But...the situation is becoming mildly absurd...plenty of info is out there, and saying "the upcoming major release", etc. just feels political and weaselly. Austin would be disgusted.
So listen: I am going to try to provide some info on X-Plane 9. This info is subject to change. This is what we think is going to happen to the best of our knowledge. The release is still a ways away and enormous changes will happen. When things change, do not bitch to me that "you promised X" would happen. I do not promise anything. This info is provided to try to help those making add-ons for X-Plane plan appropriately.
With that in mind...I will try to post some more details on the authoring environment in the next few days. For now, here's some very basic guidance on compatibility and hardware requirements:
- The hardware requirements will be at least as high as X-Plane 8. If your machine is gasping and wheezing on 8, it's not going to be any better on 9.
- X-Plane 9 will depend more heavily on pixel shaders. If your hardware doesn't have pixel shaders (GeForce 2-4, Radeon 7000-9200) or has really crappy shaders (GeForce FX series) you will miss out on a lot of the cool stuff in v9, and possibly have the scenery look worse (but faster) than v8 (as we move features from the CPU to pixel shaders).
- Scenery that opens in x-plane should open in X-Plane 9 unmodified - if the scenery works in 8 but not 9, report it as a bug!
- Plugins that work in v8 should work in v9 without modification.
(One of my main goals with 861 is to try to fix any weird behavior for third party scenery add-ons, so that a scenery add-on looks the same in v8 and v9. If we left the bug in 861 and fixed it in v9, authors would have to hack the scenery to make it work with v8, and then remove the hack and republish for v9. By trying to fix the authoring bugs in v8, at least when possible, it lets authors publish one package for both versions. Of course, v9 will have new features, so I expect some v9-only scenery will emerge pretty quickly.)