The tilt toward X-Plane...

There’s been an awakening…have you felt it?

So I’m browsing some of the Labor Day sales, and, I’ve noticed this over the past couple of years…I’m getting less and less inclined to buy things for FSX and P3D. I just find myself flying them less, find the flight modeling characteristics a bit blah, and just generally spend 95% of my time in X-Plane. I probably have thousands of dollars worth of FSX/P3D add-ons in my library, so it is sort of bummer. It’s just hard to get real excited about FSX/P3D. It doesn’t hurt X-Plane either that they really took the lead in VR with FSX/P3D feeling really clunky in that regard. Laminar has really done a nice job with their VR integration.

There will likely be a place for FSX/P3D on my drive for many more years to come of course. It just isn’t my go to sim anymore.


Sadly, both look outdated compared to modern game engines .e.g. 15 Games of E3 2018 With Mind Blowing Graphics - YouTube and I would include XPlanes platform as well. Then as you state the lack of fidelity, immersion and realism when it comes to a home flight simulator considering cost outlay of flight gear and high end systems at and over : Gear $500 + PC Builds of $3000 feels like you are not getting your worth or what you feel things should be at being 2018. Its why I rather see more effort going into building one flight sim encompassing all aviation aspects with “ED-DCS-WORLD” as a niche gaming sector. All this is possible as they add more tools and 3rd parties. I also have extensive accumulated files for FSX/P3D/XPlane sims on my hard drive that I don’t even use anymore. But this saga has plagued the sim hobbyist for to long now and more developers need to just realize where the wider market is to a future vision and expansion, that’s my 2c’s at least.

1 Like

Don’t get me wrong - I think my money and hardware outlay for both P3D and X-Plane are worth it. I just need to pick a horse so to speak…and I’ve pretty much settled on X-Plane.

I don’t expect X-Plane or P3D to match modern game graphics engines…and I think X-Plane with good ortho and its superior lighting is very, very close to real life flying. Most of the other pilots on here can attest that the view out the window of most of the planes we fly can be pretty uniform and dullish due to all the particulates and smog in the air. Sure, you get the occasional low altitude approach into airports surrounded by green fields, ice and snow, or mountains…but by and large, X-Plane does a pretty good job of replicating the experience.

So I wouldn’t say at any time I hadn’t gotten my money in fun out of what I’ve put in because it IS my hobby…and sometimes hobbies don’t make sense. LOL.

I would love for ED to make inroads toward the X-Plane flight experience, but that is a very, very large ask to crossover to appeal to that crowd. Not to mention with ortho, talented scenery designers, and all kinds of free utilities, it would be hard to make a commercial case for pulling that crowd completely over. Maybe.

Even with all the quality freeware stuff for X-Plane, I still find myself buying some really nice payware sceneries that interest me. So I think there is room for everyone.

And FSX / P3D will endure I think. But it would take something I’d be significantly interested in to buy much more for that platform. I’m always a sucker for tough airports and bush fields and aircraft…so there’s that…


I see your point, although, I think DCS-WORLD is where this will go by some of the Forum posts going back to about 5years ago about the possibilities its still being rebuilt from its old shell and everything is BETA mode… but as usual its a long road and its all based on sales driving the needs.

1 Like

I remember a time when I would spend well over $3000 on a PC, and even take out a loan to finance it (back in the early/mid 1990’s). To be honest, I am amazed at what we have available to us right now, and the price of a decent gaming rig has actually come down a lot. Throw in VR for $400 and today’s hardware gives us an unprecedented level of immersion and an experience we could not even imagine in our wildest dreams back when I started playing flight sims in the early 1980’s.

That is not to say it is a cheap hobby in 2018, but any hobby that you get into in a big way is going to cost money. The deeper you venture into any hobby, the more expensive it will get.

1 Like

For reference, a giant scale RC aircraft can set one back by about $3500 in total equipment costs.

Try Amateur Astronomy :wink: .

I don’t know the last time I saw a telescope that could fly… :thinking:

Actually, a telescope takes you to places no airplane can, and it’s a time machine as well.

1 Like

Telescope or teleporter? I’ve heard bad things about the latter.

1 Like

I like telescopes, however, I’ve got an old British, blue, police call box that a fiddle around with that scratches the time travel itch.:sunglasses:


I live to fly. Outside of family, flying is practically all I think about. But I can’t always fly. On such days X-Plane is my Dos Equis.


I remember putting coin into a rig that would run Falcon 3.0, Tornado, and Wing Commander III. I also remember it was a big deal that Falcon 3.0 required a math co-processor to do the hi-fidelity flight model. The level of sim hardware and peripherals we have now is incredible. I started with a 2 button CH stick and my first HOTAS was the TM F-4 stick with the WCS Mk1 throttle. The F-4 stick required game-specific software drivers to get the 4 buttons and hat switch to work, and the WCS you had to daisy-chain to your keyboard and flip dip-switches to set the desired gaming profile, and the throttle was a digital axis (i.e. pressing =/- or 1-0 on the keyboard for the throttle commands).

By comparison, we now have USB peripherals and games that can detect and use all of them, the opportunity to program said peripherals (at least Thrustmaster) using the C programming language, integrated head tracking and VR, not to mention the quantum leap in 3D graphics and processing power. The ability to immerse yourself in a simulator has never been more achievable.

Fidelity, immersion and realism are what you make of them. Falcon 4.0 SP3 had less realistic graphics than DCS, much less the current shooters, and yet the immersive experience of all the radio chatter, the tension in the target area, and the overall chaos gave me an experience similar to my operational flying days.


I must really agree here…
Even Falcon 3.0 for me was immersive as heck.
I loved especially Panama, Kurile islands and the 1991 gulf war maps.

1 Like

This is very true!
And I think it’s also a matter of making do of what you have. When Falcon 3 and Tornado ruled the virtual skies of our computers, those titles were the best the world had ever seen, by then. And I had a blast playing with them. An additional factor was perhaps youth. I could play all weekend long, if I wanted. I had friends with similar interests, who also could play all day long, and nights too.

But since this is about X-Plane… :wink:

My first XP was version 5. I was in flightschool and needed an instrument procedure trainer.
MSFS was pretty useless, I thought, for IFR flying. The blocky pixelated instruments didn’t have the fidelity to show trends and small corrections.
XP did, though. And the flightmodel felt like it was a lot better. I thought it was great!
But it can’t be compared to XP11. Laminar Research has grown and the XP title is expanding.
And… It survived MSFS.

As for tilting towards XP…
All I can say is that I’m happy to see the rest of the world finally following my lead. :sunglasses:

Very much this. I don’t care if a game uses pixel block graphics…if it has compelling game-play, it works for me. That is part of the reason I’m having so much fun with VTOL VR. Yes, the graphics are simple in a way, but the fun of the VR setting and the depth of the systems to explore is what keeps drawing me to it.

One of the things I really like about X-Plane is that it is really easy to work with from a modification and installation standpoint. You can easily move it from one drive to another, install and uninstall scenery and aircraft at will, install and uninstall plugins and utilities, and it doesn’t spread files throughout your OS or give you some dreaded crash that requires you to completely reinstall the entire program and add-ons. Generally, if something breaks, the log file will tell you what is causing it and it is usually as simple as removing or fixing that file.

1 Like

I agree - I think that was about the time I started picking up X-Plane. The rapid refresh of the instruments and the more fluid feel of it made (makes) it a great trainer for those tiny adjustments that are part of real flying. Just don’t let it fall under about 18 FPS or all that goes out the door though…

1 Like

That’s another great thing about XP. It has always been very scaleable to hardware, keeping FPS up.


Yeah…I hear great things about XP11 and really should make the jump

…but then there is this…

which is maybe 10% of my download FSX purchases…maybe…so…


And this is the advantage MSFS always had on XP.