The Boeing 737 is the most popular commercial airliner in existence. Flight sims have continuously featured this airframe — including Microsoft’s own offerings. But, strangely enough, the 737 was ditched as the lead airliner for the newest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator. In actuality, it’s not present in the sim at all as a default aircraft. Instead, that space is occupied by its primary real-world competitor, the Airbus A320neo. Now, nearly two years later, Microsoft Flight Simulator will finally be graced by the presence of Boeing’s star player in the form of its highest quality payware addon to date. PMDG, a staple of the flight sim addon industry, has been hard at work on its rendition of the Boeing 737 family for Microsoft Flight Simulator for quite some time now.
After some development woes towards the end of the project, progress has since made rapid pace. The company recently announced a few weeks ago that it moved the project to the beta phase. Now, PMDG is taking things a step further by showing off the fully functional 737 in-game for the first time in a preview video. The video contains five minutes of gameplay, providing a look at the aircraft’s various animations, some cockpit features (like a nifty HUD unit), and snippets of the jet in various stages of flight.
More on the horizon
The preview begins with PMDG’s Founder relishing over how the 737 in Microsoft Flight Simulator has allowed the company to create a project up to a standard that it has been imagining for 40 years. This is quite an interesting tidbit, as some sim enthusiasts have bashed Asobo’s handiwork, calling it too “gameified,” meaning that they don’t consider it to be complex enough.
With that said, the PMDG 737 will serve as the first truly “study-level” experience that Microsoft Flight Simulator has to offer. Aerosoft’s CRJ project launched last year, giving simmers a taste of such a feat, but PMDG is arguably pushing the throttle a little closer to what more serious users demand.
The team is still being bashful about announcing a formal release date, even going as far as to end the preview video with a cheeky “Coming Soon ;-)” tagline. But, with this footage of the 737 in action and PMDG’s lead programmer stating that the team is in the final stretch, it really does seem like it’s only a matter of time before customers at large get to sink their teeth into the new addon.
Unlike past iterations of PMDG’s tentpole projects, the team promised to try out a new pricing model that will give customers more flexibility as to which specific 737 model(s) they’d like to purchase. This is likely thanks to Microsoft Flight Simulator’s rapidly surging userbase providing a large pool of potential customers.
When the 737 does launch, we will be sure to have our own coverage of it just as we’ve already done with other addon projects.