Prepar3D is Lockheed Martin's continuation of the Microsoft Flight Simulator family of games. It is based on the Microsoft ESP simulator, which is the commercial-user version of Microsoft Flight Simulator X. While Prepar3D is fully licensed and authorized by Microsoft, the limitations of that license prevent it being sold for "personal computer entertainment". It is however seen by many members of the flight sim community as the natural continuation of the series, and the licensing constraints that it is sold under are not seen as a limitation to the end user.
While superficially v3 is not as big an update as v2, it does incorporate a number of new technologies including Autodesk Scaleform and SpeedTree. It also introduced native support for an Avatar Mode, allowing users to exit their vehicles and navigate the environment using a human model in first- or third-person modes.
v3 also includes additional aircraft created by third party developers:
- H-60 Black Hawk (Virtavia)
- F-35A [new version] (India India Alpha Foxtrot Echo)
While retaining the same name as its predecessors, it is sold as a separate product, much like an annual edition of a sports video game franchise.