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  1. Hey all - this is my first foray with the FS Labs community and products, and just wanted to share my journey to FS Labs which actually started with MSFS, mainly for other simmers on the fence about FS Labs and P3D, especially with the new lure & beauty of MSFS. I'm a hardcore sim genre fan, not a pilot by a long shot, but absolutely require depth and realism - I spend most of my time in racing sims, mainly rFactor 2 on a $5,000 sim racing rig. I had FS2004 and hadn't returned to flight sims since - then the MSFS launch got me back into it. Anyway, the headline is - I had never previously used FSX, P3D, XPL- but even with MSFS's dream VFR environment (weather, cloud rendering, lighting, cockpit visuals, incredible world modelling tech, sloped runways, etc), I went ahead and purchased P3D last night, along with FSL A320-X, just for this single airliner, here's my reasoning and comparison: Reasoning Technical Challenge - the main reason I went and purchased relatively 'old' technology (P3D), was for the technical challenge and the resultant joy of flying that comes from that - I'm not talking IFR specifically here, I'm talking all the technicalities of getting in the air, landing and flying in general - like dealing with starting a plane from cold and dark, managing / preparing backup systems in failure scenarios, and navigating / landing a plane with IFR / ILS. Deeply Engaging Experiences - knowing that the flight computers, fuel systems, engine spooling, oil temps, icing issues and navigation systems are life-like is important to me, because it brings with it the ability to watch real world pilots in action (i.e. on YouTube), learn from them, and test your knowledge and resolve in reference to them (much more diverse and engaging than the simple scenarios / challenges pre-packaged by many modern flight sim titles) IFR - it's clear to me now (and from a week of research) that if you want to fly IFR and really enjoy that aspect of flying (which has always fascinated me to watch) - the pinnacle is FS Labs + Navigraph. (Full disclosure, I have not flown PMDG). Comparison General Comparison - I'll use driving / sim racing as an analogy here as most know the physical feeling - we've all felt wheelspin / slip in a car, either driving in the rain or on ice, or on the track if you're lucky, and the associated spike of adrenaline you get when you feel the car going in a direction you didn't want it to... There is only one racing sim title I can use to get a similar spike in adrenaline and that is rFactor 2 - many don't know it, or use it, because it is obscure and the 3D rendering engine looks bland when compared with Gran Turismo Sport, Assetto Corsa Competizione or Formula 1 2020. Very similar to FS Labs versus MSFS. However these 3 racing titles are still considered sims, and I agree, they are, but they don't give me the spike of adrenaline when I'm all out of grip that rFactor does. The tire model alone is so well implemented, that it provides more immersion than the visual beauty, sound quality, racing leagues and multiplayer experiences combined, in the other sim racing titles. I can confirm this is exactly the same feeling I get from FS Labs versus MSFS (except FS Labs has fantastic sound too). Airliners - flying the A320neo in MSFS was the primary reason I went and purchased P3D & FS Labs a couple days later. It's gorgeous, but to put it in perspective, it feels no different flying the A320neo, the 787 or the 747-8, all of which I have tried in MSFS. To put it another way, there is no character to the airliners - going from cold and dark in all 3 feels the same, just with switch placements in slightly different positions, and a different 'theme' applied to the PFD and other displays. Even though autopilot is different to use, it doesn't really have enough detail to set Airbus and Boeing apart. Here's hoping that MS allow third-parties to use their amazing models to implement study-level systems - or at the very least, shortcut the texturing process... VFR - I will never fly GA or VFR in P3D when MSFS is available, and for me, MSFS is definitely stable enough to enjoy a 2 - 3 hour GA flight with Virpil, Honeycomb and MFG Crosswind hardware. Environment - because MSFS is out now, it goes without saying that P3D is comparatively awful - in menu intuitiveness, in rendering quality, in weather effects, etc. But it is worth swallowing that pill just to get inside the FS Labs A320! In summary, I use rFactor 2 when I want to experience pure racing joy (and feel like I've earnt it), but regularly go back to the other titles to enjoy racing leagues and the visual beauty of a race car. The same now applies to FS Labs and MSFS - I will use them both in tandem, one for the technical joy of flying, one for the visual beauty of flying. That is... Until FS Labs release the A320 with sharklets on MSFS...
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