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Thread: Reduced graphics and Xbox

  1. #1

    Default Reduced graphics and Xbox

    I really hope someone can convince me that I am all wrong on this but I am starting to get an uneasy feeling that the slow but steady reduction in graphics quality of this sim is related to the Xbox release. I think the majority would agree that the sim looks worse now than it did when it was released. The tree LOD reduction is even admitted to by ASOBO.

    If I look at this from a purely business stand point it makes sense. MS is not only trying to sell this sim software but the Xbox console also. Its also possible that the priority is the sale of Xbox consoles. Having higher end PCs provide a better visual experience may be something they have decided dos not make business sense at this point. In other words MS may have decided that both platforms need to be pretty much the same as far as graphics go at this point.

    To me this would explain a lot and also explain why ASOBO always seems to have only the vaguest of answers when these issues come up. Like I said; I sure hope I am wrong or we have already seen the best of this sim for now as far as graphics go.

    AT any rate I am sure MS would prefer that people go out and buy Xbox rather than spend money elsewhere upgrading there PC. Think about.
    Last edited by natman1965; 04-21-2021 at 06:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    I agree entirely. I have an Xbox Series X ready and waiting for all of the above reasons.
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  3. #3

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    I have already sunk 3 grand into a new gaming pc and am worried I will never see much advantage to it as compared to what it will be like when it comes out on xbox. On the other hand I would not do it different if I had the chance. I hand not treated myself to a top of the line machine since the early nineties and its amazing how far things have come since then.

    I no longer have time to go make myself a sandwich while I wait for a PC to finish booting up and that's a good thing
    Last edited by natman1965; 04-21-2021 at 12:57 PM.

  4. #4

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    Hmm...

    Might also explain why certain other things that are seen as important to very experienced FS people, seem to be left on the back burner, low priority.

    Maybe they don't want the 64gig and 3090Ti people showing visuals that are far better than the Xbox version? Not wanting to invite comparisons?

    Might explain why certain airliners autopilots are having issues.


    This reminds me of the mostly forgotten "Microsoft Flight". Remember that one? It was supposed to bridge the gap between consoles and us hardcore flight enthusiasts... and only the visuals impressed anyone. It seemed like they took FSX, removed almost all terrain except Hawaii. They removed almost all the planes, and picked only very simple lite sport planes like the Icon A5, and a nice plane like the Boeing Stearman. It seemed they wanted to make it a "game" in every sense of the word... this wasn't about learning how to program an FMC, nor about learning to use VOR navigation...it was about "game challenges". Notice that it's name does not include the word "simulator".

    See here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWXgS6PkPXw

    Thing is... now that I think about this, MSFS2020 seems to have a lot of the characteristics of MS Flight... a hybrid between traditional, and an open world game like "Grand Theft Bush Planes!" or something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herc79 View Post
    Maybe they don't want the 64gig and 3090Ti people showing visuals that are far better than the Xbox version? Not wanting to invite comparisons?
    Except that this has never been an issue with other games available on both platforms. The PC versions often have better graphics not available on the console, including the recent PC release of Microsoft's own console flagship Halo series.

    Regarding Flight, it was a very misguided adventure that rightfully failed. They wanted to get in on the then fledgling DLC and online markets, and control the entire thing themselves. Under the hood, the flight modelling was actually better than FSX, but was handicapped by the very limited selection of aircraft to show off.

  6. #6

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    Ok first off, with organisations, too often we assume that because an item was never an issue in the past, that it will always remain a non-issue. But that's just not true: people retire, get fired or take a new position in or out of that org. And the new person often has slightly or significantly different opinion and point of view about how they want to manage a project. The new manager may have entirely different goals in mind, and the manager's boss's boss could also be new and have different priorities. Some managers just want an easy ticket, just continue doing what we are doing. Others desperately want to impress the CEO or CFO, or want to deliver big to the shareholders, maybe for personal gain (owning stock) or to impress those who can help with future promotions in and out of the company. Some become very risk averse, not seeing a way out of eventual failure, and are just trying to cling to their job for another six months. Some look at cost reduction as a path to profit and promotion, while others want to spend the company's resources into the ground in a glorious attempt at greatness. My point is that just because MS had no problem in the past, competing for visuals with PC's, doesn't mean they couldn't change their mind and company culture, their shifting goals affecting things throughout the company's operations.

    IF you look beyond flight sims, you'll see there's a lot more changes going on in the last 12 months than in the previous five years. One major change is that back 15 years ago, video cards were affordable, plentiful, easy to get. The last few years, crypto has increasingly driven the GPU market to well, at least partly away from gamers. IT's driven a scarcity, and significant price boost. Microsoft knows this, and has WAY more data than we do, or could read. I wonder if they see a much more severe crisis in GPU sales, perhaps thanks to a prediction of an iminent explosion of crypto mining, that in 5 years none of us might be able to even get one. That would do severe changes to how we use this sim. Imagine that the only affordable way any of us could use FS is to get an Xbox. Does this sound silly? Of course it does. But then, a computer in your pocket seemed silly in 1998. A cell phone seemed silly in 1985. And flying in the air seemed silly in 1858... I mean flight is for birds, not people!


    Sure, I remember they wanted to DLC terrain scenery, and aircraft all made in-house. I also remember hearing that they had trouble making even the simplest of aircraft that people weren't impressed with, then became reluctant to start making new DLC's... It's like some manager got greedy, and didn't understand that a large part of why FS worked was that it was kinda "crowdsourced" at a core fundamental level... Also, a lack of understanding of aviation might have caused a manager to not realise that the quality control for a new DLC may have been "good enough" for a gamer on an xbox who just thought this might be cool to try out, but was maybe very very not good to an experienced flightsim customer... And then the DLC's were slow in comming, and were not inspired, and people lost interest very fast.

    Thing is, I wonder if 2020 is the second attempt? Use some of the similar business ideas that caused the creation of Flight, but trying to re-capture the giant Flightsim community, while also building in "game elements" and Xbox compatibility. Maybe this is less "Sim" and more Flight-2: This time it's Personal!!

    In a way it makes sense to combine resources, capture multiple markets at the same time. But, if they are going to start listening less to their original core customers' needs and wants, it would raise questions. Now, I'm not suggesting that's actually happening, I think they just have a LOT on their plates to fix edit and test, and when you have such long lists of items, outsiders looking at just 3 of those items will wonder why the three haven't been fixed yet and darn it it's just not fair!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herc79 View Post
    Ok first off, with organisations, too often we assume that because an item was never an issue in the past, that it will always remain a non-issue. But that's just not true: people retire, get fired or take a new position in or out of that org. And the new person often has slightly or significantly different opinion and point of view about how they want to manage a project.
    Sure, large organizations can change, but in this case I think what has happened in the recent past does very much still apply. The same management that approved bringing the Halo series to the PC, and improving the graphics in the process, are the same ones still running the Xbox division. Microsoft is pushing gaming on both the Xbox console and on PC, and it wouldn't make sense to artificially hurt one over the other. They would get money from the sale either way. In fact, the PC one might even make them more money as consoles are usually sold at a loss, and make money through a cut of game developer licences and game sales, which don't apply to the PC. These days it's also much easier to write games for both PC and Xbox as they can share far more of the core base than before. And top of that, Jorg Neuman has indicated in interviews that they know the PC is the primary driver of flight sims. Yes, being able to sell the sim to console users was a key reason for the project to get green lit, however they seem to be far more realistic about the user base than the Flight project lead and management ever were.

    I think there are other indicators as well that MSFS is very much aimed at being a sim in the same vein as FSX, rather than an overly simplified one like Flight. Why bother with improving the flight model over FSX? Why would you bother trying to build a realistic Garmin GPS? Why put all that work into the atmospheric model? None of this makes any sense if they were just trying to create Flight 2.0. Far more likely is that they are working towards a new and full featured sim, and still have a long road (runway?) to go to get there.

    Regarding GPUs, the issue isn't just crypto mining. Manufacturing constraints are a huge factor (Silicon chips of all kinds are struggling, even those that have nothing to do with crypto mining), and so is demand from gamers and simmers like us too. Manufacturing is slowly ramping, and new fabrication plants are being worked on, although those can take a couple years to fully come online. It may take a while yet, but I think supply will eventually catch up, or at least catch up enough that it isn't quite so hard to get a GPU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herc79 View Post
    IF you look beyond flight sims, you'll see there's a lot more changes going on in the last 12 months than in the previous five years. One major change is that back 15 years ago, video cards were affordable, plentiful, easy to get. The last few years, crypto has increasingly driven the GPU market to well, at least partly away from gamers.
    Very true. Crypto-mining is moving on from GPU's to ASIC's https://www.investopedia.com/tech/ho...n-mining-work/ but now that governments and major banks are getting involved in crypto-mining, the costs of ASIC's are likely to rise even higher and keep GPU's expensive too.
    Also, Microsoft have wanted to get games away from Windows ever since they created the Xbox, and have been steadily removing Windows compatibility with older PC games for several years. They're launching a cloud-based Windows 10 this summer https://www.zdnet.com/article/micros...y-this-summer/ and this could be the future for all we know right now. Whichever way this Cloud PC service pans out, Microsoft clearly intend Windows to be for business and education, and Xbox for entertainment i.e. games, music and movies.
    Last edited by tiger1962; 04-21-2021 at 05:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1962 View Post
    Also, Microsoft have wanted to get games away from Windows ever since they created the Xbox, and have been steadily removing Windows compatibility with older PC games for several years. They're launching a cloud-based Windows 10 this summer https://www.zdnet.com/article/micros...y-this-summer/ and this could be the future for all we know right now. Whichever way this Cloud PC service pans out, Microsoft clearly intend Windows to be for business and education, and Xbox for entertainment i.e. games, music and movies.
    A decade ago I would have agreed, but recently I think they are more committed than ever to PC gaming (which is doing quite well these days in general too ). Why spend money bringing the Xbox gaming brand and services to Windows just to kill it? Why bring the Halo series to PC at all? Not to mention the very large amount of resources sunk into DirectX on the PC? Dropping backwards compatibility has nothing to do with trying to kill gaming on Windows, and everything to do with cutting support costs and making it easier to move to new platforms, such as ARM CPU based systems. If they had really wanted to kill PC gaming, they could have simply continued the path of neglect they were taking a decade ago. If their Project Xcloud works out, it is going to kill both Xbox console and PC gaming, but that is still a long way off.

  10. #10

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    Agree with the last poster. I think getting ready for the Xbox launch is important and having one version makes development easy. I think dumbing down the game so the PC doesn’t look better is not on their radar.


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