Staff Roundtable: The Future of Simulations Part 1 – PC’s versus Consoles Page 5

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BeachAV8R (continued): Basically, I think you can make a simulation pretty, but you can’t force a pretty simulation to be fun and interesting.

Now, all of that said, I do think that our attention deficit society probably doesn’t in general have the attention span or desire to sit for hours on end playing something like Dangerous Waters or Silent Hunter III. Am I holding on to the golden age of flight simulations and grudgingly not letting go to the new reality? Perhaps so. I do know though that even though the young gun kids are coming on the scene with their Playstations and Xboxes, our generation has both the desire and the cash to play our kinds of sims on PCs. The people like me, who grew up during the days of MicroProse and SubLogic are reaching their “spending” years. I wouldn’t hesitate to plop down $100 for an awesome Tornado or Harrier sim… but there is obviously a point of diminishing returns there where units sold versus price per unit meet.

"I know... a pipe dream... the Dream Team of sims! "Maybe the PC simming industry will end up going through something like the airlines are going through. It might end up in the future that only a few airlines will survive and the rest will consolidate under their umbrellas. Perhaps the same will happen to the PC simming industry, these great minds will come together and become strong development studios. Who here wouldn’t love to see TK, Stormin’, Matt Wagner, Oleg and C.J. Martin work on a project together?! I know… a pipe dream… the Dream Team of sims!

I vote that we don’t embrace consoles at this time. I honestly can’t foresee a day that I would own a console simply because my investment of money in PCs goes beyond just playing games. I understand though that the day may come where the only new stuff coming out IS for consoles, and that will suck.

Uther: Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? Just add a console section. It would probably boost membership. We have a physics based PC on the way. When this sucker hits the market, or a year or so after, we are going to see a new phase of flight simming. Consoles are great, but there’s no modding like a PC. This includes files, peripherals, cockpits, and much more.

Maybe, we’ll see “Flight Sim consoles” come out, but I don’t think your run of the mill PS2, Xbox, etc, will come even close to what we have on PC right now… for many years.

I personally feel that consoles have reached their zenith and are beginning to wane. I also think that the best recruiting for flight sims and other hard core PC genres is consoles. I see it in my younger friends and family. They get tired of the console game fairly quick and look to something with more substance. Most of the console folks I know don’t even buy games anymore. They rent them for a month.

Example, I also play a game called NWN which is a D&D based PC title. I belong to a gaming group locally and watch them play several D&D console titles. Now they finish them off in a month and look for the release of the next title.

Now with NWN it is open architecture. My group has scripters, mappers, DM’s, 3d builders, music score creators, and players. With the toolset we create many of the modules made by Gary Gygax (RPG founder and legend). We can customize our worlds to fit our fancy.

This title has been going strong for several years. They constantly release new additions to it for 10 to 20 bucks and are planning a NWN2 which will also use the original NWN so no work done by modders is lost. The scope and membership of this title is absolutely enormous. To the point that no console could even come close to challenging it. Not in a decade or more at least.

It draws so many new people to our group we don’t have enough room for them on a server sometimes. They are flabbergasted by the amount of control we have over our game. After they have had a chance to get in to our world they rarely talk about console RPG’s anymore. When they do, it is leisure time on it. It cannot come close to the PC version.

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