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MUZIK
07-26-2011, 11:28 AM
Just curious. Does anyone know why there has rarely been any good flight simulation games on consoles?

My theory was always that consoles just didnt have the processing power to handle what seemed to me to be more complex games.

But these days you still dont find the top of the line flight games on consoles and I dont believe that processing power could be the reason.

So what is it? Did the console makers just give up on the flight genre because of lack of sales or are there technical reasons?

Stiletto-
07-26-2011, 12:25 PM
There are a few reasons I'm sure. One reason is the same reason you don't see any real racing sims on a console, they are very difficult with a steep learning curve. Many people don't have the patience to learn a simulation.

Another thing is most people use a gamepad. While I know someone who flys IL-2 pretty decently with an xbox 360 pad, he also uses his keyboard for all the extra controls that are necessary in a flight sim. Even with a dedicated Hotas connected to your console (I believe there is a Saitek X45 variant) you still do not have enough buttons for all the things necessary.

I have a wireless keyboard hooked up to my PS3 for browsing and netflix, I guess if you could sell the game with a keyboard or some kind of control device that would enable all the functions needed, it would be better but people still expect to be able to play any game they buy with just a gamepad.

As for the processing power of consoles, when consoles first come out they are usually pretty close to high grade computers, well meeting the system requirements of a modern flight sim. If you look at our current crop of consoles now though, they are heavily outdated and downright ugly compared to ports of the same game if available on the PC, flight sims asside. That being said, simulations are more processor intensive than most games and im sure most modern flight sims would strain it more than most other newer PC type games. Cliffs of Dover, Rise of Flight, DCS: A-10 or ARMA 2 would struggle or be unplayable on a modern console. Of course they wouldn't just port it over and try to make it exactly the same, they would work with the hardware and optimize what works best, with many compromises along the way. It wouldn't look like the PC version of any of those games, but I'm sure it could be playable and fun.

Look at Crysis 2 compared to how Crysis 1 was on the PC. Unfortunately they nerfed the PC version on that one too to cut down on development time for all systems, though I think they later patched the PC to give it graphic enhancements similar to the first Crysis. That was a great comparison between the first and second game to see how you have to change things to make it run on a console though, and notice one big thing is that Crysis 2 had alot of closer enviroments with buildings all around you. Crysis 1 had alot more wide open spaces. Alot more objects to render when you can see much farther, similar to our flight sims.

But besides this and consoles short-comings, you have to look at games like IL-2 Birds of Prey and Hawx and Hawx 2. They may not be realistic flight simulators and they may not be as demanding as the current PC flight sim titles but the environments are similar and they work alright.

So really, I would just say it is totally the wrong market. They don't have enough buttons, most console gamers don't have the patience to learn all the controls and commands, nor the time to fly CAP for 45 minutes without shooting something every 20 seconds.

People that play flight sims, have always done so on some form of personal computer, that is where all the flight sims have come out and it has never changed. This goes hand in hand with many other mature genres that are only possible on the PC. There isn't a market on a console simply because a person that would actually pick up the game box after seeing it next to Madden '11 or Gears of War would be thoroughly disappointed. When he runs out of rockets after firing 8 of them and his engine blows up because he wasn't above 3000 meters before engaging his GM-1, he is going to tell everyone the game is garbage.

Ba5tard5word
07-26-2011, 03:32 PM
Ace Combat 04 for ps2 was pretty fun back in the day, but it is a totally arcade game. The ground terrain always looked pretty realistic.

Bearcat99
07-26-2011, 04:30 PM
You will find console sims becoming more popular when:

You can use all the peripherals that you can with PC sims ie TIR, pedals, Full HOTAS, and even some form of device link.

You can build and add your own missions to the sim.

You can make and add your own skins to the sim.

The scalability goes from arcade.. which most console sims are already, to having things like stalls and wind modeled and damage down to near component level.


Until these things at least are possible in console sims they will not be popular with simmers and arcade is only fun for so long.

MUZIK
07-26-2011, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by Stiletto-:
There are a few reasons I'm sure...


I pay no attention to console specs and as little attention to PC specs as possible, so I have to confirm. You're saying that current consoles are not even close to an average gaming PC these days?

I am in no hurry to buy a console and I dont play video games other than flight sims too aften. As I said I am just curious.

But I still cant see how it wouldnt be more profitable for any game developer to market to console makers rather than PC only.

It could not be that difficult to make joysticks, keyboards, or any other peripherals for a console. As you said, it has already been done.

I agree that the majority of console users tend seek games that are lower on the maturity scale.

But consoles have always provided the best graphics and the most hassle free method of gaming in the home.

To say that console makers are rejecting this genre and the income it could provide because of the maturity level of their average consumer seems absurd. I am not saying you are wrong, I am only hoping to hear more details.

I havent paid much attention to the console version of IL2, that was Birds of Prey?

How did it turn out? Did it have less content than the PC version of that time? If so, does anyone know why they made the decisions they made?

WTE_Galway
07-26-2011, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by MUZIK:

I havent paid much attention to the console version of IL2, that was Birds of Prey?

How did it turn out? Did it have less content than the PC version of that time? If so, does anyone know why they made the decisions they made?

It was not a console version of IL2. It was a totally separate arcade style flight simulator developed by a separate company and separate programming team for a different platform and market. As far as I know the only connection was they licensed the game-engine/flight-models from Maddox games.

Stiletto-
07-27-2011, 12:06 AM
Considering that the PS3 came out in November of 2006 and the Xbox 360 came out in November of 2005, they both have VERY VERY old hardware. The Nvidia Xenos gpu on the 360 is something equivalent to a 7000 series card. Very old by todays standards. They get by because the game developers can tailor made everything to the hardware since everyone uses the same equipment.

From a business standpoint, I would totally release games on consoles too just to bring in extra cash flow (then again maybe I wouldn't because I am somewhat of a PC snob and I would want all possible sales going to help computer games), but to re-configure the code so your flight sim works on a console and trying to get all the advanced things you need running in simulation game, it would take many many man hours. It would be almost like building a whole new game. Without the sales to backup the development time, its probably wouldn't be worth and the man hours are probably better spend on the next title for PC.

Treetop64
07-27-2011, 08:22 AM
Console flight simulators...

...is an oxymoron.

Ba5tard5word
07-27-2011, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by MUZIK:
But consoles have always provided the best graphics

What? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

No, just no. Consoles can't even really do anti-aliasing, and most 360 or ps3 games are still in 720p. You get a ton more graphics options on pc, more resolution options, and overall the graphics are just better, especially now that the consoles have been out for about 5-6 years now with zero graphical upgrades. PC's are more complicated and there is definitely a learning curve in figuring out how to pick the best parts and how to fiddle with the graphics options, but once you get through the swamp you're in total control and it's a much better experience than on consoles.

Treetop64
07-28-2011, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MUZIK:
But consoles have always provided the best graphics

What? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

No, just no. Consoles can't even really do anti-aliasing, and most 360 or ps3 games are still in 720p. You get a ton more graphics options on pc, more resolution options, and overall the graphics are just better, especially now that the consoles have been out for about 5-6 years now with zero graphical upgrades. PC's are more complicated and there is definitely a learning curve in figuring out how to pick the best parts and how to fiddle with the graphics options, but once you get through the swamp you're in total control and it's a much better experience than on consoles. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's a good thing you replied to his post before I did, Ba5tard5word. What a head shaker... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Joking there, MUZIK, but he's absolutely right.