PMDG Delays Launch of 737NG3 for MSFS by at Least Nine Months

September 26, 2020

Big news has emerged from PMDG in their latest forum post, in which Robert Randazzo took to his forum to share a major update about the current progress of their aircraft.

It surrounds the progress of work on their Microsoft Flight Simulator line of products, in which release dates have been pushed back considerably, as well as news about the 737 NGXu Expansion Package and the 777, both for Prepar3D.

Randazzo began the update on the 737NG for Microsoft Flight Simulator by admitting he was ambitious in the release date of the aircraft and that the community might have been able to get their hands on the aircraft by the end of the year.

“You will recall that I have been fairly upbeat on our expectation that we might see rapid acceleration of our NG3 development process during 4Q20, and I have even gambled that we *might* see a release for this product in very late 2020,” he said.

“Much of this hypothesis was based upon a working theory that with the release of MSFS, we would see a sharp up-tick in the implementation of features that are needed in the MSFS platform in order to fully support an airliner simulation of PMDG’s caliber once the initial MSFS platform had been released and the MS/Asobo team was able to shift attention away from their very complex, very difficult v1.0 schedule.

“We are now a few months beyond the initial release of MSFS, and yes, we are seeing a sharp up-tick in the rate at which the features we need are being implemented to MSFS and we are working hand-in-glove with our friends at Asobo to identify problems, knee-knockers, dead-stop items and the like as we move the 737 into MSFS.

"(Working in concert with Asobo has been a new experience for us, as we are normally very much just our own isolated team- but it has been invigorating to work with a team of devs so fully dedicated to the success of their platform. One day I will tell you what this is like and how it is changing the way we work.)

“Unfortunately what we didn’t count on was just how big that work-load would be on the platform side or how slow the update rate would be.

“The bottom line is that while we still remain convinced that MSFS will be the long-term best-platform for simming over the next decade, there are still some major technical challenges that remain to be solved before it can adequately support a product as complex as NG3.

“I am going to whistle-on-by the specifics here because they aren’t important to anyone except the developers involved in the work, but what I can tell you is that we are currently looking at a release timeline for PMDG 737NG3 for MSFS that is out in 3Q21 with some downside risk that it will slide into 4Q21, more than a year from now.

“There are essentially two major areas that are slowing the development process, and there is some upside risk that a major breakthrough in these key trouble-making areas might allow us to slide the release timeline forward into 2Q21, but I think the risk of this forward movement is very, very small.”

On top of this aircraft, Randazzo admitted they should be deep in developing the 737, 747, 777, J-41 and DC-6 for MSFS by now but due to the setbacks with the 737NG3 for MSFS, they are now re-allocating resources to develop new aircraft.

“Our un-used development assets are focused strongly on our P3D product lines and we are hard at work getting our new LNAV/Navdata handling models into testing on the 747 (October… after two years of work…) and we are looking at how to get an EFB into the 777.

“We have a product coming for our P3D product line that you haven’t seen yet that is nearing testing and we have also begun work on a new airplane type… the <manufacturer deleted> <model number deleted> that you have always asked us to create…

“I’m sure you will be looking forward to that.

“We also set a “go live” date on the calendar for PMDG Global Flight Operations this past week… I need to get together with Chris to map out a full spectrum update for you on THAT topic… it will be it’s own announcement.”

For details regarding the Prepar3D section of the post, you can read the post here.

To see the 737NG3 in Microsoft Flight Simulator, see our previous coverage here.

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