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remcosol

Future of p3d ?

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On 11/6/2021 at 1:48 AM, Ray Proudfoot said:

Whether it will become a viable rival for IFR flying will become clear over time. Having bought the PMDG737 twice I don’t intend to buy it a third time.

I wish you luck. Not buying anything anymore is a promise I've made to myself many times over since Windows XP and FS4. Soft devs has made a liar out of me. All I see is a liar when I look at the mirror. D_mn all software! Lol.

 

Edited by bofhlusr
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Hardware: i7-8700k, GTX 1070-ti, 32GB ram, NVMe/SSD drives with lots of free space.
Software: latest Windows 10 Pro, P3Dv4.5+, FSX Steam, and lots of addons (100+ mostly Orbx stuff).

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On 11/29/2021 at 10:08 AM, Patco Lch said:

This is off topic but I’ve said it before. All sims are games unless someone is paying you a living wage to be a professional simmer and or, there is a sim that extracts the ultimate penalty for a screw up. Either an exploding yoke or a trap door under your desk that opens and drops you into the infernal regions.. Then you can truly say “ This is not a game”!!

@Patco Lch Hahaha... that sums it up really. Borrowing a cliché from an ancient tv show... "just the facts ma'am". Pigs don't fly.

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Hardware: i7-8700k, GTX 1070-ti, 32GB ram, NVMe/SSD drives with lots of free space.
Software: latest Windows 10 Pro, P3Dv4.5+, FSX Steam, and lots of addons (100+ mostly Orbx stuff).

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This is a bit off topic, but I have been wondering about it from time to time.

What would happen if say MS drops MSFS like they did with MSFS and MS Flight, and support to stream scenery from bing no longer works? 

Surely, Orbx or other companies could come to the rescue if it happens, but many addon airports will be there without proper surrounding scenery since they are developing with scenery streaming in mind. 

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2 minutes ago, Ikarus280 said:

This is a bit off topic, but I have been wondering about it from time to time.

What would happen if say MS drops MSFS like they did with MSFS and MS Flight, and support to stream scenery from bing no longer works? 

Surely, Orbx or other companies could come to the rescue if it happens, but many addon airports will be there without proper surrounding scenery since they are developing with scenery streaming in mind. 

I mean MSFS without streaming scenery would probably be done.  I think developers would return to P3D/Xp

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I think if / when the time comes for MSFS to die as a product, the cloud infrastructure will probably be kept running, just not updated. Microsoft owns the infrastructure and the data, so it's cheap to run it. They kept the activation servers for FSX running for about a decade after it was discontinued, after all, and MSFS just doesn't work without cloud because offline mode is... word not allowed. You can cache areas but caching the whole world is impractical. Looking at a time horizon beyond 10 years is futile anyway - there might be a whole other sim platform by them, or XP or P3D might have morphed into a capable replacement by then.

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There’s no way they’ll keep the servers running. Keeping activation servers up isn’t at all comparable to streaming endless gigabytes of data. It’s not cheap for MS either. 

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31 minutes ago, flycln said:

There’s no way they’ll keep the servers running. Keeping activation servers up isn’t at all comparable to streaming endless gigabytes of data. It’s not cheap for MS either. 

It's cheap because Microsoft owns Azure.  Also, this topic was discussed in more detail here: 

The consensus in that discussion is, it's cheap for Microsoft.  In addition, it becomes harder to stop the streaming now that MSFS has been released for X-Box.  

As Gulfstream in that thread said:

Quote

A cloud business the sheer size of Microsoft's Azure is difficult to comprehend.  The amount of bandwidth they are using to send flight sim addicts some tiles is nothing compared to what business demand from Azure.  I am a software engineer who deals with Azure frequently, and the amount of ingress/egress from these platforms puts tile streaming to shame

 

Edited by abrams_tank

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4 hours ago, neilhewitt said:

if / when the time comes for MSFS to die as a product, the cloud infrastructure will probably be kept running, just not updated

1 minute ago, abrams_tank said:

It's cheap because Microsoft owns Azure.  Also, this topic was discussed in more detail here: 

The consensus in that discussion is, it's cheap for Microsoft.  In addition, it becomes harder to stop the streaming now that MSFS has been released for X-Box.  

Not convinced. IMO, it's the opportunity cost, rather than actual cost, that will be the issue.
If some AAA-gaming titles in the year 2030 are streaming aerial imagery and photogrammetry, you can bet that MS will see the bandwidth used by, and server heat generated by, MSFS that will cause them to shut down the online aspects of MSFS pretty quickly in favour of the gaming titles or other use cases.
 


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5 hours ago, Ikarus280 said:

This is a bit off topic, but I have been wondering about it from time to time.

What would happen if say MS drops MSFS like they did with MSFS and MS Flight, and support to stream scenery from bing no longer works? 

Surely, Orbx or other companies could come to the rescue if it happens, but many addon airports will be there without proper surrounding scenery since they are developing with scenery streaming in mind. 

...and THAT is why...exactly why, I would never not have either P3D (latest) or XP (latest) mounted in my system.....

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18 minutes ago, F737NG said:

Not convinced. IMO, it's the opportunity cost, rather than actual cost, that will be the issue.
If some AAA-gaming titles in the year 2030 are streaming aerial imagery and photogrammetry, you can bet that MS will see the bandwidth used by, and server heat generated by, MSFS that will cause them to shut down the online aspects of MSFS pretty quickly in favour of the gaming titles or other use cases.
 

Well, I disagree with you.  From that thread discussion, it costs "peanuts" for Microsoft to stream the scenery data.

Do you know what the biggest costs are?  The biggest costs probably isn't the streaming, it's getting access to that satellite data in the first place, and then hiring a company like Blackshark AI to convert the 2D satellite objects into 3D objects.  However, the costs of actually streaming it is peanuts.  Microsoft already has that satellite data though (Bing) and Blackshark AI has already converted those 2D satellite objects into 3D objects.  

I would say Youtube and Twitch use up way more server power and bandwidth than MSFS does, but yet Youtube and Twitch can easily do it for a profit.  Don't forget that there is still the MSFS marketplace and it's likely that the commission earned from Microsoft from the MSFS marketplace can easily pay for whatever cheap costs of streaming that data.

Finally, note that the mod that allows MSFS to use Google streaming data has still not been shut down by Google and that mod has been running for 3 months now: https://flightsim.to/file/19345/msfs-2020-google-map-replacement

If Google detected that MSFS was eating so much of Google's bandwidth and costing Google that much money, they would have shut it down a long time ago.  Most likely, MSFS users that stream off of Google are barely even a small blip on Google's server & bandwidth usage so that's probably why Google hasn't shut it down yet.  I'm not saying that it won't be shut down by Google in the future, but if it using so much of Google's server and bandwidth, it would have been shut down by Google a long time ago.

Edited by abrams_tank
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@abrams_tank has it right. Bandwidth is super cheap right now. There is a boatload of unused fibre out there. Even with 2 million users all hitting the CDN for MSFS at the same time with 100Mbps+ connections, I doubt it's more than a blip on the Azure traffic radar. Server hardware is a fairly small % of the cost of building and maintaining the cloud, too (networking gear is much more expensive); the scale that Azure and AWS (and even GCP) work at is so mind-bogglingly big that having even a few thousand VMs dedicated to running the MSFS back-end is not a top-10 workload for Azure. Nowhere near. If you or I were doing it it would cost a few million a year, but for Microsoft it's much much less than that. 

They could still pull the plug because no-one cares enough to keep the platform going for the users, but Microsoft - despite what people often assume - is sensitive that it has the reputation for killing stuff off and they would like to be seen as the good guys if and when it happens. So I honestly believe, based on my past relationship with Microsoft (which was fairly close at one point) that they would keep the platform running for several years even if the sim was receiving no updates. This isn't MS Flight with no users; it's a sim with users in the millions. But that's a belief, and my belief and 99 cents will get you a cup of coffee as they say, so of course there's a risk. You jump on the MSFS bandwagon, you take that risk.

P3D also has infrastructure, though. If LM killed the platform and then shut down the activation servers, unless they provided customers with a way to activate locally with a key, or removed the requirement altogether (unlikely) then we'd be stuffed there as well. At some point you just have to go along for the ride and see what happens.

I'm not ditching P3D, though I'm not running it currently as I'm between cockpits and am experimenting with MSFS to see what the fuss is all about (and @Ray Proudfoot, I think there is quite a lot to like, but IMHO it's definitely not ready for realistic tubeliner flying, though with enough mods and Pilot2ATC, you can get a lot nearer to it). I may even look at XP11/12 - I haven't run X-Plane since 10 and I've never really used it in anger. Hell, I might install DCS. The more sims the merrier.

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2 minutes ago, neilhewitt said:

(and @Ray Proudfoot, I think there is quite a lot to like, but IMHO it's definitely not ready for realistic tubeliner flying, though with enough mods and Pilot2ATC, you can get a lot nearer to it).

I’ve always thought of it as a brilliant low-level VFR sim. I’m very much controlled by the decisions FS Labs take with Concorde. If there’s no version for MSFS then P3D will remain on my system. If they create a version for MSFS then it becomes a far easier decision.

Whether Radar Contact can ever be made to work in it is unknown. I would really miss that program.

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System: P3D v5.3HF2, Intel i9-13900K, MSI 4090 GAMING X TRIO 24G, Crucial T700 4Tb M.2 SSD, Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, 32Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR5 6000Mhz RAM, Win 11 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor, Fulcrum One yoke, Fulcrum TQ (pre-production).
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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

Whether Radar Contact can ever be made to work in it is unknown. I would really miss that program.

It's an interesting question. RC uses SimConnect (I think?) and MSFS has SimConnect and it's probably far closer to the FSX-era SimConnect than it is to what P3D has now, but we know Asobo has deprecated quite a few SimConnect events and properties. If RC relies on those, things might not work. Someone ought to try it and see... I'd volunteer but I'm time poor at the moment. 


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9 minutes ago, neilhewitt said:

It's an interesting question. RC uses SimConnect (I think?)

It was written back in 2005/06 using Visual Basic. Was simconnect around then? I always thought it used FSUIPC to communicate with FSX/P3D.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2, Intel i9-13900K, MSI 4090 GAMING X TRIO 24G, Crucial T700 4Tb M.2 SSD, Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, 32Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR5 6000Mhz RAM, Win 11 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor, Fulcrum One yoke, Fulcrum TQ (pre-production).
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When 5.3 was released you could see a lot of serious programming work had been done with respect to connectivity, multi-user simulator setups and various enterprise level hardware variations - hence the improvements to the way xml is working, API's, HTML not to mention the internal visuals capability of DX12, of EA and True Sky. Underneath all that they quietly improved general object and texture display with PBR enhancement and a few airports here and there as well. That tells me that LM are well and truly cementing the stability and functionality of this simulator platform for its commercial customers. They will only move so far as the general computer systems their main customers are currently using in terms of future developments - you can be certain there are a lot of these customers who are still using Win7 as a networked operating system (along with a whole bunch of large scale enterprise stuff by Sun Microsystems etc) So I am very comfortable that the current version will work and continue to work for probably about the next 4 years without any changes at all if LM's senior management decided to cut the academic license section adrift. 

My apprehension about P3D is not LM but the damage done to content availability and updates. One after another various commercial simulator developers have stopped doing updates, stopped development of product for P3D in toto because they are chasing market share and trying to maintain financial viability for their businesses by going for the only market that offers any sort of growth and volume - MSFS. Basically apart from a few minor scenery releases every product I have is now effectively an orphan. What this means I can say from the recent 5.3 update where a number of older FSX port overs (all supposedly 64bit compliant) developed a whole bunch of problems with gauges and xml code re. I have spent two days now repairing a couple of them substituting in newer xml code and cleaning out a lot of FSX era code and gauges. So over time I expect this situation to continue probably not dramatically but sufficiently for one to say well - your on your own here, if you do not come up with a fix or the community does not do it then expect to start to lose some beloved models and aeroplanes even from P3D. 

For me MSFS will never be a viable alternative - I do not expect to see any high end models make it into that sim, like a study level jet for example because MSFS are driving that sim into the X-Box world, that is it is regarded as a game product by MS nothing more nothing less. Ignore the gee whiz outcome of some clever work by ASOBO  look at the list of bugs and problems with something as complex as programming a FMS to fly a GPS approach path which at the moment is not possible in MSFS because of faulty understanding of complex aviation flight procedures, GPS systems and programming OR the inability of that sim to translate standard WMO code for weather into a viable weather display system. 

Now Windows 11 is on the scene and demands TPM hardware to run, WIN 10 will be my last operating system and P3D my last simulator. I am not buying a new PC to run Windows 11 I  am not going to give control of my motherboard over to MS via  the TPM method (an imbedded cryptochip) of my PC.  That is,  fine I am very impressed with P3D V5.3 anyway (runs faster, smoother and with less GPU demands than any sim I have ever had) and it is everything I always hoped a good PC based simulator would be. (yeah and I can't fly over my house in MSFS, shame apparently the Bing matter data for my area and many others is first 10 years old and second does not exist, the only pictures they could use are 20 year old high level aerial photographs done by the mapping people, so much for the hype thats the reality),

Now I am over the next few years going to actually invest time and effort into a Linux system and XPlane - seems to me that is the future after all! Well until Google get the smarts and find a way to integrate our beloved simulator models with their flight simulator based on Google Earth (now what happened to that one? It looked very promising when I trialled it several years back!)

Edited by coastaldriver

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