I thought gaming was taking a break from tech support

One of the reasons I have an Xbox even though I’ve got a PC that’s perfectly capable of gaming is that I’m freaking tired of trying to fix computer problems and just want to pick up a controller and play a game without getting a random error about an invalid DLL and chasing down a rabbit hole of this, that, or the other.

I want to pick up a device that the game was designed for and just start playing. This has been really complicated lately because every time I have some time to play a game it generally wants a 60 gigabyte update, so my gaming hour I had set aside is reduced to a few minutes as game publishers have evidently stopped pushing patches and are pushing entire games now. (Seriously COD, I installed 50 gig to download a 160 gig update?)

I decided I was going to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and play some Flight Simulator and Squadrons on my PC because I could attach the Oculus Quest 2 and take a look around as I was piloting. At least I assume you can do this in FS, I did it in Squadrons and that’s not been a problem.

I had pretty much no issue with the Xbox side in getting Flight Simulator, but on the PC side I was immediately greeted with errors that were absolutely useless. Keep in mind I installed my Windows 10 Pro fresh 10 or 12 days ago and have not done anything fancy with it. There’s no 3rd party AV, security, crazy network stuff, yadda… basically it’s got Office and video drivers on it.

So I get a random installer error on FS either on the Standard Edition or when it’s downloading a digital license. It tells me to wait. Of course there’re whole YouTube videos devoted to things you can try on your side to fix it and of course none of them work and all of them are 12 minutes plus. Nothing works. Two days later there’s an icon on my desktop that’s MS Flight Simulator. Untouched, the app store eventually got around to downloading and installing.

While that’s going on I’m attempting to get Air Link with Oculus working. It simply does not see my PC. The PC can ping the Quest 2, the PC is discoverable, I stress once again the PC is pretty much fresh out of the box with no crazy software. The PC is plugged into the back of the Portal WiFi, and the Oculus Quest 2 is sitting on the 5ghz band that is not in isolation mode, all in the same subnet and all able to talk to each other. Can it find it? Nope. Open ticket with their tech support.

Installed the Oculus software on another machine to see if it can be found so I can at least narrow the scope of “what the hell is wrong with this piece of equipment?” and by the time that was done I had to run back to work before getting a chance to see whether that was the fix.

So I installed the Flight Simulator on the Xbox Series X and… you know, I got the X so there wouldn’t be load times… I thought this thing was going to absolutely explode out of the gate and for most games it does but holy hell, MS Flight Sim feels like I’m playing on a Pentium 3 or something. From elevator loading music for several minutes to watching the frame rate drop perceptibly as I look around, it feels like the thing was built in Javascript and then ported to a rusty stapler. It’s take the Series X and made it feel like an office machine from 2009.

I’d throw in a rant about the Xbox controller I have for the PC and the flight stick I have for PC/Xbox but I still don’t know what is wrong with these and in the event of operator error I want plausible deniability.

On the positive side, Katamari Damacy re-roll has made me a happy camper. Have at least one game working with only minimal tech issues (can’t go full screen).

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts