If you are curious as to what add-ons are currently compatible with the 64 bit version of Prepar3D v4, then look no further than this extensive spreadsheet list which is updated frequently as more add-ons are released for this awesome sim.
The highly anticipated 64 bit version of Prepar3D (P3D v4) was released only one week ago, but already dozens of 3rd party add-ons have been either made compatible or confirmed to already be compatible with P3D v4. On the very first day of release, many 3rd party developers already had released new installers and the list continues to grow.
Over this past weekend, PMDG released their almost new Boeing 747-400 Queen of the Skies II for P3D v4. While I own the PMDG 737 NGX and the beautiful Boeing 777, I had yet to pickup the 747. But I’m excited to say that the Queen now lives in my hangar and here’s a recent flight image of this beautiful airplane.
I can also report that on the above mentioned flight using the PMDG 747-400 (flying as Atlas Air Cargo), I departed from Denver KDEN (Flightbeam add-on scenery) and arrived in Dallas/Ft. Worth KDFW (FSDreamTeam add-on scenery) with all graphics settings maxed out and P3D v4 performed like a dream. I simply could not do that in P3D v3.x without an Out of Memory error crash.
Over the next few weeks, I will continue to get more of my large collection of 3rd party add-ons installed and configured into P3D v4. At the present time I’m also working on a video review of the new Dovetail Games Flight Sim World and will also begin showcasing some flying action from the new P3D v4 on my GrizzlyBearSims YouTube Channel along with Farming Simulator 17 “Let’s Play series”.
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While we’re still a few hours away from the official release of Prepar3D v4 (64 bit), over the past few days I’ve watched a few videos showcasing the new simulator and even some comparing it to P3D v3.4. Not surprisingly, some people are losing their minds and being critical of Lockheed Martin by saying this release should simply be P3D v3.5 or complaining that some of the same issues which have plagued the software since the days of FSX continue to exist.
As the title of this blog post states, Flight Simulator 11 is finally here (or will be in a few hours). What I mean by this is simple. Everything which has been released by either Microsoft (MS Flight), Dovetail Games (FSX Steam Edition) and Lockheed Martin (Prepar3D v1 – v3) may have pretended to be the next evolution of the wonderful Flight Simulator we have known and loved going all the way back to the subLOGIC days. However, everything since the Microsoft original release of FSX has only been has only been pretending to the next iteration of this flagship product.
Yes, Lockheed Martin did do a wonderful job with the later version of Prepar3d v2.x and with v3.x. But what we’ve been needing since shortly after FSX was released way back in 2006 was a 64 bit version to take full advantage of the hardware. Again, everything else has just been marking time until this day.
While I realize X-Plane was the first to introduce a 64 bit flight sim, for some of us who have had a large investment in add-ons for FSX and which have been almost fully compatible through all the versions of P3D AND for the most part will also be made available for P3D v4 (at no extra cost), plus the general working knowledge of the sim is the same all the way back to FSX….well, it’s been a very difficult bridge to cross.
I’ve speculated time and time and time again on where the future of flight simulation is going and who will carry the torch proudly for us. I’ve felt really good about Lockheed Martin since v2.x, but now…..now this is all new territory and the sky is not the limit.
I can’t wait to purchased, download and install Flight Simulator version 11, errrr I mean Prepar3D v.4. We’ve been waiting a long, long time for this day and the day has finally come.
In less than 24 hours, Lockheed Martin will release the highly anticipated and very long overdue 64 bit version of Prepar3D version 4. With this release, will we finally see an end to the out of memory issues we’ve all experienced with FSX and every version of P3D? Have we experienced the last OOM? Can we once and for all stop worrying about how much (or how little) VAS we have? Are those little ding, ding, ding noises just as we are on final approach after an extremely long-haul flight going to be a thing of the past? I darn well hope so….
If you are an FSX or P3D user and don’t know what the acronyms of OOM or VAS stand for, or you haven’t encountered those ding, ding, ding sounds just before you are rudely presented with the error that says “Too Bad, Too Sad…we don’t care that you’ve just spent 12 hours flying and are in the final 5 minutes of flight, but you’ve run out of memory and we’re about to ruin your fun”, then I suggested you read this post.
Taking the Plunge
Sure…I might as well! While I owe a review of Dovetail Games brand new Flight Sim World FSW (and I’ll get that done soon), in a nutshell I don’t believe (at this time) there is any chance I’ll spend a great deal of time in FSW. Reason being is lack of 3rd party aircraft, scenery and such. I don’t see FSUIPC making its way to FSW anytime soon and without that, it really limits just how much fun I can have in the sim. NOTE: I said it will lack how much fun I will have. Your mileage may vary depending on what you want from a flight sim.
But yes…I do plan to purchase P3D v4. But I’m also doing so knowing it will be some time before some of my favorite add-ons will be made available. Some developers will have content ready on day 1, others will have their content after the first few weeks etc. etc. From what I’ve read, much of the add-ons I currently own will not require a repurchase to obtain the P3D version 4 installers. This is great news…but it’s more or less the commitment that many of these developers made when we all began speculating about a 64 bit version.
By the way, I have been flying lately as I’ve been playing around with both FSW and enjoying flights in P3D v3.4. I experienced what will hopefully be one of my last OOM crashes on Sunday when I was flying from KDFW to KMEM. Just within about two minutes after landing (thankfully) the system just said..”Nope…you’re done” it has used up 100% of the available 4 GB of VAS which is the dreadful limitation of 32 bit applications we’ve all been dealing with. It was a great flight other than that.
My Future in Flight Sim
All things being equal, in the past 6 months I’ve been using P3D v3.4, X-Plane 11 and Dovetail Games new Flight Sim World. As I’ve stated many times, I have a large dollar investment in FSX/P3D, so much so that I really can’t afford to seriously look at X-Plane as being a full replacement and still be able to enjoy the hobby in the same fashion. I have many years of experience with the Microsoft Flight Sim family of products and still find the X-Plane way of doing things about as difficult as trying to hammer a nail into the wall using only my forehead.
You can expect to read my first impressions on the 64 bit version of Prepar3D version 4 in the coming days/weeks. I might even record my thoughts and make it available on my YouTube channel. Stay tuned…
Look at the calendar. It’s not April 1st and this is no April Fools Prank. Yes…finally we have the much anticipated news regarding Dovetail Games official entry into flight simulation with Dovetail Games Flight Sim World. I’ve frequently blogged about this very subject for what seems like eternity. From the very early days of learning that Microsoft had authorized Dovetail Games to market and release FSX on Steam, we’ve been hearing about Dovetail’s plan to develop the next generation of flight simulation software. Actually, this is a direct quote from a Dovetail Games press release dated 2014 Dovetail “is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015”. OK…so they’ve missed their mark by a few years….but ladies and gentlemen….please sit back, relax (and turn off those darn electronic devices) because things are about to get interesting.
If you are new to my blog site, please take a moment and read an article I wrote back in November 2016 titled “Flight Sim News”. If you are not new to my writings, then you can skip that as you’ve already read it. Yesterday, Dovetail Games announced their new flight simulation platform they have titled “Flight Sim World” (I guess to line up with their new Train Sim World franchise) and I couldn’t be more excited. Now time will tell exactly what all this means, but the one really important element is this will be a 64 bit application. To date, the only 64 bit flight simulation based platform is X-Plane. The old Microsoft FSX (boxed edition), FSX Steam Edition and even all version of Prepar3D is only 32 bit. If you want to learn more about the challenges of trying to run an 32 bit application as complex as Flight Sim built, then read an article I wrote in February 2014 titled “Out of Memory (OOM) Errors”.
Importance of Early Access
Dovetail Games Flight Sim World will be released this month (May) via an early access process. This is also really great news and all the proof is coming direct from Dovetail Games Executive Produce Stephen Hood when he says, “We’re bring Flight Sim World to Early Access, we believe it makes no sense to work in isolation…so we wish to work with the community, engage with them, to shape the future of Flight Sim World over the coming weeks and months”. He further states, “We intend to develop a platform that stands the test of time over the next 5-10 years”.
Under the Hood
With the launch of Dovetail Games Flight Sim World, they have moved away from the old DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 and moved it from a 32 bit to 64 bit platform while also working to rebalance the usage between the CPU and GPU. This is also a very important change as today both FSX and P3D is very CPU dependent and doesn’t take advantage of today’s modern and powerful GPU’s. The hardware technology of today far exceeds what FSX and P3D can do with it. These older applications just don’t touch the full capabilities.
Third Party Opportunities
One of the unknowns from years ago was just how Dovetail Games would work with 3rd party developers. Over time, and as they continued to work with their FSX Steam Edition, we saw evidence that Dovetail Games was serious about working with the various 3rd party developers like PMDG, Orbx etc. Simon Sauntson with Dovetail Games leads up their Third Party division and mentioned Dovetail has actually engaged with many 3rd party developers to develop content which is part of the core application of Flight Sim World.
Simulation, Simulation, Simulation
Stephen Hood, acknowledges the importance of an “As Real As It Gets” experience as he states “As a Pilot you care hugely about the environments around you, it has to be accurately portrayed in Flight Sim World in order for you to fear it”
Want more information regarding Dovetail Games new Flight Sim World, visit their website, visit the Steam page, visit their Facebook page and watch the video below.
Jerry’s Final Thoughts
Dovetail Games….Just Take My Money and take it now! Honestly, I’ve had my doubts Dovetail could, would create the truly “Next Generation Flight Sim Platform” and not just pickup where Microsoft left off with Microsoft Flight. Which in most everyone’s opinion WAS NOT A FLIGHT SIM PLATFORM, but more of an arcade game. Of course, time will tell and not much else is really known at this time regarding which 3rd party developers are onboard with Flight Sim World. Honestly, I’ve not really done much with X-Plane. Meaning I’ve not spent much money on add-ons and such. I still find that old habits are so hard to break and trying to un-learn the Microsoft way which is still very much engrained in P3D. I’m hopeful that some of the “Microsoft Way” will be a part of Flight Sim World. Of course, not so much of it that it chokes the new application down. But as I have stated many times, some people may not openly embrace Flight Sim World as it will mean (most likely) replacing add-ons which had been previously developed for FSX/P3D (32 bit) with newer 64 bit versions. But this is how we move forward….
I’ll keep you posted on any new news I learn from this.
Not only do I blog to help others, but I also tend to write content for my own benefit so I can find things when I need them. The wonderful folks behind AirDailyX.net started compiling a Prepar3D v3.x Compatibility spreadsheet in Google Docs some time ago. The spreadsheet is still updated as new information is confirmed and made available.
While I’m on the subject of AirDailyX.net. I highly recommend you visit their website, bookmark it and return often. AirDailyX.net was started one month after I started my flight sim blog, Position and Hold. Of course, Position and Hold is just an extension of my flight sim hobby and I write when I can. But AirDailyX.net (as the name implies) has fresh new content each and every day. D’Andre Newman has done an outstanding job with AirDailyX.net and our hobby is stronger for his contributions.
Back in the early days, we didn’t have much choice when it came to selecting flight simulator software. When I was a teen back in the early 80’s, I had a Commodore 64 computer. I had a version of flight simulator which ran on the Commodore 64 computer. In those days you only had a small selection of airports to fly to and from and typically only one type of aircraft. I spent many, many hours flying the Cessna around Meig’s Field in Chicago.
As time passed, the sophistication of the various flight simulator software titles evolved from just one aircraft and a few airports to any aircraft one could imagine and an entire globe full of airports with tons of eye candy to look at while flying from point A to point B. Today, flight simulator enthusiasts have many different software platforms to choose from when it comes to setting up their flight simulator.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Perhaps some will argue this point, but I believe Microsoft Flight Simulator leads the popularity contest when it comes to flight simulator software. From Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 released in 1982 all the way to Microsoft Flight Simulator X released in 2006, Microsoft has certainly done its part to create the industry behind the flight sim hobby.
Tip – Microsoft released a new ‘simulator’ titled Microsoft Flight in February 2012. While Microsoft referred to MS Flight as a simulator, the flight sim community does not. Unlike all other versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Flight is geared to be more of a ‘game’ versus simulator. On July 26, 2012, Microsoft cancelled any further development plans for Flight.
If you are looking into purchasing a version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, you’ll find Flight Simulator 2004 (AKA FS9) and Flight Simulator X as the most common versions used among Microsoft enthusiasts. You’ll also find software add-on options (including scenery, aircraft and other accessories) widely available for both FS9 and FSX versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I wouldn’t advise purchasing any version prior to FS9.
FSX will function (as well as just about every add-on) without issue on the Microsoft Windows 7 OS (32 bit and 64 bit). I’ve also read in various forums where users have installed FSX on the new Microsoft Windows 8 OS. However, I can’t confirm Windows 8 will handle all the other add-on options available.
X-Plane, developed by Laminar Research is another popular flight sim platform which has been around for a number of years. Designed for Mac, but also available for 32/64-Bit Windows and Linux OS systems, it has become a solid alternative to the Microsoft brand. Most 3rd party developers designing the various add-on options include X-Plane versions. Unlike Microsoft, the developers of X-Plane continue to develop the software and as of the present time the most current version is 10.10.
Prepar3D or P3D is the new kid on the block with regards to payware flight simulation software. Announced in 2009, Lockheed Martin negotiated the purchase of the intellectual property including source code of Microsoft Flight Simulator X along with the hiring of many of the MS developers which were part of ACES Studios to develop what would become Prepar3D. From what I understand, most add-ons as well as the default FSX aircraft work in Prepar3D without any adjustment since Prepar3D is kept backward compatible to FSX. However, there are some small technical changes that must be made if you want to fly online via either the IVAO or VATSIM networks.
There is some debate whether or not Prepar3D is designed to be used in the flight sim hobby community. I don’t believe Lockheed Martin plans to develop a public version, but the Prepar3D website does state that the academic license version is available for students from kindergarten through undergraduate and is suitable for home use. You can learn more about the licensing of P3D here.
Freeware/Open-Source Alternatives and a warning
There is an open-source alternative to flight simulation software available from FlightGear. While I’ve never spent any time testing or flying using the FlightGear flight simulation software, I know others do use it and there are methods of importing planes from Microsoft Flight Simulator into FlightGear. In addition, there is also an on-line client for the VATSIM network called SquawkGearthat will allow you to use FlightGear to fly on-line. It is extremely encouraging to see developers like FlightGear contribute to the flight sim community with their open-source program.
Unfortunately, there are some individuals who have taken the open-source code from FlightGear, made a few minor modifications and are attempting to market the product under various names such as Flight Pro Sim, Pro Flight Simulator etc. I first learned about this back in 2010 and blogged about it here and here. But please….don’t take my word for it. Read the official statement released by FlightGear and judge for yourself.
I base much of my decision around what flight simulator platform I continue to use around the fact that I have a large investment of money and time in the Microsoft platform. I built a custom PCback in 2010 which would handle the demands of Microsoft FSX. I have hundreds of dollars tied up in add-on software and hardware to enhance my flight sim experience. If I woke up tomorrow and could no longer run Microsoft FSX, I would probably further investigate Prepar3D as a solution. However, if you are just starting out….the sky truly is the limit in the direction you proceed.
While there are many reasons to select Microsoft Flight Simulator as your software of choice, the fact that Microsoft discontinued development and in my opinion will never develop flight simulation software again is perhaps a reason to steer away from this as an option. But for now, FSX continues to be my platform of choice and it works well for me.