Microsoft FSX Beta Demo
In the middle of the convention were the Microsoft demonstration kiosks, each running a beta demo of FSX. The machines were Intel dual-core rigs, and it was even featured on a few Dell XPS laptops. Saitek furnished a handful of its X52 HOTAS controllers. A couple of the laptops were using the Xbox 360 controllers. “We’ve had several professional pilots actually say they prefer it.”, grins Brett Schnepf, one of the ACES studio members. Actually, he’s ACES studio’s Community & Partner Development Manager. “That’s a fancy way of saying ‘technology evangelist’.” Schnepf laughs.
You’ll be seeing a lot of enhanced graphics in this title. Let me be the first to say that the lines between what is real and what is virtual is going to be blurred beyond your wildest imagination. It was that real. The system specs will be tremendous. I asked Schnepf and Flight Sim Community Evangelist Hal Bryan what kind of specs you’ll need to run it. Bryan chuckled and said, “Please remember that min system requirements are written by Marketing,” he smiled, “obviously, the faster machine you can get, the better.”
Part of FSX will include ‘missions’ which are very similar to the ‘Adventures’ found in previous versions of Flight Simulator. “They’re mostly geared for the novice,” explains Bryan, “they’ll give the newcomer a reason to fly, instead of just getting into the air and saying, ‘great…now what?’” While you’re seeing a little more of a ‘game aspect’ in these, do not panic over the 360 controllers being on the kiosk, the team confirmed there are no plans for a 360 port…at least not now. FSX will ship with approximately 50 such scenarios and not all are meant for the neophyte aviator. “We have one where you’re going out to an oil rig in a helo to drop off an inspector and while you’re inbound, the rig explodes and now you have to rescue everyone off the rig.” Schnepf shivers, “It still gives me chills.”