Interview with Jorg Neumann (Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator) on future updates and plans, AI, the airport gateway, the Xbox version, the Garmin, and a lot more

If actually read the interview before posting 23 times in a thread about said interview, you’d know they have extensive plans to address this.

As a matter of fact, they have already started by adding new tutorials in December.


Interesting that. I am a rookie. I bought x-plane 11 a while ago - couldn’t get started with it at all, couldn’t get into it. Stone age graphics didn’t help of course. I’m sure the planes were accurate, but I didn’t enjoy it. Roll along MSFS and I’m hooked. Until August last year, I’d never even heard of IFR, VFR, Garmin, flight plans, HDG, FLC and all the million other acronyms and terms that aviation likes to use.

Guess what, I’m having a blast. I fugured out most of it by trial and error. The rest I googled, or asked some of the people on this forum who are willing to help. And you know what, the learning and finding out was all part of the fun. I had no idea of the depth and complexity and amount of work that goes in to flying a plane before you even get off the ground.

I like user manuals. But I’ve never read one for any game or simulator ever. That’s part of the fun - you mess it up and you don’t crash, burn and kill passenders for real! That’s why it’s a simulator.

So maybe you and others like you on this thread and these forums need to stop underestimating and typifying the “xbox crowd” the “gamer crowd” the “I just want to shoot people crowd” or whatever label you like to stick onto others who aren’t in “your crowd”. You might just learn something - maybe a bit of humility would be a good start?


“there are some onboarding parts that we can do better. We look at the tutorials quite a bit: so many people play them and they’re quite accessible, but we can probably do a better job there to make it even less scary for a newcomer, give them bite-sized things to really learn. You also learn by repetition, and I think that’s also something that we’re looking at.”, it’s not that extensive is it ? and while I don’t doubt most play the tutorials, there’s not much replay value there.

Congratulations on the challenging questions.

Yes, there are two new tutorials. The A320 take off and landing, delivered in a way that’s pretty much the same as the C172 take off and landing.

That’s so great to hear. And as someone who writes on a general gaming website and has plenty of contacts with people who have never flew simulators or flying games any more complex than Ace Combat 7 before, I can guarantee that you’re not alone in that. I know many that have had their first flight sim experience with MSFS and now are hooked. You’re much closer to the rule than to the exception.

Today’s gamers definitely aren’t as clueless as some seem to believe. They know how to find tutorials on YouTube (actually they know that probably much better than many old grumps) and there are plenty to find.

This is not to say that Asobo/MS shouldn’t make an effort to build better onboarding tools within the simulator, but they’re certainly not unaware of that need, and the interview expresses it quite aptly if the fact that they’re already adding tutorials was not enough.

Incidentally, one doesn’t certainly need to become an enthusiast to enjoy a flight simulator. There are plenty of people out there who simply pick it up once or twice a week to go see some sights and relax or to check out places that they’d like to visit. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In any case, welcome to the hobby, even if it’s a bit late :hugs: This thread and more certainly prove that we need more people like you.

Congratulations on knowing how to use CTRL-F. A bit late. It’s also a lot more extensive than just that. I suggest you take a long hard look at the post before yours, because you have a lot to learn from it. And with this, I’m done.

That makes little sense.

Starting with X-Plane 11 is much the same as starting with MSFS, (except there is some documentation, it’s cheaper, and it works reliably). The tutorials are both not very good, though there is some help with things like VORs in X Plane and MSFS’s are prettier. You do get helicopters. The ATC on X-Plane is poor (but the ATC on MSFS is marginally upgraded from that in FSX, comically obviously). The community is much the same, though there is much more freeware, this is a function of time. The airports are correct, ditto to a similar extent.

There are plenty of X-Plane videos showing the same sorts of stuff the MSFS ones do (not quite so many which are just look at the pictures. You don’t get much else with MSFS. The scenery videos tend to compare before and after with free stuff like SimHeaven, pay stuff like OrbX and ortho scenery)

Describing X-Plane graphics as “stone age” is ridiculous as well. Is it as good as MSFS, no. It’s not meant to be. It’s designed to work without very expensive graphics cards and shedloads of memory. So in cities they reduce the number of display objects to reduce VRAM/GPU demands. X-Plane know what “beta testing” is as well.

Nobody minds messing it up and the plane crashes. That’s part of the learning experience. The problem is when you don’t mess it up and it just doesn’t work, or it crashes because it feels like it, or it won’t install, or start.

Doesn’t matter whether it makes sense to you or not given it is fact. Tried it a few times, but couldn’t get interested nor enthused by it at all. Maybe just me. I hear what you say about the graphics, but they are potato, I’m sorry. You seem to like it - kind of wonder why you are here then?

But whatever, I certainly didn’t even think about doing this in X-Plane:

Just finished leg 45, 48,910Nm in and around 187 flying hours. I’m probably about half way, although not even got to Africa, most of Asia and Europe yet!

Also, and just to note, all done with the stock TBM and, more recently, the WorkingTitle G3000 mod. I vary between VFR and IFR as I fancy. Got to know the TBM really well.

And I just don’t recognise this from my experience. CTDs so far have been down to the USB controller issue at launch (fixed) and the VFR map issue a while back (fixed). No real issues with the AP or avionics or anything else like that - and the few issues I have had have just made things more interesting and challenging to handle.

And as an aside, I use the save facility all the time. I don’t often get to sit in front of my PC for 4 or 5 hours at a stretch - real life gets in the way. Initially there were a couple of issues, but my experience is that the save facility works well. The only issue with it is that you can’t change the weather after loading - but it doesn’t matter to me as I fly live weather anyway and it loads that in fine (which also works for me every time too…but we maybe best not open that can of worms).


I have X-Plane since forever and I have so many add-ones in it., Sorry I don’t agree with this point, X-Plane out of box works fine but the moment you start adding orthos, sceneries, use a high fidelity airliner (FF for example) and using volumetric clouds like xE, my PC suffers to the max and it’s high end PC. On MSFS things seem to me more optimized but would be more interesting to compare once we have a high fidelity airliner like PMDG or Aerosoft CRJ

I wanted to play MSFS since it’s launch, but my 10 year old laptop wasn’t up to it. I bought an Xbox series X for many reasons but the main one was being able to run MSFS and knowing that it will work well out of the box.

I don’t think it is a mistake for Microsoft to port MSFS to Xbox. I plan to buy a decent HOTAS and learn the elements of flight and systems that I don’t know. I’m sure that there will also be other Xbox users who take a more casual approach than me but who knows… They might get the bug.


Indeed. It’s hard for many to understand the attractiveness of flight simulators before they actually try. I’m quite sure the Xbox version will cause quite a few people to get “the bug” as you say.

Will they all become enthusiasts? Nah. Is that a problem? Nah. All games have hardcore users and casual users, and this won’t be any different. And it’s fine. :slightly_smiling_face:


Nice interview, thank you for sharing! :slight_smile: It’s very nice to see how enthusiastic Jorg is, it makes me quite positive about the future of MSFS / flight simming.


Super interesting and well done interview!

Plus an amazing vision by Jorg about MSFS project and its present, near and long term future!

It’s all great! :airplane:

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Great interview. Thank you, much appreciated. MSFS got me back to flight sims after many years of no flight sims. I also just couldn’t get into XP11 and P3D. I used to use FSX many years ago when it came out originally.

If someone thinks that the lack of documentation in MSFS is a barrier then I have to tell you a story of my brother who was never ever interested in any flight sim, any flying game for that matter, or even any video game, and now is using MSFS almost daily, got a new joystick, going to get a new computer, etc. I do not need to even explain anything to him, he just figures stuff out and there are TONS of tutorials on Youtube.


What questions would you have liked to have been asked?

FS Map Tool, works on your phone or tablet, doesn’t cause any performance issues with FS2020, and it just works. Developer is an independent but keeps it updated. £2.99 in British money :upside_down_face:

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You make a great point … one which more of us should pay attention to.

I suspect many of us may be surprised just how well MSFS will run on the XBox-X. Sure, the specs aren’t quite up to the level of a top-end PC on paper, but as a tuned and balanced system - without all the junk that builds up on PCs like the barnacles on the bottom of a boat … we might find that it will run MSFS better than top end rigs at four times the price or more.

As well as the much derided ‘XBox generation’, it will likely offer a great platform at a more attractive entry price.


solidarity sister :heart_eyes:

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Indeed. I’m mostly a PC guy, but it’s doubtless that consoles have the advantage of running on only one or two hardware configurations, which means they can use the hardware much more efficiently.

I can certainly see the Xbox Series consoles doing a good job of running the sim, and a lot of the optimization work will circle back on PC, which is great. Everyone wins from this.


My comment wasn’t meant to offend. But that I guess that’s impossible this day and age, especially when people are looking for any one word or string of words to cherry pick and be offended over. I can’t help it if you cannot come to terms with, not everyone has to agree with you.

And I’m not necessarily on board with all the negativity going on in this thread but if the OP wants to post his interview on a public forum, then he rightfully opens himself up for constructive criticism and questioning.

Overall I thought the interview was great. I just disagree with Microsoft’s direction with a console port.

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Thanks. You don’t have to agree with me. Equally, you don’t need to label people in a disparaging way. It undermines your argument - which I have no issue with really.

For me, I’m uncertain of the likely xbox take up and interest level - but I think it will only be positive in as much as it will bring in additional revenue and it will raise the profile further. In addition, if 3rd party add-ons can also be made available as Jorg suggests, then that will also boost the 3rd party developer market. And it will likely add to the general level of awareness and interest in the simming world and will bring new simmers on board. All of this can only be a good thing.

The downside risk would be that the future development direction is more focused for xbox than pc (although not obvious that these are mutually exclusive) and/or that the customer demand from that source is less simulation oriented leading to the future development direction being less simulation oriented - if you are concerned about either of those two things.

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Both demands can be equally met. My workplace uses iPads to conduct clinical work, and a surgeon I know uses VR headsets in the operating theatre during surgery. He and my colleagues can theoretically play Angry Birds and Pavlov VR on them if they were allowed to. There are customers demanding video games, and then there are ones demanding practical, useful applications. Developers aren’t ignoring either party.