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a blog by ken pardue

Archive for May, 2005

Flight Simulator on XBOX?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

Well, I’m mildly disturbed by this. Firstly, the long-time Flight Sim product developer JustFlight, who was at E3 this year, has announced their own thoughts that there will be no new Flight Simulator published this year. With Flight Sim 2006 nixed, that leaves us Flight Simulator 2007 which will be published in the Summer of 2006. Another year to wait! The announcement below:

”Almost from the horses mouths, we met with those that know in LA at E3 and it is now clear that Microsoft plan the next release of their de-facto Flight Simulator during the summer of 2006.”

I’m more or less okay with that though, let the Redmond boys continue their work on making it the best Flight Sim improvement it can be. What is more disturbing though is that this is listed on an unofficial upcoming game site for the XBOX 360:

Dimitri
Gears of War
Project Gotham Racing 3
NBA 2K6
Halo 3
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Godfather
Flight Simulator X
The Darkness
Call of Duty 2
Rallisport Challenge 3
Test Drive: Unlimited
Kameo
Perfect Dark Zero
Ghost Recon 3

Flight Simulator X? Well, the next version in the flight simulator series would be version 10. Does this signal a potential end to Flight Simulator on the PC? On the one hand, considering the graphics of the XBOX platform that I’ve seen so far, plus the fact that it has three symmetrical cores at 3.2 GHz each and a kick butt video processor from ATI sounds like it would take the visuals in the next FS through the roof. Plus, it would make a potential desktop migration to Linux much easier in the future (pending somehow running an XBOX purchase past the wife).

On the bad side though, even HDTV has incredibly low resolution compared to my computer. I don’t think the gauges and switches would be very legible. I hate to think of managing my airplane sitting on my living room floor squinting to see the altimeter; it’s difficult enough at 1280×1024. Plus, it would seem to be very awkward to control things with a control pad/joystick combination as opposed to a keyboard/mouse/joystick combination. On top of that, what about the addon developers? Wouldn’t that make it more difficult to install add on aircraft? I’m not saying these challenges are impossible, and many may already have been overcome. After all, I haven’t played a console game in over a year, and haven’t got anything newer than my Nintendo 64 (and I only have a few games for it).

If nothing else, that’s going to make things difficult to justify borrwing the living room television from the wife to make a nice 3 or 4 hour long flight. It’s hard enough to do that with the PC already!