You might have already heard some buzz about a new simulator out there in the world and it’s true. The NOR Platform was unveiled at an industry trade show and it showcases a series of scenes of modern combat aircraft including several shots from the cockpit of an F-16 and a Eurofighter Typhoon. So what is the NOR Platform and is it a DCS World/Falcon BMS competitor? Let’s have a look!
The NOR Platform was unveiled officially on YouTube today and shown at the I/ITSEC 2021 conference, an industry show that calls itself the “world’s largest modeling, simulation and training event.” The simulator is being created by Meta Immersive Synthetic, a subsidiary of Meta Aerospace. They are, according to their website, an information age defense contractor based in Washington DC.
The simulator appears to be a modern military focused combat simulation and training software. On display in the trailer are highly detailed interiors and exteriors of several modern combat aircraft. The F-16 appears to be the star of the show but we also see the Eurofighter Typhoon, MiG-29 and a KC-135 all make appearances.
In the background there appears to be high resolution satellite imagery and ray marched clouds (just like DCS, MSFS and soon to be IL-2) along with sophisticated light modeling. The cockpit textures look to be on par with DCS World and show off some impressive visual quality.
Here’s more of what they had to say:
Introduced at I/ITSEC 2021, the NOR platform brings the cutting edge technology and accessibility of commercial gaming engines to the high-end military training and simulation market.
Meta Immersive Synthetics combined the stunning visuals of the Unreal Engine with a proprietary physics-based model of the world, creating NOR – an ultimate fidelity simulation platform that can be used to simulate, train, or model anything across air, land, sea, space, and the electromagnetic spectrum.Meta Immersive Synthetics
Sounds all encompassing to be sure.
Although this is a very interesting development and any new simulation like this has my attention, it does appear right now that this is very much a product intended for military training applications and purposes. From the marketing materials to the specific goals of catering to “high-end military training,” it very much sounds like NOR Platform is focused on that audience specifically.
We’ve already seen a few proclaim that “DCS is dead!” or “BMS is finished!” and so forth. Both statements seem highly unlikely and extremely premature.
We have no idea what level of simulation this sim actually offers beyond the trailer and some slick marketing. Does it have clickable cockpits? Or is that even a need in a potential high end simulator where you may have the real F-16 cockpit right there.
DCS World has been evolved for decades and although we all know its shortcomings, it has lots of simulated depth and detail. These kinds of details need prolonged periods of time to be put together and its not something that happens over a short period of time.
This all said, DCS World has an industry specific version of the sim that they use with air forces around the world and its not impossible or even improbable that Meta Immersive Synthetic couldn’t turn around and produce a commercial version.
I also want to reference an excellent video that Jabbers put together. A well known DCS World content creator, Jabbers was able to reveal some extra information and show off a little bit more of the sim in action in his video. Notably, they were using some interesting high resolution VR headsets with the sim that are likely to portent the next generation of VR.
And like Jabbers did in his video, I want to echo the notion that even if this isn’t (yet) a commercial product, having competition out there in the space provides the impetus for new innovations and efforts. And who benefits when that happens? Us consumers as we get more choices and the developers aspire to on-up one another. That’s nearly always a good thing.
Check out his video below and stay tuned for more information on this if we learn any more.