IMHO, at least they have *something* to show us for their time developing with a now "officially announced" product;
If you think that, by playing the "pride" card, you are going to force us to announce something before WE decide it's due time, then you are sadly mistaken. If we are going to announce it, it's only because we have an idea of when we can realistically release it, not because someone else has announced something similar.
And besides, from what I can see about what Orbx has shown so far, it's just a method to animated human characters which, exactly as I've sad, it's the SAME technology you see each time there's a jetway moving, a flag waving, etc. And I think Aerosoft already has some sceneries on sale with people animated with mesh skinning so, it's really nothing new, and it wouldn't be a first, even if they released it tomorrow.
It's just we are taking our time to do it right, ..
Since you cheaply labeled this as a brag, without obviously knowing anything about it, I'll explain it to you:
We haven't researched into human animation just to have one more eye-candy feature to decorate our sceneries. If we were satisfied with that, it would have been fairly easier to add them already. I repeat it again: once you have the ability to create a flag that waves in the wind, the basic technology is *exactly* the same.
Instead, we chose to create the fundaments first to do something flexible, which can be reused easily, that is not specifically linked to a certain scenery, that can have some kind of behavior, than can be extended, that can be *user* expanded as well. This means, a lot of preparation work first, and THEN the "showing off" part.
We had a test scenery almost a couple of years ago, with a marshaller *dancing* on the JFK runway, with unbelievably and "never seen before" animation quality, both because it was skinned and because it was derived from motion capture.
It was useful to do such test, because it was then that we learned the hard limit of 20-max bones for each character, which is somewhat unfortunate, since it's a little bit less to what is considered the standard (no James, it's not "wedding rings" missing, there are some issues with the very basic like, having to model a spine with less than standard bones, results in less natural movements), but at least we knew what was possible. Unfortunately, 2 years ago the market was still strongly supporting FS9. We couldn't invest all our time into an FSX-only technology back then.
If we decided to SHOW that back then, making a video clip, putting a marketing name on top of it, and then disappear for 18 months without any actual product to sell. Users would have any right to feel disappointed, because we show off something before it was ready, and put the cart before the horse, starting from the end, which is the actual final animation results.
Instead, we decided to do it in the right way, which means creating the foundation work first, and make it as flexible as possible, because we would like to do more than just additional eye-candy for our sceneries. For example, before showing off, we made an complete animation player, so we are not really restricted by loops, but our animations are more like scripts, so they can do whatever we want to.
I think people expect these guys would DO something useful, other then just being nice to look at it, otherwise the novelty effect will wear off soon enough. So, "doing it right", means integrate them into the airport life, and with the other systems we have, like ParkMe, for example. That was a start but, once you decided to Park somewhere, wouldn't be nice if everyone in the airport would *know* about that, and act accordingly ?
To do this, you need a Script Engine, with a real programming language (no, not XML, that's not a programming language...), with the ability for the various parts to talk to each other. Which, incidentally, is exactly what we HAVE in our products, the Couatl Python engine of course, and it took quite some time to perfect it and test it in the outside world, with real products using it (like XPOI, which is 100% Python code). Now that we know we can rely on that, we are sure will be able to put all the pieces together thanks to it so, when the human animations will eventually arrive, they'll integrate nicely with all the rest of the things we do.