments I have seen. One of our guys made a comment about people jumping off cliffs and then others following based on rumor… I laughed heartily at that.

    No big surprises I guess as it is another FS release. :^)

    I did go out and improve the horsepower of the new machine and yes I am lucky to be able to do that. However the community will get thru this BS right now and find the "sweet spot" to run FSX. Heck P-12C already posted a nugget on adding two lines to determine tree and building autogen seperately!

    Excellent!! Little nuggets like this are much appreciated. In fact I am off to do some more tweaking.

    Thanks again for the team’s work. As a software developer I know the hours that go in and I am embarrassed slightly about the reaction from the community with these small fires.

    History repeats itself eh? :^)

  8. MatthewS aka JuiceRabbit :) says:

    Still waiting for it here in Oz.

    Demo 2 is a great improvement over Demo 1 (and FP beta).

    Autogen fix is excellent.

    Maybe on your new website you could have simple little "AutoGen patch" that has an installer and installs the autogen fix. This would be of great benefit to more casual users I would imagine.

    Shame FSX doesnt have a "news" feature built into the GUI.  It would have been a nice was to alert everyone to important news.

    Love FSX.  Aces have done an amazing job. The future for FSX is very bright especially in the AddOn market.

  9. Chris Parton says:

    Mike, I just want to let you know what I think of FSX,

    WOW!!!!. You guys have done a fantastic job, I can’t stress that enough. Ignore all the FSX bashers, they are just arguing to argue. Just wait a while for new hardware and tweaks and people will be in love with this latest sim. I just hope you don’t think all fs enthusiasts are like that. I truly appreciate all of the effort you and the entire team have devoted to our hobby. Mike, keep up the good work!

  10. Denis Brown says:

    Hi, I am of the Canadian who has bought FSX early….  and I am very pleased with what I see….  I was looking for a better flight simulator and this is wath I got……  It seems that every one wants a land simulator….  I fly in the cockpit all the time and the low FPS are high enough for a fluid flight.

    Good job!!!


  11. Harry Bosch says:

    Hi Mike,

    Somehow I get the impression that there are more negative posts then ever and that even some add-on developer indicate that they are having problems getting their add-ons to perform in the limited processor time left for them. Maybe its just some forums that gave me this idea or maybe its just spamming.

    Was there never an idea to make a light install option with smaller textures (like one of the tweaks suggest) and less autogen (now possible with a tweak in the FS-X.ini)? That way there would be beter performance on current day hardware and we’d still have plenty of growth left for the future.

  12. Rafael Pinto says:

    Hey TDragger. FSX was just released here in Brazil. Please, let the team know you guys did a wonderful job!! I couldn’t believe the clouds and the sea, when flying over Rio! It is a shame my video card don’t run the latest shader… Anyway, good work!!

  13. Ken says:


    I’m curious as to what the size in area is of the cells used by the autogen settings. 1/4 square mile, 1/2 square mile, etc?

  14. Meshman says:

    Is FSX the same as FS9 with $500 worth of addons? No, but it’s a lot closer than people may realize.

    Is FSX a great foundation, from which the addon market will be able to build the best version of FS ever? Yes!

    Congrats to all involved with the release of FSX. The naysayers will tire of their own voices soon enough, those of us who fly and enjoy will keep the community moving along in the right direction.


  15. KPryor says:

    FSX is quite nice, Mike.  I was having terrible performance until I followed Pauls advice, but now it runs quite well.  Great job to the whole FSX team.

  16. Peter James says:

    I am very impressed so far, AFTER the tweaks to config files posted on avsim thanks to you all! On my XPS Gen 2, I can run locked at 22 for most places (not NY however) with most sliders mostly full with autogen on sparse per the new config, 600 for trees and 300 for buildings I believe … I was excited to see developers using the xps gen 2…. I don’t know of others who have my same system – it was nice to see! As a real Beechjet pilot by day, I am finding FSX to be the most real out of your eyeballs flying experience to date, and look forward to using ths version as much as I can…. I have lost sleep over it yes, but now, since the little autogen tweaks on avsim, for goood reasons! take care, Peter James from Boston

  17. Atif Zafar says:

    I think the next version of FS is "awesome"! I bought my copy at Best Buy last week and despite all the performance issues the feature set is a true revolution! How many other games model the world in this exquisite level of detail! Indeed MS should look towards licensing the FS Engine for other "serious" apps like GIS and "road simulations" etc. We really need more of these kinds of applications to help drive development of next-gen hardware. Its programmers like yourselves that define the cutting edge and keep us hardware guys flying by the seat of our pants.

  18. Robert Breton says:

    except for the music, welcome back to fs98, got a copy from best buy on oct 8, running on asus m board,1GB mem,gforce 6600gt, and in default with everything turned off including access to internet, barley able to achieve frame rate above 15 with settings at default. Can anyone advise if more memory will improve frame rates or should I reinstall fs9 which ran smooth as silk at any setting

  19. G3YTI says:

    Hi ALL,

    Well after doing the "tweaks" as listed above my FPS shot up from a rather poor 12 to 16, however, loading up the lastest drivers for Geforce GT9500GT (my card)they increased up to 20 !!.

    I also noted that selecting global texture resolution to VERY HIGH gave a further boost.. I reckon you have to drive these cards hard to get the best from them.

    After using the UK version for 3 days now i am warming to FSX…great scenery. test flight from KSFO at end of runway gave me 20FPS… FS2004 gives me 30+ however, looks as though a bit more tweaking is going to be required, trouble is I like all that eye candy!!.

    Asus MB. 3.8 Gig P4. XP home. card as mentioned.4 gig DDR2 RAM

    Steve EGCC. UK

  20. Kevin says:

    FSX is the most disappointing release yet. My computer was built in late ’03, the main components being a P4 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB, 1GB PC3200 DDR, and a Geforce 5600 256MB.  When FS2004 came out, I could crank every setting to the max, and even then my computer wasn’t really anywhere near "top of the line".  I’ve since upgraded to 2GB of PC3200 DDR, and a Geforce 7800GS (yeah, it’s AGP) overclocked to 460MHz(core) and 1.35GHz(memory), and a 500W PSU (to support the GPU).  Upon installation, the settings were automatically configured to "medium high".  It was a slide show at best, and lowering all of the sliders to "low" still produce FAR less than fluid movement I enjoyed with FS2004 out of the box on an already slightly dated rig.

    I realize and support the idea that games being developed should, at max settings, tax the highest of the high end computers of today, but FSX seems to be developed for 2008.  If someone from Microsoft is reading this, please consider——–people are most excited about a game right when it comes out.  In two years, when I finally have a computer that can actually run FSX at a PLAYABLE framerate, will I really feel like playing a game that’s 2 years old?  Besides, a new flight simulator is realeased every two years.  In that case, a new version will be out by the time FSX can be seen in all its glory.  People, me included, will only feel cheated that they were barely able to get any max-setting fun out of FSX before a new version is waved in front of our noses, promising yet better graphics, no doubt at an ungodly extreme performance hit.  

    Bad news travels quickly, and when enough people find out that even a $7500 Voodoo PC can’t run FSX acceptably, they’ll wait until it becomes a budget title, thus less revenue for Microsoft.

    On the other hand, maybe FSX isn’t so bad.  If I want to take a picture, I can get up, go downstairs, get my camera, throw a memory card in it, go back upstairs, and snap a pic, WITHOUT PAUSING THE F U C K I N G GAME!

  21. Buzz Benz says:

    Well, maybe this isn’t the best place for this, but, i tend to try and remain objective to new versions of FS (been using it since v4 BTW), so here’s a brief mini-review from a longtime FS user 🙂

    What i don’t like:

    – Performance.  I know this has been beat to death 🙂  However, FS2000 was the closest i can remember to FSX in terms of performance issues.  I have been spending the last couple days tweaking, and i think i have it at a level now where it’s playable.  However, even in FS2000, i don’t remember having to turn as many things down as much as i have here.  Like with FS2000 when it debuted, i am running what i consider to be a machine on the high side of "mid range".

    – Confusion or bugs.  So far, i can’t seem to figure out why, after using something on the menu bar, the menu bar won’t go away!  It stays up aferwards, which is something previous FS versions didn’t do.  Full-screen mode in case you were wondering.  Also, i can’t seem to figure out how to turn off the flying tips (like, i KNOW my engine’s not started, i did it on purpose!).  And also, any time i’ve gone into the menu with the 737 or CRJ, coming out of it the engines shut off.  This MAY be a control setup issue though, as i haven’t got those set yet, so take that with a grain of salt for now 🙂

    – Lambert’s still wrong.  This is getting very finicky, i know 🙂  But the main terminal in the new Deluxe version of Lambert St. Louis International is still wrong.  FSX has it as 4 separate "domes", which isn’t right.  In between each of those "domes" is actually a set of windows, as it’s one large structure.

    What i like:

    – New airport features.  Though i did have to turn them down a bit, i absolutely love the animated jetways and the service vehicles!  Great job on the airport features!  I also like the new taxiway striping and such.

    – Road/Water vehicles.  Again, though i had to turn those WAY down, i do like them!  Makes the world feel a bit more alive, and i’m sure years down the road when i can get a better machine and such i’m sure it’ll make the world feel MUCH more alive.

    – Terrain resolution.  In reference to the mesh, the hills and such are an incredible difference.  Again, makes the world feel more realistic!

    – New Airliner Features.  While many will indeed say that they’re not as good as some 3rd party add-ons, i do like the fact there is now an APU and hydraulics in there.  Adds a hint of additional realism that’s been lacking in the airliners.  Also, the overhead on the 737 compared to the previous versions is a BIG welcome addition!

    – Roads and Rivers.  VFR flying with this version is going to be a LOT of fun being able to actually track the roadways.  Just flying over my home town of St. Louis, i can recognize the roads (and railways!).  My father-in-law even asked me to fire up Bowling Green, KY, and was able to identify where we were!  Really, really great job there!  I know that in some of the high-detail cities there are some conflicts with the roads somewhat, but not enough to detract from the overall feel of it all.

    Other notes:

    – Water.  I still haven’t made up my mind how much i like the new water.  At certain altitudes and viewing angles, it looks absolutely great.  At others, i don’t care for it.  However, again, i have to have the new water set at the lowest 2.x level, so i could be missing out on something.

    – Aircaft selection.  I miss the 737-400.  But, that’s really a personal preference.  However, i really wish the airliners hadn’t gone all-glass (i’m obviously not including the DC3 here 🙂 ).

    In short, i like many of the new features a lot, but i feel that the fact that i have to turn most of them way down or off kinda detracts a lot from what this sim could/will be.  Especially considering that i have to turn down the AI traffic a lot to get it to run ok, which is something i didn’t have to do with FS2002 or 2004.  I like traffic 🙂

    The thing i think you’ll find is that a lot of the noise comes from the fact that people like me who were running FS2004 with almost everything maxed to the hilt and running intense 3rd party add-ons with at least passable FPS are now having to tone so many things down that we’re almost missing out on the new features of FSX just to run it out-of-the-box.  I am planning on using FSX a lot for VFR and some "smaller" airliner flights, but i honestly won’t be using it for my "serious" airliner flights for a long time to come, as i don’t think i can handle any of the add-ons with my current set up.  Hopefully this’ll get better with Vista though, who knows 🙂  I DO remember a big performance difference between Win98SE and Win2000/XP, so i’m holding out hope there that Vista will bring a bit of that again!


    AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+

    1GB PC3200 RAM

    GeForce 7800 GT, 256 MD GDDR3

    WinXP Pro SP2

    nVidia Drivers v91.47