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An FSElite Original: What Should you Buy This Holiday Season?

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Christmas is literally around the corner, developers are all hands on deck preparing their products to be out before the holidays kick in. With single digits until the fat man in the red suit comes down your chimney and stuffs your stockings with Flight Sim goodies, FSElite are looking at what products you should purchase this holiday season.

How are we deciding this?

We’re taking into account any products within the following spec:

  • That were released between now and mid-November (when we started thinking about this article)
  • Products that developers have confirmed that they’re aiming for a holiday / year end release.
  • With the holidays for many spreading over the course of a week, we’re including products rumoured to be released early Jan (because any New Years Party will wipe out all your cash!)
  • It will include scenery, aircraft, utilities and even hardware.

Of course, there are so many products available that not everyone will have the cash for them all.

Of course, we’re working hard on providing you with PLENTY of reviews over the next 10 days to help make your choice even easier. Until then, consider some of these mini-reviews.

Let’s take a look at what we hope to be in our stockings this year.

Aircraft – FSLabs A320X P3D (and the long awaited FSX update) (Predicted)

 

Since the launch in August, many people (including myself) have been anxious to get our hands on the most realistic Airbus product available on the market. With FSX users already having the joy of flying this bird, the feedback has been astonishing. With immersion unlike any other aircraft, this will definitely be in your virtual hanger for a long time. The videos we’ve seen showing off the depth and systems will keep you coming back for more. Of course, we’re intrigued to see how the high price point will impact people’s willingness to buy, so this would definitely make a good ‘gift’ from someone you know. Of course, they could buy you the FSX version now and you simply use the fair ‘upgrading’ procedure FSLabs will have in place. Whether it’s out before Christmas is still yet to be determined, but we do know the team are hard at work to make this happen.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It’s all about the detail. The FSLabs A320X doesn’t stop providing new challenges each time you fly.

 

Aircraft – TFDi Design’s 717

 

Literally the parallel of FSLabs’ aircraft, TFDi Designs have said time and time again that their 717 will be out before the end of the year. With a fair price point of $60 for both FSX and P3D versions, users will have great flexibility in the Sim they use. Of course, this is older Boeing and so the challenges will be very different from the extremely automated aircraft we’ve been using for a while now. With cockpit sharing, built in charter viewer and other extremely cool features, we’re really excited to see how the 717 pans out from TFDi Designs.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It’s going to be vastly different from any commercial aircraft you’ve flown recently.

 

Scenery – Taxi2Gate Charles De Gaulle  (Predicted)

The team at Taxi2Gate have been pretty quiet recently. I remember when they had 3 big airports all come out within 12 months, alongside smaller Caribbean airports. If they’re quiet, we can assume it means big things are to come from their latest airport in Paris. With Aerosoft’s now extremely dated, Simmers are really excited to finally see some new life. Of course, it’s all about performance when it comes to these mega airports. Somehow, Taxi2Gate just know how to create detailed airports with no impact on frames whatsoever. Take Seattle for example – an area known for killing frames, yet many users reported an INCREASE in framerates when using Taxi2Gate Seattle. With very little information about the product, the team did say that a holiday 2016 release was the goal so fingers and toes crossed!

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

A huge airport like Charles De Gaulle should be on anyone’s list for the flexibility in routes, but coupled with the high quality of Taxi2Gate, this is a sure winner.

 

Scenery – Flightbeam Minneapolis (Predicted)

I could make this very short and say “because it’s a Flightbeam product”, but those guys deserve much more recognition than that. Without a shadow of doubt, Flightbeam offer some of the best and highest quality products on the market. With the unprecedented detail, the suburb performance and the range of airports on offer, there’s nothing you can’t love about them. With only a handful of images available, we know that Minneapolis will be another airport in the Flightbeam ranks that will continue to push the technology further then ever before.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It’s FlightBeam – that’s always a reason to buy it. What sets it part is the fact it’s a really popular airport over in the States.

 

Scenery – FlyTampa Amsterdam (Update: Released)

 

I was in the middle of writing this article when FlyTampa pulled a surprise release! Obviously this has been in the works for a while now and looks absoloutely stunning. My very quick impressions of it are that it’s fantastic. With a complex layout, interesting weather and a wealth of routes, I can tell this will be a hugely popular add-on for Simmers for many years. If the quality of previous FlyTampa products are anything to go by, then this will be a another fantastic addition to your scenery collection.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It’s already out, it looks amazing and will have many, many routes lasting you for years to come.

 

Scenery – Orbx Mini Airports

 

In the last two weeks, Orbx have been on a mission to dominate your wallets. They have released several airports including Block Island Airport, Hammerfest, Catalina and more. We’re going to have some reviews up in the next few days, but we assure you that some of these airports are very much worth your investment. With the quality as high as always and a diversity to keep Simmers happy, it’s bound to make for a great gift. With the easy to use Orbx Direct and FTX Central v3, installing and downloading can’t be easier.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

The airports are already out and provide diversity in your sim taking you to some smaller, more GA orientated flying.

 

Utility – ENVTEX

 

Toga Project’s released ENVTEX as a competitor to REX and even surpass the original Active Sky Cloud Art textures for their Active Sky 16. The results are really good and include thousands of textures. The biggest part of ENVTEX is the ability to see the Northern lights within the Sim. It adds another level of immersion to the Sim and is fully customisable.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It will change who your entire Sim will look and give you reason to fly very North during the Winter.

 

Utility – FSFX Dash 8 Q400 Immersion Package

 

The team at FSFX have been teasing us for months with images of their upcoming immersion package, this time for the brilliant Majestic Dash 8 Q400. As with any other FSFX Immersion Package, there will be plenty of new effects to make your experience even more immersive than ever before. Effects like volumetric rain and lights, dust effects and other innovative stuff not seen before in the Sim. The quality from FSFX has always been of a high standard and we see no reason for this to be any difference.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

With a lot of effects more likely to take place during Winter, this is the perfect chance for it to be released.

 

Utility – Airline2Sim 777 Cadet Program (Releasing 30th December 2016)

 

Ben and the team have been working extremely hard to provide a new package of their highly successful cadet training packages. With the brilliant Dash 8 video pack, people have been eager to get their hands on a big jet experience. With a long-time real world United Airlines pilot at the helm, you can be sure that you will learn plenty, even if you think you know the triple 7. With 23 episodes for the cost of just $39.99, it’s better value than most DVD boxsets.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

With 23 episodes available, you’ll be getting hours upon hours of entertainment and learning from the high production values from Airline2Sim.

 

Hardware – Intel iCore Processors (6th Gen)

This year has been full of strange events, and the release of the next gen of iCore Processors has been one of them! Usually released and revealed for desktops in Q3 of the year, we’re still not sure of final details of the 7th generation processors from Intel. With a rumoured release date of January, prices of the 6000 series will soon –hopefully- drop off as retailers sell off their stock. It’s a great processor, and if rumours are to be true, then the 7000 series won’t be significantly better than the current spec of processors – meaning you’ll get more bang for buck.

I’m aware this didn’t come out during the time frame specified, but it was suggested of me to include it for those considering new hardware.

Why should this be on your Christmas list?

It’s an expensive piece of kit, so why not ask someone else to buy it for you, especially as prices should be going down.

 

Of course, there’s still plenty of products out there to buy, and of course, those that came out before November. This is my –personal- wish list, but I hope it will give you some idea on what to spend money on this holiday season.

There’s also an element that some developers will surprise release products over the Christmas period. Don’t forget, loads of great products also came out this year and are all one sale, so make sure you consider that as well.

Regardless of what you purchase, let us know your favourites and if we’ve missed anything out.

Happy Holidays to you all.

 

Calum Martin

The author Calum Martin

I have been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of '2000 and have been developing my love for aviation ever since. Currently working for a UK airline, I have the knowledge and experience to really deliver an excellent aviation community. Although no real life flying experience, I have a good understanding and always learning more and more. | View My Specs

1 Comment

  1. *Intel iCore Processors*

    It would be Intel Core i Processors.

    Just wanted to point that minor mistake out.

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