Update on MSFS Team competing with 3rd party Devs

Completely wrong. Even the devs said it’s a ‘PC first’ sim. And also…if it was Xbox first, why work on the pc version for an entire year, before releasing the Xbox version?


Yes, Simconnect is old. But please allow me to defend it.

First, it’s not really a choice, as long as it it not replaced by something else. Avoiding the SimConnect “old way” is not a decision 3th party developers can make, as long as MS/Asobo won’t (cannot) release a runtime API for MSFS.

There are actually two ways to get your hands on the data and events. Gauges (aircraft bound, SDK sandboxed Wasm) or… SimConnect. Addins requiring external dialogs and e.g. databases cannot be built with aircraft gauges in Wasm. Leaves them with SimConnect. Of course, the SimConnect system is an existing, near-depricated module… but it is well documented and a good compromise. It allows external addins to see what’s happening in the Sim and influence flight, without the need for a binary link. Keep in mind MSFS is a consumer application program. A lightweight solution like SimConnect allows the MS/Asobo developers to proceed free and independent development and focus on consumer wishes.

…btw there may be new things happening right now… PDMS has accelerated development again (DC6 was released) and CristiNeagu stopped complaining ( :grin: ), so maybe there is a licensed way, involving unpublished API’s. We can only speculate.

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SimConnect is the “new” way for external applications to access information from FS. Yes, it was developed for FSX, but it couldn’t do much as far as Devs like A2A and PMDG were concerned.

I’m simplifying and generalizing, but, the old way was to hack into FSX and read the information Simconnect didn’t give directly from the sim, and also, to run their own programs that manipulated FSX directly. That’s no longer possible.

So now the task is to expose more variables through SimConnect. It’s going to be a while.

Well, that depends on what we’re talking about here. Sure, it was released on PC before XBox (so we could help them debug it and they could test the market and tune their strategies). And PC will always be the same as XBox. But are you really going to tell me this XBox interface we have here is PC first? Are you really going to tell me the XBox security built into the base of the sim is PC first? That we’re forced to choose aircraft from a menu designed for choosing Avatars of people because it was designed around PC where they could have done whatever they wanted? (I mean, talk about ridiculous UI choices)

It was designed for XBox and supported on PC, because that’s what Microsoft does. If it were up to Microsoft, they’d dump Windows and PC’s. Dinosaur tech from the 80’s and early nineties, and impossible to support. Microsoft would Love to go all “Apple” on their own device. But users won’t let them.

So, they just keep raking in the money from all the kids who upgrade their PC’s every year, and all the businesses that use PC’s. Kind of a win-win situation for them really, except for that darn support part where they have to support all that hardware. And pesky security issues (this is the big reason they hate it).

I mean, technically, the XBox is a PC as I understand it. A specialized PC with just a couple of incarnations, but the same base design and hardware (device driver-wise) through the different versions. It’s the base operating system that’s kind of different - the way users are able to interact with the hardware and software and Marketplace. Marketplace in particular.

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Hmm that may be very true for PDMS… they set their standards to old fashioned DLL’s :grin: sooo 90’s… SimConnect was mature on FSX in 2013… and it is available for p3d as well. It is now (valuable!) legacy.

And SimConnect was not announced for XBox-X ! that is currently a concern many other third party developers have… will they still be able to connect and if yes, from where ? When everything must be done a PC user can do, they’ll need to be compliant with XBox marketplace restrictions… also much used free software like LittleNavPilot depends on SimConnect…

Future ? my two cents

  1. MS/Asobo will decide, we can only speculate… PC and XBox could proceed on different development paths only having a common DX-12 kernel… and leaving it open platform, SDK and new developments involving 3th party stuff completely on PC… and close the platform on XBox, for complicated stuff involving external things.

  2. from a developer perspective, I expect some interface, e.g. structured like the VSIX addin for VS2019 Community. You get some kind of managed script-like (C# like ? sandboxed ?) programming language… don’t call us, we’ll call you. The PC and XBox have Windows in common… the VSIX addin philosophy is newer than SimConnect, and a lot faster… and a VSIX addin does not allow freely linking your DLL’s directly to events, like the old sims allowed. You can only implement the classes provided… and MSFS decides how and when to call your classes. Or refuse them… Much safer than the old FSX/DLL protocol !

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it is completely wrong to ask or expect MS/Asobo to NOT improve the base sim because some 3rd partier is trying to improve on the unimproved version of the sim.

It is wrong because people like me deserve the best sim possible WITHOUT buying every 3rd party developers pet project.


I’m sure Asobo would HATE to follow different development paths. You’re right, I was assuming that Simconnect would work with XBox, that is a wrong assumption.

I have to admit, Asobo has dug themselves into a bit of a corner here. They really needed to have decided on a methodology that supports XBox. I like your thoughts on that.

I have a feeling Asobo, despite all the evidence to the contrary, wasn’t prepared for the 3rd party market to be what it is, or how important it is. Microsoft did; they originally contracted that FSX planes HAD to work in MSFS. We can see how that worked out. (I don’t think Microsoft understood the mess that was the 3rd party programming in FSX?)

It may be that XBox doesn’t have the variety of addons PC does, but, they’re losing a ton of market if that happens. They’re probably panicking. Well, not panicking, haha, but, I imagine there has been some consternation over this.

(I wonder if THIS is what Matt and team are really working on? :slight_smile: Or maybe the WT team working on the GPS, etc., allowed Asobo to retask some development on this, with guidance from WT.)(silly speculation I know, but I thought it with a smile :slight_smile: )

Well, no, it doesn’t. It’s clearly communicated since before release, that it is a pc first simulator, and it is. There are so many reasons why it is, on a technical level, I don’t see why you would even try to debate this. No semantics will change the outcome, it is and always was a pc first simulator, especially when the CREATOR of the software says so. Yes, the Xbox is a PC, so what? The Xbox has some limitations that the “PC” doesn’t have. I’m VERY fine with the design and layout of the Menu, it’s modern, it’s a breath of fresh air, compared to the old fashioned Xplane and P3D menus. It’s just a visual way of representing data and doesn’t change the technical possibilities of a simulator whatsoever. Cheers

A lot more people are going to get involved soon, running MSFS for XBox. Think consumer product.

Probably half of that 25M game-pass market would leave in 1-2 months, because they found another game. But if I would be Microsoft, I would accomodate the power users of MSFS… us, currently on PC… In the XBox-X community, there will be hoards of daddies who want to fly… they would want to run that 747… or some throttle quadrant… or use a decent flight plan… daddy will need his own XBox-X device, Microsoft can cash from a new market.

I would offer a special MSFS auxiliary Windows 10 tablet for XBox… the “MSFS Surface tablet” to be hooked up with your console. Cable is included. A normal, fully functional PC with browser. And it would provide a \Community and safe upload/linker software named MSFS gateway, to get stuff onto your XBox console. It has a backup procedure to restore things to some restore point, when it goes wrong.
The tablet auto-connects to your console, to support SimConnect programs, that can be installed on the tablet. Its gateway software only runs on the MSFS dedicated Surface tablet, not on any other PC.

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Let us not forget:

MSFS is a product created for corporate profit and not to appease the flight simulator community.
Official decisions regarding the continued development, enhancement and marketing of the MSFS product and associated marketplaces is based on corporate profits. PERIOD !

We love the product and they are smiling !


And that about sums up the Major Difference between MSFS & XP. :shushing_face:

It is what it is – like it or not - it may not always have been quite this BLUNTLY a “Profit Machine”, but this is now the “The World in which we live in
( ack. James Bond’s “Live & Let Die”)

Those old enough to remember “The Good Old Days” know the difference.
Those new to Flight Sim, have never know anything else.


(Shhh, the design is XBox standard UI)

I thought it was quite good :slight_smile:

We’re really discussing two different things here. There’s no argument it works great on PC, and it will always run on PC.

My point was, architecturally, at it’s core, it’s an XBox game. And all pieces of it have to support XBox software architecture and structure. Then, on top of that, there are further features that allow it to be used on PC, and, with Simconnect and maybe more, do even more more than what XBox can currently do, which is what @ArcanePython931 and I are discussing.

While I understand the security issues and DRM that needs to be supported to work in the XBox eco-system, Asobo and Microsoft will be missing a huge market if they restrict the XBox platform and don’t allow devs to do programming that WASM does not allow and let that run on XBox. The cost of supporting that, however, may not make business sense in the end. As I said, I think Asobo was extremely surprised at how large and active the 3rd Party market is and they weren’t prepared for that (probably due to the fact that they are basically console game software designers with experience in PC).

It will be up to the dev if they choose to support the XBox extensions, if they end up different than what they can do on PC, but, that’s up to them.

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Any source for that? Thanks

The whole WASM sandbox thing is a direct result of it. And the way Microsoft handles the DRM in the game are direct evidence of it, on top of the XBox UI that it uses from day 1. Asobo made their name in consoles.

There’s nothing wrong with that or that holds it back from being a PC application. But, this is all part of Microsoft’s marketing plan for their gaming market, on top of their other goals for what they are going to use MSFS to market for them. It’s actually quite brilliant.

I’m sorry, I’m having difficulty understanding what your issue with this is? We should take it offline though as that’s not the ultimate reason for this thread.

Ok, no source. Fine :smiley:

I don’t understand this thread.

There has been no change in what the team wants to do, other than improve greatly the provided default avionics, to give third party aircraft developers who don’t have the ability to code up something like a G1000 for a single plane (which is a 3-6 person-years project, easily, on its own) something great to build on, thus enabling more developers to come to the ecosystem.

The team continues to provide support directly to developers. We do want to move a lot of that support to the AnswerHub platform, because the reality of it is that there are about 10-20x third party developers for every MSFS dev. And it isn’t feasible to try and give personalized support to them all. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to support them, but it means from a practical perspective you need to switch strategies so that once devs are enabled they are also enabled to help each other, and make a quality self-sustaining community.

I’ve seen a number of strange theories about what WT is or is not doing. We are active in the sim code base, and will continue to be going forward, adding SDK APIs as we go that are needed for the ever expanding featuresets of modern avionics stacks. While we are focusing on the NXi, it isn’t to the detriment of other avionics: our work here will benefit everyone in the ecosystem at some point, and it won’t stop with the NXi either. After all, we’re just as first party as Asobo.

The questions about if the sim is really an XBox game first are easy to answer. It isn’t. The sandbox system would be in place regardless of its ability to make cross-platform support easier, because modern programs should never run untrusted third party code, and this is something that is ubiquitous in the industry, both enterprise software and gaming. And whether or not folks feel like that is problematic on the XBox side to not allow native code, the reality there is that is prevented in anything that runs on XBox. Zero programs are allowed to run third party native code.

I really don’t understand the genesis of the OPs question, but I hope that clears some things up.

-Matt | Working Title


Focus on the thread, not on each other. Making provocative and disrespectful characterizations of an opinion you don’t agree with is non-compliant with the Code of Conduct. Further off-track posts will result in this thread getting actioned.

This issue is not new, every game where you have third party and first party content you are going to run into parts where both they are doing the same. It happens, and it’s not a conspiracy that ASOBO are out to get anyone. ASOBO does not know what everyone is working on, neither does the community know everything ASORBO is working on (on purpose) so it’s going to happen. Communication is key but there is only so much one can do. The more 3rd party devs communicate up front what they will be working on the less chance it will happen, however it will happen and we justness to accept and move forward.

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@Bishop398 what do you know about SimConnect ? Will it be available on XBox-X, allowing third party developers to connect ? And could a console running MSFS be connected to an external device (e.g. PC) to run Simconnect related software ? I’d hate to loose LittleNavMap… :shushing_face: actually there are hoards of people who depend on SimConnect tools, to fly.

b.t.w. a theory will only appear, when no information is provided.

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