As flight sim enthusiasts we are at a cross-roads in our hobby. The most popular platform remains FSX but this is no longer being developed by Microsoft.
There is X Plane 10 utilising 64bit architecture and is a potential option for the future of flight simming. Some feel the lack of add-on developer support may limit its success but it stands a chance of establishing itself as a viable alternative as it matures.
Then there is also Prepar3d by Lockheed Martin. This is in essence FSX re-tweaked and upgraded into a more stable version of FSX. The only issue for users is that currently Lockheed Martin don't offer this simulator as an entertainment platform - it is strictly for training purposes only. That said, anyone can buy a monthly subscription or an academic/professional license and use the software. Similarly MANY add on developers are actively providing all manner of add-ons for Prepar3d under this current license agreement. There are some however who aren't and never will as long as Prepar3d does not include an entertainment license. Some argue that Lockheed Martin are very clear about the non-entertainment nature of Prepar3d - this is true in some respects but you only have to visit their forums to see how seriously they interact with the flight sim community and take on board all the suggestions for new feature requests. Whilst this is simulator product, they are supporting our community in general and those of us who use their products at home.
A new version of Prepar3d is soon to be released: version 2.0. Alongside X Plane 10, myself and many believe these two platforms will be the future of flight simulation in the coming years. If Lockheed Martin develop a 64 bit version, the possibilities are even more exciting.
A suggestion made by FroogleSim on one of his excellent YouTube videos (https://www.facebook.com/Frooglesim and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFsiyzF7mXM&feature=share&list=UUCcyPyTfN8LEVHQojHkR-aA) was to petition Microsoft to release the entertainment license to Lockheed Martin. This would open up the door to all the developers who are currently not interested in Prepar3d AND allow anyone to move to the new platform.
To make changes in this community we need to get behind the future platforms. We need to send a message to Microsoft and Lockheed Martin that we want to see a new platform developed for everyone and which allows all add-on developers to get behind it.
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