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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict jmig's Avatar
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    PM Pricing "Gasp, cough, cough"

    I have been looking at net-workable instruments software. No one makes a package that models the T-38C gauges so, I contacted Project Magenta. I read quite a bit about them and their products. PM seens to have a loyal base of users. When the pricing came back, I like to have had a heart attack.

    Over a $1000 for the full line airliner configuration. Even the Regional Jet, which is what I would consider using is almost $400. To say the least, I was shocked. I have considered offering to pay someone to program T-38C style gauges for me. I expected to pay a few hundred for something like that. It would be a custom programming job. However, $1000 for off the shelf software for a $60 game?

    Maybe I am full of it here but, this seems very excessive to me. Sorry!
    John

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  2. #2
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmig View Post
    Over a $1000 for the full line airliner configuration. Even the Regional Jet, which is what I would consider using is almost $400. To say the least, I was shocked.... However, $1000 for off the shelf software for a $60 game?

    Maybe I am full of it here but, this seems very excessive to me. Sorry!
    This is exactly why I went with buying the RJ software back in Feb. I knew it was going up in costs, and I waited till the last possible day-litterally! I got it at $200+/-. Now I still have to buy CDU software, but not too soon. Maybe someone else will come along and give PM a run for their money-someone with a dedicated forum.

    Regarding a $60 game- Uh....maybe for you, but for me and countless others, I see it as a $60 bargain of software for a suspension of disbelief. If MSFS is considered a 'game', then so should X-Plane, ASA On-Top, CAE software, Flight Safety International, and so on...

    MSFS replicates all the basic functions of all flight simulator software used for training (for the very most part anyhow)

    BTW, no offense intended my friend, but just want to clarify that issue. MSFS is sold as a 'game' but everyone here is well aware of just how far one can exploit the capabilities of MSFS software. Cant tell you how fired up I got way back in the day when my aviation professor tried to knock MSFS as a 'toy' and compare it to ASA's 'On-Top' software, which had NO functionality over the then current version of MSFS with the exception that ASA had sought, and paid for, FAA certification for use in PC-based training aides. He wouldnt hear me out, and I still get ticked to think about how beligerent he was about that issue. Again, no offense intended!

    Anyhow, yes, I agree- PM software is expensive, but until someone else comes along and creates a viable competing product, it's just the way it is. What you have to remember is that in the bigger picture, $1000 for software is not that big of a deal considering that when you buy panels, or interfacing, or ONE really good FS computer, they are all over $1000. One goal I have is that if I am ever able to start my own FS business, I will do my best to have someone develop a competing product available for sale to the public that will work just as well and become just as popular

    Oh....the dreaming....
    Last edited by Tomlin; 07-17-2007 at 09:41 AM. Reason: additional comments
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  3. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Yup.... PM is VERY "pricey" at first glance. I certainly can't afford it in one "pop".

    In their defense, niche market, special interest software always is expensive in any field. (OR... someone is doing a "labor of love".....which has driven the freeware flightsim situation for years) Development costs for the complex software result in a high "per unit" cost, due to the limited number of sales that are even possible.

    I wonder how many units PM has actually sold? I am pretty sure it is not that many worldwide. While cockpit building is "taking off" (pun intended ) .....there are not THAT many being built. And PM does not get the whole 100% market share.

    For arguments sake let's say they sold 1000 units at $1000 each. That is a total gross revenue of $100,000. Sounds like a lot. But Gross is not NET. From a business investment standpoint... that is NOT a lot of money. Think about the expenses of maintaining the PM website alone each year. Then the costs to advertise. Anyone who runs a small business can go on and on with this list of "minor" expenses. And don't forget the pay for the actual programming time........ that eats up a HUGE pile of the cash.

    Programmers make a lot per hour for their time. (Car mechanics around here get close to $100 per hour!) The amount of "bulletproof" code that you can write in a day is pretty small. Researching the systems functionality of a real aircraft takes a lot of time. The real issue on their pricing is the TIME factor.

    Years ago I wrote code for a commercial piece of niche market ceramics field software ....... it is NOT a "get rich quick" scheme.

    The possible problem with PM I see from reading the comments in forums is the apparently unfinished nature of the software that is being sold at such a price. And the apparent lack of support for that software. If every aspect of the software worked to a reasonable level (there will ALWAYS be bugs in ANY software)...... I don't think people would complain so much.

    THIS is the real problem with PM, as I see it from afar (I don't own it). The product and support is apparently not backing up the slick, highly professional looking website. Style ahead of substance?

    However, anyone who is demanding the level of realism that has them ALSO going out and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on detailed commercial replica panels, look-alike switches, real aircraft parts, and so on likely should EXPECT to pay something like $1000 for a detailed replica of the aircraft's systems functionality that is the KEY to "driving" all those panels and equipment. Why should the software be "worth" less than a physical set of panels?

    This is why with my level of affluence (or actually lack thereof ), my pit is designed as a generic one, and the panels and such are all homemade. I simply cannot afford a detailed replica of a specific aircraft with all that implies. If a system is not exactly like the real aircraft .... well...... such is life. And while I am a craftsman, I don't have the amazing engineering skills of a Gwyn to do what he has done....which is a pretty darn CLOSE handbuilt exact replica. 99.99999 % of the time, when you go the "replica route", it gets expensive.


    My current "tweeked" copy of MSFS2004 is not all that inexpensive either if you add it all up. Yes the base MS simulator only cost about $50 at the time. BUT..... adding in a full compliment of FSGenesis mesh for the whole world (including buffer mesh), American Roads, Rivers, and Streams, NURoad Repaver, FScene textures for Asia, Flight Environment, Ground Environment II Pro, a passel of FlyTampa airports, some Overland Japanese Airports, Emma Field, a Turbine Sound Studios sound pack for my 146-200, Aerosoft AES Services, Real ATIS, and SelectFX...... (and probably others I am forgetting) well....... it is probably more like a $350-400 simulator now. Not to mentionj all the TIME I have spent tweeking it...... and I'd sell it for maybe $6000-7000.


    Anyway...... I'm merrily flying along using my freeware copies of FreeFD.... and having high hopes for Ellie Systems upcoming payware offerings. And custom set up panels for FSXpand are working for my EICAS display form my main aircraft (BAe 146-200). And FS2Phidget. And some systems logic is built using the physical switch logic on the panel wiring.

    So my $0.02 worth.

    best,

    .................john

  4. #4
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    Your reply is dead on John. And add to that that most of us did not pay $1000.00+ for the software.. It has only been that hight the last couple of years. And we do get updates. How much of the software you use and paid good money for get you 10. ok 8, ok 5 real updates a year? ( not counting M$ here that has to update weekly because their software has security holes in it) Yes PM spoiled us with all they did and we do not like sitting waiting to see what is going on. The cost of the software is a small amount in regards to the overall cost of the project and for most of us it makes the entire sim possible. Not saying I agree with the price hikes or anything else here but we have to deal with what we have, what are you going to do stop using the software you paid all that money for? Yes it looks like they are going to be more like every other software company out there... That is too bad.. But life goes on.
    Bob Reed

  5. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie PaulEMB's Avatar
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    Well said John,

    t might be worth remembering that the main reason for the price increases, discussed on the PM forum at the time, was the increasing number of "private" users, who turned out to be commercial users, circumventing the dual level licence fees.

    I purchased at the old prices, but even at the new prices, I agree that it is still value for money - look at the prices for other sim suppliers of hardware.

    It will be interesting to see pricing from new suppliers - the Airbus software from AST is not cheap.

    Why don't I hear people complaining of the prices of FDS MIPs?
    Paul

    Project ERJ 145
    www.erj145sim.net

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict jmig's Avatar
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    Eric, no offense taken. I may have used the term “game” in the wrong context? While I consider MSFS more than a “game”, I do not consider it flying. It is far better than the military simulators I flew, while in the service. At least in the visual, “this is cool” factor. Still, I would challenge anyone who thinks that because they can fly MSFS, Falcon 4.0, etc. that they could fly the real aircraft, if available.

    On the subject of cockpit builders, yes we spend a lot of money on the hobby. I refuse to keep record of the receipts. LOL I don’t want any incriminating evidence around, in case the boss wants an audit. However, she knows it’s already a couple thousand and climbing.

    As for PM software, I am not trying to say anything negative about the company or those of you who own the software. If you find it to be a good value, I am glad for you. It meets your needs.

    I suffered from sticker shock and considering even the cost of panels, hardware, IO cards, etc. it seems high to me. Especially, when you consider I don’t want to fly a B-747. I had the opportunity to interview for one of the major airlines back in the late 70's and turned it down. I learned long ago that I am not cut out to be a “suiter.” That is why I am the senior partner in my own business.

    I have played around with FSxpand (still trying to get the demo to work) and others. If Jean Luc ever upgrades his excellent RealityXP software and allows it to be run via WideFS he should have an excellent market. There are also a couple other people trying to develop similar products.

    I guess it comes down to the value for the money. For me I can’t see the value worth the money.
    John

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  7. #7
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmig View Post
    Eric, no offense taken. I may have used the term “game” in the wrong context? While I consider MSFS more than a “game”, I do not consider it flying. It is far better than the military simulators I flew, while in the service. At least in the visual, “this is cool” factor. Still, I would challenge anyone who thinks that because they can fly MSFS, Falcon 4.0, etc. that they could fly the real aircraft, if available.

    On the subject of cockpit builders, yes we spend a lot of money on the hobby. I refuse to keep record of the receipts. LOL I don’t want any incriminating evidence around, in case the boss wants an audit. However, she knows it’s already a couple thousand and climbing.

    As for PM software, I am not trying to say anything negative about the company or those of you who own the software. If you find it to be a good value, I am glad for you. It meets your needs.

    I suffered from sticker shock and considering even the cost of panels, hardware, IO cards, etc. it seems high to me. Especially, when you consider I don’t want to fly a B-747. I had the opportunity to interview for one of the major airlines back in the late 70's and turned it down. I learned long ago that I am not cut out to be a “suiter.” That is why I am the senior partner in my own business.

    I have played around with FSxpand (still trying to get the demo to work) and others. If Jean Luc ever upgrades his excellent RealityXP software and allows it to be run via WideFS he should have an excellent market. There are also a couple other people trying to develop similar products.

    I guess it comes down to the value for the money. For me I can’t see the value worth the money.
    And there is nothing wrong with that! That is the beauty of being a builder, you are supposed to do it the way "YOU" see it not the way others see it! I too get sticker shock when I start to look at panels.. I have not bought a pre made panel in a LONG time and most of the ones I have are old and no longer supported... But with a little time they look good enough for me and suit my purpose which is to have a flying cockpit and not spend the next 10 years wanting a cockpit as I save to buy little bits here and there.. Yes I build a lot of stuff myself as well.. But that is another thread!!
    Bob Reed

  8. #8
    25+ Posting Member
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    The software may have a few bugs here and there but it was worth the price IMO, I've enjoyed using it over the last few months. When the bugs are fixed it will be fantastic.
    Regards,
    Ben Hewitt
    AirBus Driver

  9. #9
    500+ This must be a daytime job mauriceb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmig View Post
    Still, I would challenge anyone who thinks that because they can fly MSFS, Falcon 4.0, etc. that they could fly the real aircraft, if available.
    You've already lost the challenge I'm afraid . A couple of years ago, AVSIM got some people in Denver who had never flown a real aircraft and who were only flying MS flight simulator with some add-ons to try their hands at flying a Boeing 747 full motion simulator at the United Airlines training center in Denver, Colorado.

    From what I read, all of them managed to land the Boeing 747 on their first try. Some even managed to land it without loss of life under less than ideal conditions.

    I would say you've lost your challenge, wouldn't you

    Maurice

  10. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauriceb View Post
    A couple of years ago, AVSIM got some people in Denver who had never flown a real aircraft and who were only flying MS flight simulator with some add-ons to try their hands at flying a Boeing 747 full motion simulator at the United Airlines training center in Denver, Colorado.

    From what I read, all of them managed to land the Boeing 747 on their first try. Some even managed to land it without loss of life under less than ideal conditions.
    I remember seeing that. I think that "test" also made an issue of COmputer Pilot or PC Pilot magazines.

    I'll tell you however........ my guess is if it had been done up in the REAL plane in the air..... that the "pucker factor" would have changed the results quite a bit .

    Even in my sim... I've been known to react with "sweaty palms" and a knot in my stomach on really nasty approches...... and I (supposedly) KNOW it 's "only a movie".

    best,

    .................john

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