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Thread: Great article by former Aces member about new MSFS

  1. #1
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    Default Great article by former Aces member about new MSFS

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    Thank for link Vic

    A Whole New World

    Like many of its predecessors, the new simulator models the entire planet, including something like 40,000 airports worldwide. I used to brag in presentations about FSX that we started with 2 terabytes of scenery data, and then compressed that to fit onto a couple of DVDs in a box. The world in the new version consists of 2 petabytes of data — yes, that’s one thousand times bigger. The scenery is built on Bing satellite and aerial imagery, augmented with cool buzzwordy stuff like photogrammetric 3D modeling and multiple other data sources, all of which is streamed via Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Yes, the word streaming means you’ll need an internet connection, but you can download and pre-cache scenery areas for offline use, or even fly in a fully offline mode.
    Makes me wonder if a 1TB drive would be enough to cache a trip from McCarran to LAX
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    Hal was a big name back in the FSX days, and really active with EAA since. Really interesting to read his take on the new sim.

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    Nice review and I am looking forward to the sim. But I do have a concern about ATC and AI. Hal stated that he did not see either of those in the sim. And Microsoft did not elaborate on either one. I know the sim is still under development. But I hope MS does both of those items right this time. I am also wanting to see how flying an airliner would make the scenery look. If the scenery would get blurry or stutter at the speeds of an airliner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bam1220 View Post
    But I hope MS does both of those items right this time. I am also wanting to see how flying an airliner would make the scenery look. If the scenery would get blurry or stutter at the speeds of an airliner?
    A good question, bam1220: The two things we know about streaming content and flight sim photoscenery so far are this:
    Streaming=buffering
    Photoscenery=blurries
    That's the worst of both worlds for a PC flight sim. It might make no difference on an XBox, and let's not forget that although this flight sim is being developed on PC's (MS Laboratories' PC's mind you... not yours or mine!) this release is part of Microsoft's latest XBox launch next year, and is aimed squarely at that target audience. Microsoft would like the approval of the "traditional" flight sim community of course, developers and simmers alike, but we're not convinced by videos/screenshots until we've actually tried to run the thing on our own PC, are we?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1962 View Post
    A good question, bam1220: The two things we know about streaming content and flight sim photoscenery so far are this:
    Streaming=buffering
    Photoscenery=blurries
    That's the worst of both worlds for a PC flight sim. It might make no difference on an XBox, and let's not forget that although this flight sim is being developed on PC's (MS Laboratories' PC's mind you... not yours or mine!) this release is part of Microsoft's latest XBox launch next year, and is aimed squarely at that target audience. Microsoft would like the approval of the "traditional" flight sim community of course, developers and simmers alike, but we're not convinced by videos/screenshots until we've actually tried to run the thing on our own PC, are we?
    Hmm, have you read any of the articles talking about the new sim?

    What we do know is that Microsoft has around 200 developers working on this as well as some of the best cloud server resources in the world to throw at it. There will also be 3 modes for scenery to adjust for differing levels of interest speeds and access. One is streaming directly from the cloud, though it will cache data for areas you regularly fly in. The second is a pre-cached mode where you can download the areas you are interested in ahead of time and save them locally. And the final one is a sure offline mode with lower quality scenery for those with really poor or no connection at all. The recent event where they brought in people for some hands on time was apparently running a 25 Mbps connection, and looks to have worked quite well.

    If it is aimed squarely at the Xbox crowd, which includes many people in the flight sim community too, why would they have spent so much effort on enhancing the flight, weather and atmosphere modelling? Not to mention the other areas they have been and will be working on. So yes, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say, however this is shaping up to be a proper successor to FSX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loki View Post
    . . . however this is shaping up to be a proper successor to FSX.
    Thanks for that, Loki, you're absolutely right. It disturbs me to see so many people eager to bash a program that is still a year or so away from hitting the shelves. I've been enjoying Flight Simulator since subLOGIC FSII, and currently run FSX:SE. It's beginning to look as though NOT jumping to P3D might have been a smart move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loki View Post
    Hmm, have you read any of the articles talking about the new sim?
    Yes indeed, and the interviews, watched the videos and so on. If there will be 3 modes for PC users to access this sim, surely Microsoft are trying to tell us that PC is not the ideal platform to get the best experience with it? I don't see why they wouldn't enhance the flight, weather and atmosphere modelling for XBox One X, since they've also announced that Joysticks and Yokes will be compatible with the XBox One X too. Given that the XBox One X will be 40% more powerful than the current Xbox One S, it seems to me that the average simmer is going to have two choices to get the best from the new sim: Spend thousands on PC upgrades, and risk still not getting the desired results, or spend a few hundred on the new XBox One X, plug in your joystick or yoke and be as happy as a clam!
    Here's the link to the UK XBox One X website: https://www.xbox.com/en-GB/xbox-one-x
    Last edited by tiger1962; 10-05-2019 at 07:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1962 View Post
    Yes indeed, and the interviews, watched the videos and so on. If there will be 3 modes for PC users to access this sim, surely Microsoft are trying to tell us that PC is not the ideal platform to get the best experience with it?
    I don't see how having 3 modes means the PC is not the ideal platform at all. What it does mean is that they're trying to bring the enhanced scenery engine and visuals to as many users, both PC and Xbox, as possible. With the amount of data involved, there is no way any current PC could reasonably download and store all of it, and many people still don't have high speed (say >15 Mbps) or reliable internet connections. They've also said the vast majority of the developers are focused on the PC version and that they will be working on the Xbox version later. Having an Xbox version will be a great option, though will likely have limitations compared to the desktop PC.

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    I think the PC v. XBox version debate could go on for as long as the FSX v. FS9 debate!
    I don't expect there'll be any difference between the two, apart from the performance limitations of the PC you're accessing the sim from.
    What the developers have described so far is that Microsoft Flight Simulator will be an XBox "Play Anywhere" Digital title and this is how it's explained on the XBox website:
    "Now when you own an Xbox Play Anywhere digital title, it’s yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.
    Buy once, play anywhere

    Purchase an Xbox Play Anywhere digital game, play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost.
    Progress goes with you
    Pick up where you left off on another Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, bringing all your saves, game add-ons and achievements with you."
    Here's the link to the UK XBox Play Anwhere webpage: https://www.xbox.com/en-GB/games/xbox-play-anywhere
    As you'd expect, the XBox website also states: "Games play best on Xbox One".
    It's very wise of Microsoft to launch on PC first, the console gaming audience's reaction to open-world sims has always been "There's nothing to do, it's boring, I want my money back" and none of us want a repetition of that!
    Last edited by tiger1962; 10-06-2019 at 06:21 AM.
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