Staff Roundtable: The Future of Simulations Part 3 – PC’s versus Consoles Page 4

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Stormtrooper: Good points, BA. If your flying or playing an FPS on a console will you be able to run programs such as Fraps and Teamspeak, etc.? Also a lot of simulation folk love them mods. I don’t want to turn into a console site with some PC stuff on it either.

McGonigle: When my one of my favorite sim racing sites expanded into console territory, I must admit I lost some of my affinity for the site. My sim refuge is here.

Beach: Good points Dart, about the console adapting to the environment the PC has pioneered.

McGonigle has a good point too. I prefer “better” to “more” with regards to both what we review and who our membership is comprised of. The old philosophy of “grow or die” is a bit tired and I think once you find something you do exceedingly well, stick with the formula Look at Southwest Airlines! Obviously all of this discussion is predicated on SimHQ finding a console title that is worthy of a review, but we already have some forums and reviews for titles that might just as easily have been console titles, so I think we have already passed the point where console games crossover into similar PC titles.

I’d just like to see us be very particular about what we review outside of PC platform sims. Our bunch here is a quirky, picky bunch, but they are also intelligent and full of great information.

Chunx: I want to jump back into a few areas we’ve gone over.

Teddy was talking about whether SimHQ should do consoles, or rather that it should not.

Today, right now, in 2005, I agree with Teddy. HOWEVER… Here’s a scenario: If, 2 years from now, MSFS 07 is released with all of it’s current features and a combat module, for Xbox 360, with USB support for HOTAS like CH gear, say — wouldn’t we WANT to review that title? I think we have to be careful about bringing old console prejudices and stereotypes into the new technology. Because consoles are evolving. I say that IF we see future sim titles for future console systems with worthy physics modeling, controls and gameplay emerge in the market, we should review them. We didn’t mention it, but at E3 we saw that OFP is being adapted to consoles. What if Bohemia makes OFP2 into a robust console version in 2007, and includes code for keyboard and mouse or Nostromo pad, etc control? Should we poo-poo that game and play the role of PC title-only snob? I think not. Ditto for the day that GTR gets fully ported to console, without losing it’s hard-core Sim Physics Mode. Keep an open mind for the future, as the PC and console merge, is all I’m saying.

Beach mentioned the music videos, the 2-second cuts, and whether that group could grow into hard-core simulations

I see what you’re saying, but I have to say – I grew up on MTV 2-second video cuts. MTV made it’s debut as I got ready to enter college, so most of us simmer’s have been in that culture. And frankly, 90% of the current content on MTV and VH1, etc. is not music videos. Top that off with some music videos I’ve made for the F-14 community, and I’d say that this is not a factor in game decisions. But the assessment that society is going A.D.D on us is valid, and our broadband Internet, reality-TV, Headline News society is a big part of that. It caters to peoples natural tendency towards laziness and the need for instant gratification without personal effort. But that’s another discussion topic!

guod, you said that at the rate store displays for PC games have diminished we’ll soon be guying sims from a vending machine or digital download.

Or buying them online from Amazon. But look at the music industry’s predictions about how we’ll buy music in a few years — pretty much just digital downloads. You can already do that a number of ways, but if they can keep a lid on IT security, think of the cost savings of not making CDs and labels and printing, shipping and displaying them in a store. Keep in mind the “sci-fi” future of electronic entertainment as all the forms TV, movie rentals, music, games all merge into one entertainment “system”. Downloads could be the future.

Dart, you said something about a console becoming a PC with a TV hooked up to it instead of a monitor.

"Amen, brother. Great perspective."Amen, brother. Great perspective. Consoles aren’t absorbing PCs, they’re gradually BECOMING PCs themselves specifically, affordable ‘gaming rigs’ for the masses that are easier and cheaper for developers to code for. Like many of you, I have a home PC rig for the family to use as a PC, MS Office, Internet, etc., and I have a high-tech, home-built rig that just plays games. No productivity software, just sims. Essentially it’s a $2000 console that plays the games I like. What if MS could make a “gaming rig” console that played DVD movies, did Tivo, download and organized your music collection, AND played IL-2 FB, or GTR for less than $1000? This will be an interesting evolution to watch.

Again, superb discussion. You are all clearly superior individuals. It’s great to be part of a group like this. Now we need to think of how we can leverage our insight, part of which is captured here, to help the community survive and grow.

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