Last weeks news that Microsoft had fired the entire MS Flight Sim development team, came as a shock to the entire Simulation community.Here is the staple Flight sim, one of Microsofts most succesfull products, and they decide to get rid of it. The sense of this has many analysts scratching their heads.
It does, however, present an interesting prospect. It means that for the next 3-4 years at least, the community and third-party products around MS Flight Sim will stabilize. That means that right now is a good time to go buy the last MS Flight sim product, FSX (Flight Simulator 10 )
Third-party add-on producers will be churning out a lot of products, now that they know the platform will not change for next few years.
I recently lamented what I perceived as the death of realistic combat flight sims, as I hardly ever heard mention of them in the mainstream gaming press.
I needed to look a little harder though, because as it turns out, there are in fact a LOT of products on the market right now, and more coming out in 2009. They are just not getting on the radar of the mainstream gaming press, and dont even seek to. They cater, as always to the nich market of sim enthusiasts.
Even a quick glance at a site such as SimHQ, shows that the market is, in fact, alive and well.
SimHQ RSS Feeds
I am slowly adding in some RSS feeds of Sim sites to my Google Reader (check the combined feed out here
I noticed that SimHQ’s mainpage doesnt provide any RSS feeds, so I made my owning using Feed43.
These feeds are very ugly screen scrapes, so don’t be surprised if they are buggy. The feeds only contain a title and the link, and its not always obvious what the content is about specifically.
DCS: Black Shark
Today I saw another thing that got me very interested.
It seems the DCS, the Russian-based company behind the very excellent Lock-On Modern Air Combat, have just released “Black Shack”, the first part of what they are calling their “Digital Combat Simulator”, a platform that they will be releasing more add-on products for in future.
The “Black Shark” is the Nato codename for the Kamov Ka-50 gunship
Fully interactive and highly realistic cockpit, super realistic flight model and avionics, see this page for details
In other words, there is a good chance that at some point in the next year, I will go out and get myself one of those Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS sets, and dig right back into these sims!