this is what FS2002 looks like on my machine, although this does show added AI traffic. now i have read that FS2004 is a leep foward, and having seen the advance FS2002 was over FS98 (i never got FS2000), i expect this to be true. What are the advances i could expect to see, because to be honest all the screen shots i have seen do not impress me that much; IMHO they do not look any better than FS2002 to me. so to my mind there is no graphical improvement, so we have the much vaunted improvements to the weather/clouds and ATC/AI. first the weather; i have no additions other than those done by FSUIPC, but using the built in stuff with the game i can download real world weather and look out of the window and see it, i also find the 2D sprites very convincing, so what extras can i expect to see. and then we have the improved ATC/AI, i have puchased a couple of programs that give me very realistic traffic with many aicraft visible both in the air and on the ground, and the air traffic controller talks to me in a local accent (i am from the UK, and the air traffic controllers here do not speak with an american accent). Finally how can i expect it to run, does it have a higher requirement than FS2002; my system just about manages to run FS 2002 at the level i am prepared to accept (no point in having everything turned off or down, i might as well use FS98 maxed out).
so to sum up from what i have read and seen:
There seems to be no graphical improvement.
The aircraft are a little better (maybe a lot with some), but still not up to the standard of the best addons that i already have.
The weather is improved but i am happy with what i have.
The ATC is improved (but it does not seem as good as that provided by UT), but i would lose my english speaking air traffic controllers, so in actual fact would be a backward step.
In my experience every game or program that comes out has a higher system requirement than previous versions, so it likely to run slower than FS2002. In other words it could well be inferior to what i allready have if i have to turn anything down from max to get it to run.