Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pro Flight Simulator v.s. FSX - A Worthy Comparison

Here are some reasons why I consider Pro Flight Simulator to be a FAR SUPERIOR product.

Custom Launcher & Compatibility:
Pro Flight Simulator has a new 3.0 custom launcher that makes launching a new game easier. It is compatible with multiple operating systems and supports more hardware configurations that FSX. I couldn't get FSX or X Plane 10 to run on my system. FSX is completely laggy and crashes non-stop. However, with Pro Flight Simulator, I was able to run the game smoothly.

Monthly Updates:
Within 3 weeks of my purchase, I had a new update from Pro Flight Sim. The next update will be coming in 1 month's time. They offer far more frequent updates than all other flight simulators. There will be 10 more aircraft to play with and 50 more scenery packs in the next update. This offers far more value than FSX which no longer receives updates from Microsoft.

Video Tutorials:
There are easy-to-follow video tutorials to teach you how to get started flying. I couldn't find this in FSX or X Plane 10. These video tutorials make it easy for me to learn how to fly the aircraft. There are also illustrated guides spanning over 100+ pages which you can refer to at anytime during the flight.

Better hardware Compatibility:
I was able to use my Saitek and Logitech joysticks with Pro Flight Simulator without any issues. I had trouble trying to get them to work with FSX or X Plane. It comes with easy joystick configuration options that syncs with your existing hardware. No more hassles and headaches trying to get your hardware to work. (Note: My CH yoke worked will with all of these sims)

Pro Flight Simulator is a much better game and offers MORE VALUE for money (great updates!). It also has a higher chance to work with your system. The 4 free bonuses they give also sweetens the deal. So take flight today with Pro Flight Simulator - the most realistic flight sim in the market for amateurs and pilots alike. They are currently offering a discounted price through this blog, order now and save the money while you can.

CH Products Eclipse yoke, As real as it gets

I tested the Eclipse Yoke in X-Plane 10 and was extremely pleased with how it felt and operated. Once I had the input settings configured to my liking, I found that flying with the Eclipse felt very smooth and natural compared to a joystick, and with the number of controls available, I was able to map my most commonly used commands to the yoke itself meaning less time spent with my fingers on the keyboard which lends itself to a more authentic flying experience (or what I think is a more authentic flying experience; the closest I've come to piloting a real plane was sitting in the right seat of a Cessna 152 as a passenger).

The Eclipse Yoke works flawlessly in Linux (Kubuntu 11.10), but you'll probably want to use a program like QJoyPad to map the left hatswitch to keyboard inputs so you can use it for things like looking around the 3D cockpit. Without QJoyPad, the left hatswitch reports as axes instead of buttons for reasons that are complicated and boring, and you can't assign look commands to an axis in X-Plane making work-arounds pretty much mandatory. Windows doesn't require any such work-around, again for reasons that are complicated and boring.

The center knob on the Eclipse is used by the CH software to select one of three profiles. However, without the software they're reported as regular button presses which can be assigned commands. So, for example, I have X-Plane 10 set-up so that turning the switch all the way to the left will show me the 3D cockpit view, center will give me an exterior view of my plane, and full right will put me in the nearest tower. Pretty handy, I think.

I don't have anything negative to say because, honestly, nothing came to mind while I was using the yoke. I booted up X-Plane, took to the air, and never once had to think about the controller sitting in front of me. It just works, feels great to fly with, and doesn't get in the way. I highly recommend the CH Eclipse Yoke, it's one of the best yokes you can buy without spending a small fortune.

Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition, The Standard of PC Flight Sims

Flight sims for your PC rarely gets any better than FSX. Microsoft has been at this for a long time, and they make it better with every release.
But the system requirements to really make this software work well are still advanced. You'll need a capable gaming machine, with a quality video card, to get the full benefit of the entire visual, audible, advanced controls experience. Got a laptop you think is pretty smokin'? Forget it. Unless you don't mind lag.

Microsoft follows every release of this product with massive service packs you must download and install, and each one takes a huge chunk out of your hard drive. Be prepared with LOTS of disk space. This particular release (meaning, the "Gold Edition") includes service packs one and two, so you won't need to download them.

A note to real pilots: Keep in mind that this is a $30 product for a home computer, not a Flight Safety training machine. The flight model is basic and stable, and is not intended to simulate extreme attitudes and emergency procedures. If you're looking for a realistic spin trainer, or a procedural instrument trainer there are expensive add-ons that will get you CLOSE, but you should generally be looking elsewhere.

Bottom line is that this is, hands down, one of the best, but you really DO need good hardware resources to run it. If you own those resources, be prepared for a real-time, audio-visual feast. FSX is currently a meager $29 on Amazon.com