XP11. As I noted in a post somewhere below, XPlane has no doubt made some insane leaps within the FS community. I remember all the way back when it was just the Apple version of MSFS. XP11 has brought many changes and improvements needed for the community at large to begin taking it seriously and whereas Laminar still isn’t all the way there, with XP11 being as good as it is, I can only imagine XP12 being a killer platform that is, if Laminar is still listening to what we want and making those strides to deliver. They have hit the nail where it counts in the flight dynamics department without a doubt. I am looking forward to Laminar blowing my mind while also wondering, how far away is XP12 and if it’s better to wait… I welcome your comments.
P3D. Moving on to the P3D stage, The Prepar3D team is showing no signs of slowing. I had some time to chat with the team last year and what I took away from my conversations is that they really do love what they do. Many of them were hand picked from the gaming industry to work on this project and they are quite fascinated with our community. P3D has and is bringing so many changes & enhancements that it’s officially no longer acceptable to call it a form of FSX. But there are still some things i’d like to see them improve upon notably flight dynamics, and how the sim handles turboprops internally just to name a couple. The P3D team is working very closely with the third party development community and thus I have no doubt they are fully aware of what our wants and needs are. Needless to say, I remain committed.
DCS. In this arena, DCS has always been a time & money problem. It’s yet another expensive platform to invest in and time required to thoroughly look into. What you can expect from me in this area is to cover it newswise, but don’t expect any reviews or livestreams at least not in the near future. P3D & XPL will be taking the most of my time. But that said, if you wish to submit any of your own DCS reviews, i’ll be happy to host them!
AFS. AeroflyFS2 is a fun little platform. I am not expecting much growth in terms platform development but I will be covering it because its so damn fast &beautiful. It’s my go-to platform for VR and it really helps me scratch that must fly right now itch with nearly zero loading times, crisp terrain all the way out to the horizon, and 3,000,000 frames per second. I’ll be writing AFS2 third party addon reviews starting with Orbx Santa Barbara. I’ve been covering AeroflyFS2 more than 6 years ago when it was still in it’s very development days, i’m sticking with it because I believe in the team behind it and I know the passion that drives them.
FSX. Well here we are folks… good ole FSX. People who know me, also know I have always hated FSX. Since the very first time I put my hands on the pre-release demo back in that Bahnoffstrasse electronics store in Zurich back in 06’. I jumped from FS9 to P3Dv1.4 back in 2013 when everyone thought P3D was a joke and with V2, I was the first to stream P3D. I said it then, P3D had a solid future, and here we are.
But that said, (and I remember pissing a lot of people off when I said it) FSX is dying a slow death. I believe it will still be relevant in the future in the same way that (believe it or not) FS9 still is. So my promise to you is, as long as developers are still delivering quality addons for FSX I will cover them. But the best of the best are quickly moving on.
Honorable mention: I know the FlyInside guys have been getting close to releasing their own platform announced at FlightSimCon 2016. I thought they were a complete joke until I sat down with them for an hour after the convention ended. They have some really sound ideas for VR flying and how the user can interact with the platform itself that impressed me. So whereas it’s not at the top of my list of things to to right now, I am also not writing it off either. I’ll be looking into it in due time.
So there you have it. My take on the current platforms and the future as we move forward.