Monday, December 31, 2007

Business Week article on Microsoft ESP

Business Week have published an interesting article on Microsoft ESP - "Microsoft's Games Get Serious", highlighting the fact that it is the first time a major software company has entered the serious games arena. Serious games are games that are published for non entertainment purposes such as training and presentation.

It is an interesting and informative article and certainly serves to open one's eyes to the potential of the serious games. I must confess that prior to reading this article I was largely unaware of the serious games industry. The article points out that the serious games market has tripled since 2005 and is currently valued at $150M. The article also mentions the potential of the larger simulation and 3D modeling market which overlaps with serious games. Microsoft estimates this market to be worth $9 billion.

Northrop Grumman's involvement in the beta testing of ESP is also discussed in the article. One team used ESP to create a prototype of an aviation training simulation game in 3 days, that would otherwise have taken 18 months from scratch.

Anyway the article is certainly worth reading

I would venture the opinion that all this bodes well for the future of Microsoft Simulation products, including FS entertainment products. It will (hopefully) also benefit the 3rd party flight sim developer community over time, and open many possibilities.

The article states that ESP will be launched on January 1 2008. Microsoft will present the final version of ESP at the Serious Games Summit at GDC, February 2008.

Relevant links:

Also ESP team member 'Beatle'

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Back on Deck.... well.... sort of ;)

It's been quite a while since I posted here, this being my first post since leaving hospital following surgery. I can now sit at a computer a little bit more now. I still have to get up and walk around every half hour or so and have to make sure I don't spend too much time sitting during the day. Walking is good for me.

I hope to commence more frequent posts both to this blog and also my other blogs. I am also slowly getting onto 3D modeling again. It is hard to get into after such a long lay-off. Six weeks is a long time ;)

A few interesting developments occurred when I was out of the loop - the release of Microsoft ESP , and more recently FSX SP2, along with more controversy in various flight sim forums.

I hope to blog my own thoughts on the future of MS simulations in future blog articles.

Enough for now.