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Published on April 9th, 2015 | by gareth

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Will Star Citizen Lead To A Rebirth Of Flight Simulators And Joysticks?

If all goes as planned, sometime later this year the Kickstarter funded Star Citizen by Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts will finally make its way PCs across the world. When we interviewed Roberts he told us that when he shopped the concept of the game to developers, he was essentially told that nobody had any interest in flight simulators and that he was wasting his time. Fortunately Roberts did list of them and thanks to incredibly successful crowd funding effort the game continues to grow and impress with each new piece of information that is revealed about it. I get to play a little bit of the game last year at E3 and it reminded me very much of the Wing Commander series as well as some of the other classic games that Roberts has created over the years. While I played the game with an Xbox controller, it was clear to me that the best option would be to use a joystick. Back to the days of the 386 and 486 powered computers, it was very common that you had a joystick for your system as aside from the previously mentioned games by Chris Roberts, Microsoft had their popular flight simulator series, and Sierra had the phenomenally popular Red Baron series as just a small indication of how popular the flying genre was. I remember putting in countless hours in the various Origin combat games and of course the beloved X-Wing and Tie Fighter series from LucasArts.

The biggest question I have is that should Star Citizen become a widespread success, will it lead to resurgence not only in flight combat games but in joystick controllers themselves? I for one certainly would love to see some updated space combat games based upon the new Star Wars films as well is the classic series, and you can bet that should Star Citizen be successful, companies that hold the rights to many classic aerials series will possibly be looking to jump aboard which could be the next big genre resurgence.

Advancements in technology certainly would allow for quality precision devices to be made available to the public at an affordable price as in the day, Value Line joysticks could be had for as little as $15 up. I think it will take more than the success of one game to jumpstart not only the flight simulator genre but the joystick industry, but indications are certainly there that it could happen. The biggest hurdle would be that Star Citizen is a PC only game was some hefty hardware and hard drive requirements if reports are to be believed. Sony and Microsoft are more than content to let you use their controllers for any flying games that are created for their systems as they see their controllers as an all-in-one solution for all gaming types. As any PC gamer will tell you, lot easier to play first-person shooter with mouse and keyboard compared to a game pad for those of us who grew up playing Doom and countless other shooters on our system.

In the end it will come down to a matter of practicality and financial feasibility and that a significant need will have to be established in order for the hardware industry to openly start pushing joysticks on the gaming market, but you can bet should the demand arise you will likely see a technological arms race amongst the major accessory providers to cash in on what could be the next emergent genre and market.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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