I should disclose a couple of things about today’s column on Flight Simulator X.
First, a family friend works on the product but that had no influence on my reporting — I hadn’t seen the guy for 15 years until I ran into him at the game studio, after the column had already taken shape.
I went into a room with a couple of guys testing the system — an Italian version at the time — and one of them was Mike Lambert, who rode his bike across the country with my brother when they were teenagers. I probably won’t seem him for another 15 years, unless I buy the game — his face was used on one of the pilots.
Second, I’ve had a lot of e-mail from Mac users wanting to know if the game will run on their computers. I checked, and a Microsoft PR person said, “We have nothing to announce regarding a Mac version at this time.” That leaves open the possibility of one in the future, but for now they want people to buy the game and Windows Vista.
Of course, users of new Macs could also run a version of Windows XP and then run Flight Simulator on XP, but it probably wouldn’t have the oomph to show off the new graphics.
Third disclosure: The image we used in the paper shows a Kenmore Air seaplane flying over Elliott Bay, but the caption mentions Lake Union (you can fly over or land on Lake Union as well in the game). I wasn’t involved with that, but wanted to let folks know.
The thing that probably fired me up the most about Flight Simulator was the demonstrations I’d seen with those De Havilland Beaver seaplanes. I live close to Lake Union, and love seeing them fly over the Aurora Bridge every morning on their way to the San Juans.
If you’re interested in more screenshots or the free trial download, they’re available here.