In the DCS: F-16C cockpit orientation academic video, Matt Wagner mentioned a new VOIP (voice over IP) system that Eagle Dynamics is working on. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of this (it was mentioned at the end of last year) but it’s always good to know if a rarely mentioned feature will continue forward or if the team ultimately decides to scrap it.
Replacement to SRS?
The new integrated VOIP feature would presumably replace SRS by integrating the voice communications system right into the simulator world by default. While SRS is great and I have no issues with it, there is the added complexity of managing a separate piece of software and its an extra hurdle for new pilots to jump over.
Matt Wagner mentions the feature in the DCS: F-16C cockpit familiarization video at roughly 33:45. (NOTE: The timecode was updated)
An integrated system would probably get more use and it would elevate the simulator experience even for the newest pilots to the series. Ever had a situation where it’d be great if you could just talk to the pilot in that jet over there but their SRS is off, disconnected, or they have never installed it? I feel like this would make it a bit easier to get started.
It’s possible that Eagle Dynamics could also add a simulator element to the system. With the ability to have secure or insecure communications, it’s possible that Red team versus Blue team interactions could include the potential for listening in to enemy comms to gain a leg up. SRS can do this but I don’t think it has a secure comms option so there is potential for more here.
My only two caveats is that Eagle Dynamics needs to consider this a core DCS World feature and not charge extra for it. Opening the feature up to all players, even new ones and even ones who have only the free DCS World experience, is important to making sure that this feature is adopted and well used.
Second, as predicted by the first caveat, this needs to be available for the lower fidelity Flaming Cliffs 3 module as well as for full DCS World modules. SRS was able to solve this with a GUI integration and I think Eagle Dynamics needs to do the same.
These minor concerns aside, I’m excited for the future of this feature and the hopes that it will bring realistic, immersive, and useful voice communications to more players, more quickly and more easily.