Prepar3D v5

Most avid flight simmers will most likely know that Lockheed Martin released their newest release of Prepar3D.  Yes, P3Dv5 is out and at the time of me sitting down to actually write this blog post, I’ve yet to pull the trigger on the purchase.  I’ve changed my mind on the idea of moving to P3Dv5 about as many times as I’ve changed my socks.  At this point in time I’m leaning yes. 

Just Say No

Last year when we all learned about Microsoft’s plan to return to the flight simulation market I had said I would purchase no new add-ons for P3D.  Period!  I held to this plan for many months.  After all, from what we know about MSFS2020 (or at least believe we know about it) there will be very little need for all the Orbx ground texture add-ons, perhaps even 3rd party airport add-ons and even weather add-ons won’t be needed.  Again, I believe all this will be baked into the new sim.

I have very little hope that any 3rd party payware aircraft add-ons for P3D will be offered at zero cost to move to MSFS2020.  While I’ve heard PMDG and FSLabs are both planning to release aircraft for MSFS2020, these most likely will be brand new purchases.  Same will most likely apply to all my GA favorites as well. 

Out Of No Where

A few weeks ago, Lockheed Martin announced P3Dv5.  While most of us believed a P3Dv5 might be released in the future, we had no idea it was coming this soon.  Some speculate Lockheed was simply trying to get ahead of the new Microsoft release, but I don’t think that is the case at all.  Remember, contrary to popular belief….Prepar3D IS NOT geared towards our community.  P3D has been and always will be a commercial product.  In other words, Lockheed Martin DOES NOT market this software to the home simulation community.  Period!

Anyway….as I mentioned earlier, I’ve changed my mind about making the move to v5 many times over the past few weeks. 

Dialed In and Perfect

My current installation of Prepar3d v4.5 is dialed in and running perfect.  You can review my P3Dv4.5 settings here.  Over the past few weeks of being in the COVID-19 lockdown/quarantine, I’ve logged over 150 hours in the sim.  I’ve had absolutely zero issues.  No crashes!  No performance issues!  Nothing but absolute fun. 

I did break my rule of not making any purchases after catching some really good sales during this “Stay At Home” period and also picked up some awesome scenery being offered for free.  I figured I wanted to do my part in helping these developers during this time and the new scenery are airports I’ve wanted to fly into and out of. 

Back to V5

At the present time, my cost to make the move to Prepar3D v5 and have everything I have currently in v4 will be less than $100.  This includes the cost of the Academic license version of v5 and just a small handful of add-ons that require an “upgrade” price.  In my opinion, this is a small price to pay to take advantages of the improvements made in v5.

I would estimate about 25-30% of my current flight sim investment was money spent well before I made the move to P3D v2.x.  In other words, 25-30% of my add-ons (mostly Orbx, FSDreamTeam and FlightBeam purchases) were all made when I actively used FSX.  This was well over 10 (or more) years ago.  95% of my current total investment will be updated/upgraded by the developers at no cost to get them into P3Dv5 (including PMDG and FSLabs aircraft).  So I believe for less than a $100 investment, it’s money well spent for a hobby I truly enjoy so much.

As for MSFS2020.  Yes, it is still a planned purchase for me.  But we have no idea exactly when MSFS2020 will be available to purchase and we have no idea of the exact pricing scheme.  At the time of this writing, I’m not sure how COVID-19 will impact the release.  Once MSFS2020 is available, it could be weeks or even months before the sim is ready for me to begin using it with tubeliners on VATSIM. 

Purchase of v5 Imminent

I’ll make the purchase of Prepar3D v5 soon and begin the process of getting it installed and configured.  As developers release installers for v5, I’ll begin the painstaking process of installing them.  Like with v4, only add-ons which have been made compatible to v5 will be installed.  If all goes to plan, v5 will be just as stable as v4 is now, but obviously a better performer with the advances made in v5. 

Going Academic

With P3D versions 3.x and 4.x I purchased the professional level license.  While the only difference between the Academic license and that of the Professional was a small watermark in the upper right hand corner of the screen, I made the decision to purchase the professional license since at the time I did make occasional YouTube videos and monetized those.  Going forward, I have no plans of making videos and if I do they won’t be monetized.  Perhaps I’m getting more frugal in my older years….but I see no reason in spending the extra $$$ for the pro level.  After all, I generally learning something new each time I fly …so in my book that will count towards my “academic” use of this software. 

Final Thoughts

Well that just about does it for this posting.  I’m approaching my two month mark of being in self-isolation and still 100% healthy.  I still have a job and still managing to keep the cupboards stocked with food and yes, even toilet paper.  I filled the gas tank on my 2017 Ford Escape over two months ago and still have a half tank of gas left.  The wife and I have been doing a few projects around the house and enjoying the mild Spring weather we’ve had.  I think it’s been more than two weeks since our last snow and according to the long-range weather forecast, the snow is done until next Fall.  Just gotta keep a watch out for those darn Chinese “Murder Hornets” now.  I wonder how much toilet paper I should purchase for this situation? 

Until next time…

Stay healthy and Stay Safe for all threats, foreign and domestic….


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