Prepar3D v4 Add-ons Compatibility List

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.

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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”.

Thank you for reading my blog and thanks for subscribing to my YouTube Channel.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Way to go Orbx

If you have been involved in the hobby of flight simulation longer than 5 minutes, you know what a grueling process it can be to get all your payware add-ons downloaded and installed into the sim.  Especially in the past 5+ years when Lockheed Martin has released several different versions of their wonderful Prepar3D.  With each version (v1, v2, v3 and now v4) required new installers due to minor or even major updates and changes at the sim level.

I own a lot of payware add-ons for my flight sim addiction.  Yea….it’s an addiction and I suppose recognizing it as such is half the battle in dealing with it.  But I have perhaps several thousand dollars (shhh, don’t tell the wife) invested in payware add-ons which help to scratch this itch I have for all things flight sim.  But each time a new version of P3D was released, it takes many, many hours to round up all the updated installers, patches etc. etc. etc.  The other dilemma is when a new version of P3D is released, it takes developers some time to work through their suite of add-ons and publish these updates.

Thankfully, much of my flight sim investment portfolio is from Orbx.  These are the wonderful and talented developers who have helped to transform old, out-dated (and often inaccurate) ground base textures, land-class textures and some of the most amazing airport sceneries you will ever see.  If you are a GA or General Aviation enthusiast (flying low and slow) then you probably already know all about the Orbx magic.

Some months ago, Orbx released an update to their FTX Central application which simplifies the process of obtaining both updates of the products you are licensed to use, as well as simplifies the overall install process of these items. Since FTX Central knows who I am (via secure login), it checks the inventory of items I’m licensed to use along with the inventory of titles already installed and in one central location I can select what needs to be installed and what needs to be updated and the process is both quick and painless.  I think we all agree that the less time it takes to tinker with getting software installed, means the more time we have for flying.

The image below shows the Orbx FTX Central application.  Within the FTX Global Range of products the items listed have been updated for P3D v4 and ready to be installed.

orbx 1

Installing couldn’t be easier, just click the “Install Product” button and voila…..

orbx 2

I’m really looking forward to experiencing Prepar3D version 4.0 with the Orbx FTX add-ons.  We finally have a sim which is capable of running all the wonderful eye-candy from so many wonderful and talented developers.  Best of all, from the perspective of Orbx….much of what I own has been purchased many years ago and even though the sim (P3D) has evolved, Orbx has not charged for their updates and this is a truly amazing decision on their part.  But of course, Orbx isn’t alone.  But this is a topic for another day!

If you would like to learn more about the add-ons available from Orbx, please visit their website.

Until next time…

Happy Flying

Jerry

Dovetail Games Flight Sim World

Hello Fellow Flighsim Enthusiasts….

As most should know, Dovetail Games released their “Early Access” version of Flight Sim World (FSW) recently.  I wrote about this subject back on 4 May and expressed my hopes, opinions and just general thoughts regarding this new entry.  Much of the content I used to form the basis of my opinions came from Dovetail Games Announcement video which you can view from the above mentioned blog post.  Outside of that one announcement video I have tried to restrict my viewing of other videos, live streams and blog postings on the subject of DTG’s FSW.  It was my desire to remain as neutral as possible so that I could form my own opinions and present them to you here.

Early Access

Before I begin to open up about my opinions regarding DTG’s FSW, allow me to say the following.  The Dovetail Games Flight Sim World is an early access product.  As with any early access, beta, pre-release, work-in-progress etc. etc. edition of any software, there most likely are bugs, there could be bugs found and more importantly what you see, may not, most likely will not be what will go into the finished product.

Comparisons

I’ve been flying computer based simulation games since the early 1980’s.  My love and fascination with aviation started as a young boy and has progressed into adulthood.  While I know longer have the desire to “learn to fly” in real life…flight simulation (much like my interests in other simulation based games) is an important element in my life and serves as a much needed stress reliever when of course the applications are working correctly.  LOL

Because of my long history with flight simulation based applications, I’m sure you can understand how difficult it is to simply “turn off” my knowledge, experience etc. with other flight sim titles.  As a point of reference, the first flight simulator application I used was on the Commodore 64 in the early 1980’s.  This was developed by a company called subLOGIC.  subLOGIC sold (or was acquired) by Microsoft in the early 80’s to be further developed into the very popular Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Here’s a short video (not mine) showing 60 seconds of recorded footage of what Flight Simulator looked like on the C-64.

Anyway, sometime in the very late 80’s or early 1990 timeframe I graduated from the C-64 to the PC and one of the first software packages I purchased was Microsoft Flight Simulator and I’ve owned, used and very much enjoyed every version up to Microsoft FSX.  So having said all this, I have tried to look at Dovetail Games Flight Sim World with an open mind, I’ve tried not to compare it to anything in the past, present or possibly future and most importantly, I’ve approached this review fully understanding what “Early Access” means.

Let’s Get Started

My apologies for taking so long to get to this point in the article, but I felt it was important to lay the cards on the table.  One more small piece of information I want to make public is I have not been asked, nor have I been paid to write this review.  While I received DTG FSW at no cost, this was only because I had purchased the DTG’s Flight School and in doing so, earned me a no-cost version of FSW.  Here’s my open and honest review of the “Early Access” version of Dovetail Games Flight Sim World.

Dovetail Games Flight Sim World

Flight Sim World is the new (currently in early access) flight simulator developed by Dovetail Games and sold exclusively through Steam.  At the time of this blog article, FSW is available as an Early Access release for $24.99 as of 18 May 2017.  If you purchased Dovetail Games Flight School, then you should have access to download/install FSW at no cost.

As part of the base package, FSW includes the entire world and includes several single and twin engine prop aircraft to get you started in your flight adventures.  The application is 64 bit which meets with the high demand from these types of application games.  If you are unfamiliar with the struggles we’ve had over the past several years with under-performing flight sim applications, then please read this article.

Install and Setup

DTG’s FSW installed just like any other Steam application.  I was able to quickly configure my CH Products Flight Yoke and Rudder Pedals, but support for my extensive collection of Go Flight hardware is unfortunately not supported at this time.

Application Performance and Stability

Overall I’ve spent approx. 6-8 hours flying around and the overall performance from FSW has been more or less what I expected it to be.  For the most part performance is better than FSX but I don’t believe the application itself is as fully optimized as it should be.  But then again, this is early access.  To be honest, while I did occasionally view my FPS counter, I don’t use FPS as the end-all-be-all in determining how an application/game is performing.  Application lag, stuttering etc. were mostly at a minimum and I think would/will be improved as the game matures further along the early access process.  During the entire time I’ve spent with FSW, I didn’t encounter a crash or application failure.

Visuals

As was the case with DTG Flight School, the default visuals are much, much improved from FSX.  While it’s not as impressive as FSX or P3D with Orbx Global Scenery, for a default (out of box) product….it’s pretty darn nice.

Flight Dynamics and Realism

This is somewhat difficult for me to judge.  First, I’m not a real world pilot and second, I haven’t flown default level aircraft in many, many years.  I’m a huge fan of the more complex, study level type aircraft from developers such as PMDG, A2A etc.  But FSW does very much remind me of default FSX and I found the aircraft easy to fly.

My overall impression

Again, making every effort to not compare FSW with any other product I will say that for it being an early access product…I was quite pleased overall.  However, I feel I must state the following which slightly causes me concern regarding the future of FSW.

Much like we say “behind every great man, there’s an even greater woman”….behind every great simulation game there’s a long list of very successful 3rd party partners which help make the game even better through mods and add-ons, I fear if Dovetail Games doesn’t change their plan on how they may force 3rd party developers to exclusively market via Steam, then FSW may never fully get off the ground.  Please read this for background information.

In a nutshell, DTG may require all 3rd party developers to market their add-ons exclusively through Steam.  Let’s use PMDG as an example.  The almost brand new PDMG 747-400 Queen of the Skies II sells directly from the PMDG website for $134.99.  The cost to market something on Steam is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40%.  So if PMDG truly believes their 747 is worth $134.99 they either will take a 30-40% hit on their profit (not likely) or pass along the costs to us consumers.  Therefore, increasing the cost of their 747-400 Queen of the Skies II to a whopping $175.  Of course, nothing is official at this time…and Dovetail could re-consider their marketing requirements.  Stay tuned…

My Very Bottom Line

I simply can’t deny that in some ways I simply couldn’t prevent myself from making comparisons to FSX, P3D and even X-Plane.  I consider myself to be a hard-core simmer with regards to my enjoyment of the flight simulation hobby.  I like the eye-candy that some of the 3rd party add-ons provide.  I enjoy the more complex aircraft add-ons from the likes of PMDG, A2A, Aerosoft, Carenado etc.  I also enjoy using my additional add-on hardware from Go Flight which helps to add to the immersion level.  Finally, I do from time to time enjoy experiencing multiplayer action via the VATSIM network and at this particular time…none of these boxes get checked with Dovetail Games Flight Sim World.  But of course, I’m reminded of the fact that this is an early access product.  Things can and may change….

Should you consider DTG’s Flight Sim World?

It’s difficult for me to recommend an early release product of any kind.  After all, it’s your hard earned money and not mine.  But if you are new to flight simulation, have a desire to try it out AND have an extra $24.99 in your pocket, then DTG’s FSW might be a good entry point for you.  If you don’t like it, or if it doesn’t perform to your expectation you can always request a refund via Steam.

I’m going to continue to keep my eyes and ears open to any news on this subject.  I may occasionally test out new enhancements made throughout the early access process, but if you ask me if Flight Sim World will become my “Go-To Flight Sim” the answer is no and I hope to share all the reasons for this along with exactly what my “Go-To Flight Sim” is in a future blog post.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Flight Simulator 11 is finally here

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.

Until next time…

Happy Flying in a world without OOM’s.

Jerry

The Last OOM?

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…

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry