It’s been about a month since I got my Track IR and I have to say, it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made in along time. Not only did it make the games I play more fun, but it opened new doors and re-opened others.
It’s now a new tool that I have in my Unity arsenal. After finding and refining a TrackIR script/plugin, I was even able to get TIR support added to Enemy Starfighter, the game I’m currently looking forward to the most.
The games that I was already playing got a whole lot cooler. Elite is fun with head tracking, it’s practically essential in Star Citizen, and War Thunder simulator battles is no longer blocked off for me.
But the biggest effect it’s had is that I’m finally able to get back into flight sims. I love flight sims. I’ve been playing them in one form or another almost as long as I’ve been using a computer. The earliest I can remember are the old Jane’s sims like US Navy Fighters and Advanced Tactical Fighters.
By and large, the most influential flight sim was Falcon 4.0. I forget the events that led up to it, but my father gave me the big binder manual one day and let me loose. It was the first time I played flight simulators “seriously.” I used to study that manual and loved to look up how these things worked online. Without having flown Falcon 4.0, I can safely say that I would not have seen and done many of the things I have in my professional career.
That binder is, to this day, one of my most prized possessions.
However, once I started university I no longer had time to fly flight sims like I did before. I still kept a close eye on them though, even if I rarely played outside of some occasional IL-2 or Flaming Cliffs. In a curious twist of fate, on my second year of university they literally became my day job, and I got to work on something that I’m very proud of having worked on.
Ever since then though, I had been really yearning to get back into it. I missed reading about the history and switchology of these things. They’re fantastically complicated systems, but have to be easy to use under stress and in as small a space as possible.
Unfortunately, by that time TIR had become the standard and my old X52 Pro was barely working. I would have to invest in equipment before I wanted to get back into it, and money was very tight. I have a hard time spending money on myself, so I could never bring myself to pull the trigger.
Fast forward to today, and here I am thinking that Track IR is the best purchase I’ve made in a very long time. I’ve forgotten how much I love detailed flight sims of modern combat aircraft. It’s something I haven’t really done since my Falcon 4.0 days almost a decade ago and I am loving every minute of it. It’s like reuniting with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. It really takes me back.