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New Racing Simulation Distances Itself From Gamers

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the serious-business dept.

PC Games (Games) 208

waderoush writes "In an unusual move that could alienate a large segment of potential customers, iRacing.com, an online racing simulation company that opened its site to the public on August 26, is calling its system a 'driver development tool' that isn't designed for PC or console gamers. 'We don't think of ourselves as a game company,' says one exec. 'World of Warcraft has a real appeal...But our system is more serious, frankly. If you are serious about racing, our product is for you, because getting on a [simulated] track with a full field of other drivers and racing against them safely involves as much commitment and time investment as if you went to racing school.' In fact, to distinguish its system from MMOs, the company has come up with a new acronym to describe its simulation: MMIS, for 'massively multiparticipant Internet sport.'"

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208 comments

Can you say publicity stunt? (5, Funny)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781109)

I think you can.
Come on. Oh we are too good to be called a game, but come play it. Give me a break.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781497)

You make fun of it, but it's a real issue.

Have you ever been in game development? If so, what was the reaction of people outside the IT biz when you told them you're making games?

Creating games is usually a whole lot more complicated and requires a lot more knowledge and experience than the average business application, due to quite a few reasons. You need considerable mathematic knowledge, you need(ed) good assembler skills, you need to know a lot about the APIs you're working with, your code is incredibly time critical so optimization is a core issue for you, etc. All that and more does not apply at all to business apps. I've seen people in business app development that went straight out of some sort of evening school and were put behind a project to create productive code, with little care about stability, safety or reliability. Some bozo at Q&A will do that.

Yet when you talk with people outside the biz, the guy doing business apps will certainly get a lot more credibility than you, who're "only" making toys.

I can see why a company does not want to be associated with "toys", that their product is a "serious" racing simulation. Whether it's a marketing stunt is debatable. It certainly is. I just doubt it's just to get some publicity. I can very well see why a company would want to put some distance between themselves and the "toys".

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781607)

And I thought they were just trying to appeal to the elitist instinct in many gamers.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (5, Funny)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781959)

Unlike the rest of you, I am not an elitist.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783073)

Hey, not all of us play Eve-Online.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (5, Informative)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782161)

Creating games is usually a whole lot more complicated and requires a lot more knowledge and experience than the average business application

I would prefer to say different rather than harder. Creating business apps also requires some skills that are not found in games, for example : disentangling the business rules, interacting with users, making sense of the 20 year old system which consists of cobol-programs, jcl, ... all written by 20 different people which aren't there anymore, and you're stuck with a database which is a melting pot of 3 older systems ...

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784041)

Have you seen some of these mmo's?

I used to do accounting application support and some games have business rules that are as complex as the games I've played.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24782629)

I bet iRacing is going to be no more of a realistic racing simulation than Forza or GT. In fact, I'll eat my own dick if is a better simulation than either of those games.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782935)

You see this elsewhere in the gaming world. In europe, there is a huge market for historical simulations for obsessed history buffs. They could tell you how heavy a particular shell fired in WW1 was, how long it took to forge an average pike, death rates in small vs large villages in the renissance, etc. And of course there are a lot of different names to these things (historical simulations, etc) to try to differentiate these from the more casual "games" people play.

In America, we have groups of people obsessed with flight simulators. These are both the people who take 8-hours on a saturday to fly from Boston Logan to SFO in their kitchen, and the more esoteric people who take 3 months to fly a moon mission. Sure, you could call Microsoft Flight Simulator a game, but it is more accurately described as either a Simulator, or a Borderline Creepy Obsession.

Calling a game which requires that kind of creepy dedication a "sport" doesn't seem all that far off from a categorization standpoint, and it helps them to connect their game with people looking for that kind of thing. I can't comment on the game itself, but this positioning seems understandable.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781521)

It's the same thing as, say, Microsoft Flight Simulator as compared to Crimson Skies. Both are "flying simulations," but Crimson Skies is obviously a game, while Flight Sim is designed to run as accurately and realistically as possible.

I don't see why there's any confusion here at all. What they're offering is a racing simulation that isn't designed to be a video game, it's designed to be as realistic as possible. Even "realistic" racing sims on consoles aren't all that realistic if you look at how they handle collisions (for example).

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781907)

Your probably on to something here. I'm betting they want to make this distinction early on so when the start banning people who cause crashes or drive recklessly, they can say see, I told you.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (3, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781523)

Pubwiictstund..

No, I can't. Damnit! There goes your funny mod.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (2, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781549)

Maybe... but I truly hope it isn't a publicity stunt, but rather a simulator.

I remember buying the original Need For Speed 'game' and enjoying the relatively realistic simulation they pulled off. Ever since then every game out there has been about arcade style play. I do think there is a market for those of us that want simulator style racing/driving games, and why not make it an online community thing.

The new acronym they came up with to describe it, now that was just stupid. But perhaps it helped get some VC money... so I'm willing to put up with it, if they deliver a good simulator.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Xner (96363) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781963)

Need for speed? Realistic? You were obviously not playing the same game I was.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (2, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782139)

Road and Track's The Need For Speed released in 1994 was for the time, pretty realistic simulator on a 486 PC. All other NFS titles since then have been eye-candy arcade style, but if the original was certainly aiming for the simulator feel (even if it wasn't as realistic as it could have been). NFS porsche unleashed attempted to go back in the realism direction as well, but EA killed it and instead went for the stupid wannabe street racer modding crowd, with arcade physics. I just hope no stupid kid plays the game and then tries to drive his Honda Civic at 150km/h on city streets. The GT series on the Playstation 2 was about the only other game I can think of that wasn't pure arcade crap.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783311)

I just hope no stupid kid plays the game and then tries to drive his Honda Civic at 150km/h on city streets.

... actually, you should just hope that kid removes ONLY himself from the gene pool.

Then, we'd all get what we want... No more damn kids on my lawn!!!

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (5, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782285)

iRacing is simply the MMO business model applied to the racing genre. Sadly a bunch of my race sim buddies have fallen for Dave Kaemmer's bullshit and subscribed. However the reviews I'm hearing from folk are primitive graphics etc...

Papyrus know how to do racing physics. Grand Prix Legends is ten years old and still holds it's own on the current crop of sims from ISI, Simbin etc... But this just screams of publicity stunt. It's basically a subscription based ranking system. It's kinda like a virtual SCCA.

Dave Kaemmer stuck a stake through the heart of the NR2003 community when iRacing first came into being as First Racing, and threatened a bunch of folk with lawsuits, actually DID take Tim McArthur to court if I recall (ultimately settled out of court), just so they could reuse code from NR2003 for this thing. Apparently modding a now five year old video game was somehow damaging their business. They changed their name to iRacing after all the bad publicity of threatening their potential customers with legal action.

I'll stick to sims made by DECENT companies who don't screw their users over, thanks.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783335)

Grand Prix Legends is ten years old and still holds it's own on the current crop of sims from ISI, Simbin etc...

... STUNT is a good driving sim, with good physics that holds its own as well. And it runs on hardware that is 20 years old.

Can't beat that... unless you're driving a real car, I suppose (oh, now I sound like those anti-guitar hero 'tards...)

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24783375)

It's kinda like a virtual SCCA

So does that mean when they tech your car (inspect it) and find out you're cheating, they look at your points, and if your near the top you can get away with cheating? I'm involed w/ SCCA racing, and it is horribly corrupt.

If you're a 'name' in the series you can cheat anyway you wish, if you're a nobody they bust your balls over legal shit, and if you make a stink about it, they just say "it's in the judgment of the race steward". SCCA are a bunch of assholes.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (2, Informative)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783809)

Howdy.

Try out any title made by Simbin on the PC: GTR, GT Legends, GTR2, and RACE.

GTR is FIA GT1 and GT2 cars, like in Lemans.
GTR2 is more of the same.

GT Legends is FIA GTC65, GTC76 and TC65 classes in a game.

RACE I believe is WTCC racing.

They are very realistic and have a pretty active community. They also support a clutch pedal and H-pattern shifter setup, if you have one.

Disclaimer: I don't work for Simbin, I'm just an avid racing sim gamer.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782735)

They're not a game, just like Marget Atwood doesn't write science fiction [sfwriter.com]

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Dave Tucker Online (1310703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782855)

It is just like an advertisement I saw for weight loss pills. "This is only for people who are serious about losing weight, not for people who just want to lose a few pounds."

You make your product seem so good that it is only for some elite group - and everybody will want it.

Re:Can you say publicity stunt? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783563)

Come on. Oh we are too good to be called a game, but come play it. Give me a break.

Yeah, it may be a publicity stunt, but I don't know if it's a well thought-out one. Is the number of people who want something even more extreme than present racing sims really that large? How many of those are going to readily say "Why yes I -am- an elitist, thank you for marketing to me"?

I read the headline and translated it as "New Racing Simulation Distances Itself From Money".

Does it come with Hooked on Phonix too? (3, Funny)

nickswitzer (1352967) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781111)

'MMIS, for 'massively multiparticipant Internet sport.' That is one hell of a tongue twister.

Re:Does it come with Hooked on Phonix too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781323)

I read it as "muh-miss"

As in, they muh-muh-muh-missed any hope of profitability.

Re:Does it come with Hooked on Phonix too? (1)

Neil Jansen (955182) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781375)

No but it comes with a complimentary copy of "Hooked On Monkey Fonics" [southparkstudios.com] . If your monkey arrived in the box dead, call 1-800-555-4500 to get a new monkey. Ready? Let's begin."

Re:Does it come with Hooked on Phonix too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781789)

Not if you call it MMPIS Massively Multi-Participant Internet Sport Simulation

Phonics Online Community (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783241)

'MMIS, for 'massively multiparticipant Internet sport.' That is one hell of a tongue twister.

And now you've gotten Slashdotters to participate in a Massively Mutating Tongue Exercise (MMTE).

I like it! (2, Insightful)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781119)

As an autocrosser (SCCA SOLO II), I must say, most "racing" games don't really take the edge off in the winter. Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2 did an OK job, but not a great one. I look forward to this nice little niche. =)

Re:I like it! (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781419)

same here.. although looks like they are going to rape the money out of you

Re:I like it! (1)

cjanota (936004) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782057)

Try R-Factor. It has many more cars and classes. It also has tones of tracks (both user-made and official.)

Re:I like it! (1)

Warshadow (132109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782883)

You should get involved in SCCA Road Rally during the winter months. It's a blast.

Re:I like it! (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782929)

I somehow don't think my poor Integra would do too well on rough terrain. :)

Re:I like it! (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783349)

... but that's *why* you 'play' in the winter, you get to experience the full effects of an amazing physics engine!

Re:I like it! (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784211)

too bad the local SCCA rallyx group shutsdown way to early in the VA area, while the guys further south and further north run most of the year.

Re:I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24783509)

Gran Turismo is very arcade. The sim racing games are already here.

Try GTR Revolution for example, but don't try it without a steering wheel and pedals!

First Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781137)

I tell you...some day, I'd love to have a job in marketing!!! Bunch of wackos I tell ya!

A better headline: (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781139)

New MMO startup is completely full of itself, wants to sell you overpriced hardware.

It's clear that this is a game, they're just targeting it to people who normally sneer at "gamers", and who have a lot of disposable income.

Re:A better headline: (4, Informative)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781215)

Yeah. From the article, it's a $20 monthly or $156 annual subscription. THEN, to get anything more than absolutely shitty cars (Pontiac Solstice??) and shitty tracks you have to buy your way up.

Re:A better headline: (2, Interesting)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781917)

Solstice is an oddball choice. Miata would have been a better one for that class of car. Looks like they're associated with Skip Barber Racing Schools, which leans towards using Mazdas. They're based out of Laguna Seca, which is a Mazda sponsered/owned track (not sure on the exact ownership status), and they use Miatas in their racing program. I see they also have the Formual Skip Barber 2000 in their car list.

Tracks look like they're heavily set on American tracks. Silverstone is the only European track that sticks out to me, and I don't notice any Japaneese tracks. There's still plenty of good tracks in that list (like Laguna Seca and Road America), but I tend to think that a racing sim without Nurburgring Nordschliefe is only half finished (GT5 Prologue, I'm looking at you).

While not perfect, the Gran Turismo series is good enough for race training, IMHO, provided you combine it with a good racing wheel. You won't learn everything you need to know, but you can learn shift points, braking points, oversteer/understeer, overtaking, track layouts, drafting, and being able to think fast enough to keep up with the speedier cars. Just keep in mind its limitations (like imperfect tire physics and lack of a damage model) and you can learn quite a lot of the fundamentals.

Re:A better headline: (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784099)

that's the point of GT5 prologue, IT IS half finished.

Re:A better headline: (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781991)

Very interested...

But i want to know more about buying the upgrades before i get wrapped up in a new game of this level. Seems to be zero info. $2, $20, $$$ at least they could say from $x to $y but it seems you have to plunk down at least $20 to even find out :(

Re:A better headline: (3, Funny)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782927)

THEN, to get anything more than absolutely shitty cars (Pontiac Solstice??) and shitty tracks you have to buy your way up.

Well, as this is a simulation and not a game, I expect you will be able to sell advertising on your rig to make up for the extra purchasing costs.

-l

Re:A better headline: (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781693)

I'm not sure they're full of themselves so much as trying a marketing gimmick they know to be a gimmick. So maybe it's that they think the public is full of themselves, which some of the racing fans probably are.

Many games try to claim they're not part of a genre. The guys who made metroid prime 3 were trying to say it was an entirely new genre, a first-person adventure, not a first person shooter. I mean, sure, you shoot in it, but this is an adventure, not like doom or anything. Of course, this was more for elitist fans. If you liked FPS, it made no difference. If you are part of the growing "videogame hipster" culture (you play games but act like you have better tastes than average gamers, distaining popular games like Halo in favor of more obscure games) then that might make a difference to you. "I don't play FPS, those are lame and for frat boys. I do play FPAs though."

So I think you're closer with the second part, but I kind of doubt the company itself doesn't realize it's a videogame.

Re:A better headline: (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782063)

Many games try to claim they're not part of a genre.

They certainly are part of a genre, but a genre which pretty much died out years ago and was never existent on consoles to begin with, we used to call those games 'simulations'. You might remember the kind of 'games' that tries to make things primary real, not making them primary fun (i.e. no leveling up, no primary focus on graphic, no unlockables, etc.). Its pretty obvious why they try to distance themselves from the rest, since most of what qualifies as 'simulations' these days is really pretty laughable when it comes to 'simulation', just look at Grand Turismo, it has all the graphic superiority money can buy, but you can still drive into a wall at 300mph and not have a scratch on your car, even Pitfall2 on the C64 was more realistic then that when it comes to crashes.

One might of course still call the result a video game, but a simulation is still quite a different kind of genre that pretty much all other.

Re:A better headline: (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782707)

I think the lack of crashes is not a failure of simulation, it's an artifact of it being a simulation. Crashing is part of the real-life experience of racing, but then again so is driving to the track, doing days upon days of maintenence to the engine and car, time trials, getting endorsements, giving interviews, making professional connections... in other words, there's a lot that goes into real-world racing that's not racing.

You wouldn't want that in a racing simulator because that's boring.

Much the same, crashes are arguably not important for a racing simulation. Sure they're something you can DO while racing. And it's definitely arguable that while racing if you do go off the track and run into a wall at top speed, the race should be over to provide a more realistic experience. But that's a choice they made. If that really ruins your simulation, you have the option to quit the race.

In gran turismo 2 I do remember that in some cases, the lack of crashes does actually work to your benefit, which is a failure of simulation. Some corners it was much much faster to skid along the wall than to actually brake and corner realistically. That did cheapen the experience. But I seem to remember that they fixed that in later games, touching a wall was not to your advantage. I didn't play them as much, so I could be off.

Not putting realistic crashes into the game does not mean it's a failure of RACING simulation, just that it's not accurate in the non-racing parts. You want crashes, play burnout.

Re:A better headline: (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783055)

Much the same, crashes are arguably not important for a racing simulation.

Sorry, but that is quite seriously complete and utter bullshit. When you don't have crashes you have no penalty for driving into walls and other cars and when you don't have that penalty such crazy unrealistic driving becomes a valid practice to race around the track faster and to take over opponents, turning what might have been a reasonable simulation into a game of bumper cars. And no, they didn't fixed that, since I used that tactic throughout all of Grand Turismo games I have played, include 4 and it works just as well as ever.

Take GRID for example a game that might be quite a bit more arcady then GT, but actually does feature crashes, still not very realistic ones, but realstic enough that driving your car into a wall ends your race. Switching from GT to GRID required me to rethink my driving tactics pretty much completly because all that bullshit that GT trained me no longer worked, my car would be a wreak after the first turn with my GT driving behavior.

Not putting realistic crashes into the game does not mean it's a failure of RACING simulation, just that it's not accurate in the non-racing parts.

Crashes are a major part of racing, I have yet to see a single Formula 1 race where all cars end up over the finish line, it simply never happens, since vehicle are fragile in reality, not indestructible pieces of video game goo.

Re:A better headline: (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783389)

I thought they cut crashes because the car companies didn't want to license the image of a damaged vehicle - they only way they could show off a car was in perfect, pristine form. I guess they think that we'll come to believe that their cars are indestructible in real life too..

Re:A better headline: (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781851)

New MMO startup is completely full of itself, wants to sell you overpriced hardware.

As opposed to /. pundits so full of themselves. Well, we know the drill.

Re:A better headline: (1)

archen (447353) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782073)

It's clear that this is a game, they're just targeting it to people who normally sneer at "gamers", and who have a lot of disposable income.

Very wrong. When I saw the headline I knew it would be about iRacing. These guys have dumped a LOT of money into the physics engine that runs the game. They have also spent a hell of a lot of money surveying real tracks so that they are accurate and detailed.

My friend brought this up to me about a year ago, and I blew it off as a dotcom scheme. However they have actually persisted and I have to admit it is NOT vaporware.

Think about this. How many racing simulators are there now? Not "arcade style" race games, but real simulators? My friend suddenly decided to drag me to best buy because he decided he wanted to find a racing game for his PC and buy a new steering wheel. I noted that he probably wouldn't even be able to buy a wheel, and sure enough they didn't have any.

This isn't geared towards gamers, it's geared towards people who want to race - and in a visualized environment. I can't say much about overpricing, but at this point they have pretty much no competition. For those who really do race, this could be a pretty powerful tool. Not only to get a good feel for how to corner on turns if you've never been on a particular track, but possibly change settings to see how you would fare on the same track with rain for instance. Assuming the realism/physics are all they trumpet them to be. It's a risky niche to try, but they seem to think they can pull this off.

Guys (3, Interesting)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781153)

Stop taking yourself so seriously and lighten up a little bit. Requiring a subscription and a racing wheel should be enough to weed out the mad 1337 gamers. Do you really think all the WoW people are going to suddenly poo their pants over a racing game?

Re:Guys (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781635)

Might be worth a try since it seems to limit the idiots a tad. If i can ever get my wheel calibrated correctly.

I wonder how they 'require' a wheel? Does it check? That implies only certain wheels. Mine is not really name brand and the company only does profession sims now and bailed on the retail altogether. And do i have to actually use it? lol, faster with joystick usually :)

Funny timing, i just tried out my wheel last night after a year.

Re:Guys (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781727)

Stop taking yourself so seriously and lighten up a little bit. Requiring a subscription and a racing wheel should be enough to weed out the mad 1337 gamers. Do you really think all the WoW people are going to suddenly poo their pants over a racing game?

Um, I figure 1337 gamers would be the only ones interested in their game. Why? Quite simple. Who else already has a racing wheel? Um, only 1337 gamers. I don't even have a racing wheel, and I have a few car games.

Actually, I'm curious if any racing people/fans will actually get excited over this. I find myself mixed on that one. They seem to be targeting the hard core realistic car sim crowd rather than arcade physics racing. Um, I bet there is a niche for this, but I don't know if it is large enough to support them. I'd think that the niche for arcade physics or online multiplayer mario cart would be far larger than the sim racing people. I think that the actual racing people would still be shilling out for real cars rather than virtual cars. If they try to copy the normal lets start the player/user off with something crappy and work their way up, then they might find many people that were once excited by this decide to just tinker on their own cars rather than spend the time/effort to upgrade their virtual cars.

Virtual stuff of things that we could never actually own or play with in real life is fun. Virtual stuff of things that we do or could own and have to work at more than our real world stuff ain't nearly as fun. ;)

Re:Guys (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782603)

Who else already has a racing wheel? Um, only 1337 gamers.

Nintendo has sold a lot more than 1,337 copies of Mario Kart Wii in each region, each with an adapter to convert a Wii Remote into a Bluetooth racing wheel.

Re:Guys (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782767)

Nintendo has sold a lot more than 1,337 copies of Mario Kart Wii in each region, each with an adapter to convert a Wii Remote into a Bluetooth racing wheel.

Well of course Nintendo is a smart game company. This company is turning their nose up at the entire Mario Kart audience though. I'd think that this company would want to sell it's own classy sim racing wheel and pedals though.

Re:Guys (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783611)

Well sure, but the Wii Wheel isn't really the kind of wheel you'd expect someone to use if they were seriously into racing simulations. It's not terribly realistic, since it's not attached to anything and has no ability to do any sort of real force feedback. I like it fine for things like Mario Kart and Speed Racer, but I'm not a serious racing simulation fan. If I were, I'd expect I'd want something with a base that offered an experience closer to a real steering wheel with resistance and vibration and all that sort of thing.

Re:Guys (1)

Wowlapalooza (1339989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784089)

Who else already has a racing wheel? Um, only 1337 gamers.

Nintendo has sold a lot more than 1,337 copies of Mario Kart Wii in each region, each with an adapter to convert a Wii Remote into a Bluetooth racing wheel.

Links for the clueless: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet [wikipedia.org]

Re:Guys (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783395)

1337 gamers aren't the target market.
1337 gamers with more money than brains are the target market.

Eh (1)

Now.Imperfect (917684) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781195)

"have are you a member of any sort of racing organization? Have you ever even been in a Solstice?"
"no but I play iRacing"

... can you even get any more cliche than adding an "i" to the beginning of your name?

Re:Eh (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781625)

They coulda called it eRacing.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781911)

They coulda called it eRacing.

I will eRace you!

Re:Eh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24782907)

eWhatever is so 1990's, iWhatever is so 2000's. We need something for the 2010's....perhaps oWhatever?

Re:Eh (2, Funny)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783427)

I think that's supposed to be Racing v2.0 or someshit.

Not a game. So? (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781203)

The only difference between this and a hard-core flight sim (whose players --pardon, enthusiasts-- have been known to sink multiple thousands into a simulated cockpit) that I can see, is that your tires aren't supposed to leave the ground.

Now, that silly MMIS acronym? That's 100% publicity stunt.

Re:Not a game. So? (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781279)

I was going to say something similar. Is this an attempt to be the car racing version of Xplane or MSFS, but with a multi-player element?

A-Holes Unite! (1)

eagee (1308589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781251)

Hey this is great! This game sounds like an A-Hole magnet! Consequently, that means less A-Holes in other games, and more fun for the rest of us!

Re:A-Holes Unite! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781379)

So who will I play Halo 3 against now? :-(

halo three (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782625)

So who will I play Halo 3 against now?

Trent Reznor [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A-Holes Unite! (2, Funny)

Zephyn (415698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782381)

"Hey this is great! This game sounds like an A-Hole magnet! Consequently, that means less A-Holes in other games, and more fun for the rest of us!"

Actually this 'non-game' seems targeted at the sort that believes putting an i in front of the name magically makes it superior, along with the people who use it. Perhaps 'i-Holes' would be a more accurate expression.

Re:A-Holes Unite! (1)

eagee (1308589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783799)

LOL! Ok, I'm using that from now on. You're a genius.

Virtual win = real respect? (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781403)

Their statement is silly and can be ignored, but the idea of an online racing league leads to an interesting question:

Supposing a lot of the winners turn out to be "gamers" (not race drivers in real life), would such an accomplishment give them any kind of head start into a real racing career?

Dissenting opinion (oh no) (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781471)

A game is a game is a game... whether you call it a simulation or a VE or a VR...

Or maybe not.

I've had the opportunity to go on a track a couple times, and have also driven a couple interesting cars. My take is that the games are really a lot of fun, but don't quite give the same experience as, you know, real life. For example, accelerate hard from a stop and some cars will torque steer, some start to fishtail, some compensate electronically. When I shift gears I often go more by the sound of the engine rather than the RPM gauge because it's easier for me. Some of the games do this, but others match the sound to the speedometer rather than the tachometer.

I'm not saying I'm anything but an average guy who has in interest in cars, but I enjoy figuring out how each car responds. That's missing in some of the games I've played. Not that that's a bad thing, just a different goal than a simulation.

Sport? (4, Funny)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781503)

If driving in a hot car for 5 hours @188MPH isn't considered a sport... ...sitting in front of your computer for 5 hours DEFINITELY IS.

Re:Sport? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783409)

... it is an endurance event!

Simulated Racing Track (3, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781529)

If you are serious about racing, our product is for you, because getting on a [simulated] track with a full field of other drivers and racing against them safely involves as much commitment and time investment as if you went to racing school.

I don't know about you, but nothing gets my adrenaline running like feeling those virtual G's I pull when taking sharp turns. I mean, seriously, that shit is more realistic than driving my sports car on the open roads.

Maybe it's not a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781695)

I didn't RTFA, but I'd just like to say that saying "it's a simulation, not a game" is a statement of design goals. I take it to mean, "There are people who prefer realism to gameplay, and we are targeting those people." It means that unless I value that realism, I might have more fun elsewhere. Not sure how elitist they're spinning that, but at its core it's a valuable bit of information about the software. ... that said, doesn't seem like news...

Similar to my own project (3, Funny)

dorix (414150) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781701)

I like how these guys think. I too am producing a serious online simulation project that isn't really aimed at lowly "gamers".

My "iShitting" bowel movement simulation is an exciting new way to experience the joy of a good crap with thousands of friends from all around the world. iShitting will allow serious shitters to compete in such areas as Stench, Log Size, Color, and Composition (with bonus points awarded for visible undigested food, gum, etc). World of Warcraft has a real appeal... but seriously, folks, do you think that somebody who pretends to be an elf has what it takes to produce (and survive) the truly gargantuan masterpieces that professional shitters are famous for? Get real.

For the sake of realism, iShitting requires a full-size USB or Bluetooth toilet controller. iShitting will not support any gamepad, keyboard and mouse, wireless wand and nunchuk, Spaceball, trackball, joystick or paddles.

Like the good folks at iRacing, I also feel that iShitting should not be called a simple MMO. I have devised my own clever acronym that captures all that iShitting is: MMSGBMBMSOPF (Massively Multishitter Stinky Gigantic Brown Messy Bowel Movement Simulated Online Production Facility).

Pedal-and-wheel only? (1)

IAstudent (919232) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781721)

Wait a tic, isn't a pedal and wheel just a way of remapping controls, akin to plugging in a gamepad instead of using your keyboard? If that's the case, how would they know you're using "approved" controls? Developers, if you're reading this, I play Trackmania United with a keyboard just fine, thank you very much.

Re:Pedal-and-wheel only? (1)

kseise (1012927) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781781)

The only buttons you need are accelerate, shift, brake, and turn left. I see this working with a number pad only. But I am sure they will have a custom steering wheel / pedal kit available.

Re:Pedal-and-wheel only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24782043)

The only buttons you need are accelerate, shift, brake, and turn left.

The controls for (at least semi-realistic) auto racing games are bit more complex than that. Acceleration, braking, and turning aren't binary. Think about driving a real car: do you slam the accelerator pedal to the floor every time you want to accelerate? Hopefully you don't, instead you probably find some level of acceleration between zero and pedal-to-the-metal that's appropriate for the situation. Same with braking. Same with steering. All these controls generally need to be on some sort of continuous controller (lever, wheel, pedal, etc) to be effectively used.

Re:Pedal-and-wheel only? (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781915)

Developers, if you're reading this, I play Trackmania United with a keyboard just fine, thank you very much.

How?

Re:Pedal-and-wheel only? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783425)

poorly, I assume.

Re:Pedal-and-wheel only? (1)

grnbrg (140964) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782067)

No doubt the software can be run with any device that shows up as a game controller in Windows.

But a wheel-and-pedals controller will likely be far easier to learn than using a joystick and keyboard combo...

I'm currently flying helicopter sims so I don't crash a $500 RC heli, and the one sim that allows you to map controls to the keyboard was completely unflyable in that configuration. A two stick game pad was better, but still nothing like a purpose-made controller that mimics the RC controller.

If the software is aiming for as much realism as possible, there won't be any fudging to account for people trying to use something other than the "correct" controller. And if I'm buying in to the service, I'd like to know that ahead of time. And most their target market -- hard core race {sim,game} players -- probably have 3 sets of wheel/pedal controllers already. (The first one -- it's cheap and gets me in. The second because the first one broke, or doesn't have the right features, and the third because it has to be top-end.)

grnbrg.

Serious Racing?? (1)

kseise (1012927) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781725)

Does that mean anyone who wants to turn RIGHT is out?

Will there be a virtual infield or bleachers for fans to support and enjoy your online sport?

And of course:

Will it run on Linux?

Why so Serious? (3, Funny)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781753)

getting on a [simulated] track with a full field of other drivers and racing against them safely involves as much commitment and time investment as if you went to racing school.

Oh, so it takes less time than actually playing WoW.

Re:Why so Serious? (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784083)

Oh, so it takes less time than actually playing WoW.

Do people still play that? I thought they just botted through the entire thing.

Think of a Beowulf cluster of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24781967)

Ok, not a Beowulf cluster, but what if they made an arcade version of this that someone could use for $1 a pop? They could install systems at racetracks around the country where people could simulate the racing experience. It would also be a good marketing exercise. Someone could try it for a $1 and then buy the subscription version for home use.

Sounds good! (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781987)

For those of us who WANT true simulations, this is a very good thing. There are few simulations out there, but a lot of games.

Now, if only they'd come out with something similar for flight sims...

Re:Sounds good! (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783445)

Now, if only they'd come out with something similar for flight sims...

It'd never happen, not in america (or any of her allies) at least... too many terrorists who want to learn how to fly.

On a completely different note, I'm glad I'm not american.

I like this idea (1)

hidannik (1085061) | more than 5 years ago | (#24781997)

Maybe this will draw off all the super-hardcore sim enthusiasts who are constantly bitching about how PC and console racing sims aren't realistic enough.

Then the rest of us can enjoy our racing games where fun is more important than that last decimal point in the suspension and tires simulation, without all the tiresome whinging. Games like GRID, for instance.

Hans

Forget their marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24782191)

I personally think this is great. I am always looking for good racing SIMS to brush up my skills with. That way I can stay proficient when I'm not actually on a track in my car. I will definitely be signing up to check this out.

As opposed to? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782365)

If you are serious about racing, our product is for you, because getting on a [simulated] track with a full field of other drivers and racing against them safely involves as much commitment and time investment as if you went to racing school.'

And of course spending thousands of hours behind a joystick to learn to pilot a 747 in Microsoft Flight Sims and do it properly, is not the same.

Personally I won't play this. For my money, if I'm racing, I'd rather shoot some pedestrians, or run them down, and have the cops chase me in GTA, much more fun.

Re:As opposed to? (2, Interesting)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24783465)

Exactly. Why pay for a simulated real life experience? I get videogames so I can do stuff that doesn't normally happen in my day to day life.

I guess it is the same reason people rent porn. C'mon, who would rent porn that is realistic with normal/ugly people .. and the sort of thing that your mom and dad do on their anniversary?

WTF? (4, Insightful)

llZENll (545605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782477)

"because getting on a [simulated] track with a full field of other drivers and racing against them safely involves as much commitment and time investment as if you went to racing school"

So you truley believe that:

buying a $50 USB steering wheel
paying $10/month for your racing game
racing from the comfort of your home in your underwear
the biggest fear of dying is malnutrition

Equates to:

renting a $200,000 racecar or using your own car
flying or driving to a racetrack and renting it for $50-$1000
suiting up with flameretardant clothes, full face helmet, full body restraints
feeling G forces, pure adrenaline, and the fear of bursting into flames at any moment

Of course, why didn't I see it!

Re:WTF? (1)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784063)

He didn't say it matches the experience. He said it matches the commitment and that's an important distinction. Having spent many years racing online, and having participated in a number of online racing leagues, I don't find his comment all that out of touch with the reality of that particular gaming community. There were folks in the leagues in which I raced that would practice 30-40 hours/week, which in my not so humble opinion bordered on the pathological. And that didn't count the seat time while we raced. Many of these guys raced in 3-5 competative races per week. There were applications developed that allowed you to cut out a particular section of track, and keep racing that section over and over again until you got your segment time down. Guys would break entire tracks down that way and keep working on individual segments until they got segment times down. I was an outlier, in that I *only* spent about 20 hours per week racing online. The guys who are good at it (and make no mistake, they are good) certainly spent as many hours on this as a full time job. So, yes, I believe that there is a sim racing community out there that approaches this with the same level of commitment as a real racer takes to a real racecar. I'm not saying it's a good thing, or a healthy thing, but in my experience it's certainly a true phenomena.

later,
jeff

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24784141)

So what you're saying is:

Videogame:
-$50 up front. $10/month.

Actual racing on a track:
-$50 every time you race.

The price doesn't seem terribly disparate.

Of course, you meant to imply that racing on the track costs more and is more dangerous. But it looks like you pulled all the numbers completely out of your ass.

Life for Speed (2, Informative)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782643)

There's an excellent racing simulator out there already; Live for Speed [lfs.net] . I was impressed by it's realism, cars handle as expected. They've modeled suspensions well and the game even accounts for tire flex. There are guys out there who've set up cars specifically for drifting and that's pretty much all they do. If you've got a controller that supports it you can even play with a clutch pedal.

It also scales up nicely to high resolutions, and it performs well. I had it running at 2560x1024 across two monitors and it ran consistently at 50-60fps on a 3ghz P4 with a Radeon 9800 Pro.

Where the game is likely to disappoint is in the lack of cars. Most of the cars are inspired by actual models but not the real thing and the tracks aren't based on actual courses. Although they did manage to get approval to include a BMW Sauber F1 car in the game. That car is impressive.

Contrast that with Gran Turismo which has a huge library of actual cars. Although despite the amount of work Sony supposedly has put into those games I've never been impressed by the physics and even worse, the AI.

So I'm curious about iRacing but not yet impressed. And I can't say I'm keen about all the oval tracks and the Nascar leanings.

Re:Life for Speed (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24782989)

One of my friends had a setup to play that game. He wired his computer to his projection big screen TV and mounted a fancy steering wheel and pedal set to a wooden frame. All set up so he could play comfortably from his couch. It was very impresive to me for what it was. My big complaint about all driving sims is that even with forcefeedback controls a lot of sport driving is felt through G forces and your body's sense of balance. It certainly is a lot cheaper to wreck in a simulation though.

So let's review (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24782799)

1) iRacing buys rights/code/everthing related to NASCAR Racing 2003, Sierra/Papyrus's final great NASCAR sim.

2) They then chase off a lot of modders for the game (who were making custom tracks, etc), threatening legal action etc etc. (see: http://forum.tmcarthur.net/viewtopic.php?t=52) After meeting resistance, their lawyers presumably move on to more productive activities, like kicking puppies.

3) Now, years later, they finally get around to releasing a new "racing simulation" based on what's now 6 year old code. And they want people to pay out the bum for it.

4) rFactor is probably better anyway.

Good luck with that, guys.

Internet Sport... (1)

robnator (250608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24784033)

looks like the definition of oxymoron im-not-so-humble-o

I will wait for the "couch-potato weight lifting" console.

robn8r

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