Will Microsoft, Xbox and PMDG teams collectively find a way to update nav data?

No wonder AI traffic (and the AI pilot) act in such randomly incorrect ways.
I see little chance of this getting fixed, unless the process can somehow be automated to corrects fix the AI taxiway routes at ALL airports, but that would still leave addon airports with issues, unless a suitable checking tool was incorporated into the SIM, for 3PDs to check their own work.

I would assume that MS gets the airport and taxiway data from NavBlue - assuming they have data like Jeppesen for airports? Or, is that the problem, that NavBlue doesn’t have this data? OR … Microsoft doesn’t pay for it? … Or, because the bing map is out of date, it’s old data…?

One thing we all should have learnt in MSFS, is NEVER “Assume”

So where does the airport and taxiway and gate number info come from, if not NavBlue?

in a lot of cases AI generation, with little to no input from other sources. Maybe that has changed over time.

taxiway designation aren’t part of the AIRAC as far as I know. They’re on charts though. But no easy way to automatically assign them correctly.

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HalberQuacky made a really informative post in the PMDG 737 Xbox thread about Navdata sources in the real world and in MSFS - here is a link.

And I have no doubt it is complicated, and there is no simple answer. However, at the end of the day, I still think Microsoft could and should ensure that airplanes and navdata sold in the marketplace have a pathway for updates - and some carrot and stick incentivization for developers to actually provide them.

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To clarify, this isn’t the case for PMDG aircraft on PC.

The outdated data with no update path is an issue exclusive to the 737 on Xbox, currently.

The DC-6 is able to utilize the GNS-430, so it’s capable of accessing all updated data provided natively in the sim.

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Since I do not use Navigraph, how could I update my PMDG 737 navdata even when I am on PC?

Perhaps my clarification should have included the caveat that a Navigraph subscription is required for updated AIRAC cycles.

The default Nav Data is what was current at release.

I was trying to prevent people reading your comment and thinking that PMDG had outdated nav data for PC without a solution.

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A little more digging on this problem (of no navdata updates for PDMG on Xbox) and potential solutions:

Navigraph offer navdata in the sim, with an “unlimited” subscription, on PC. This includes “Sim Updates” which allows you to substitute Navigraph data for Navblue, and “Addon Aircraft Updates” which are tailored updates for specific planes like the PMDG 737 which come from the marketplace with Navigraph data embedded.

“we have developed the Navigraph Hub, an innovative solution that enables you to replace and update the default MSFS navigation data with Jeppesen Navdata.”

Navigraph’s Stephen O’Connell on Discord: “We are working actively with PMDG on a solution for navdata updates on Xbox.”

But PMDG’s Mathijs Kok says by email yesterday, “It’s all in Microsoft’s hands”.

The PMDG forum thread on this issue dried up a few months back:

https://forum.pmdg.com/forum/main-forum/pmdg-737-for-msfs/251900-outdated-nav-database-on-xbox

This week PMDG teased a long-promised EFB tablet on their forum, with an announcement by Robert Randazzo to come this weekend - but will it include the ability to update navdata on xbox?

“RSR will fill you in with a feature list, more images, and a release date this weekend.” - Mathijs Kok, PMDG Simulations

https://forum.pmdg.com/forum/main-forum/general-discussion-news-and-announcements/267696-just-saying

I am able to enter my Simbrief credentials in to the 787 FMC to download flight plans from Simbrief / Navigraph on Xbox, so I see no reason why we can’t do the same for navdata updates.

I don’t mind paying for data, and I hope that Xbox, Microsoft, Navigraph, and PMDG care enough about this to work together on a solution. I recognize I am a minority user on Xbox, but my money is hard earned and just as green. If it’s not feasible to provide navdata updates on Xbox, then you must clearly say so in the Marketplace BEFORE purchase. Thanks.

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there is a VERY big difference between loading a short text string with the flight plan from simbrief and load that into the FMS and entirely replacing the navblue AIRAC in MSFS.

But that’s not what it would do - it would, based on credentials, update the existing installed Navigraph navdata v2204 in the 737, with the updated package from Navigraph (just as it’s designed to do). It’s larger than a flight plan text string, but it’s still just a data file.

And again, I’m speaking conceptually - it’s not up to customers to solve the problem, it’s up to vendors to provide a solution, together.

PMDG just announced on the PMDG forum, their new “Universal Flight Tablet” or “UFT” (not “EFB”) for Boeing (737, and upcoming 777) will be released on Oct 30 for PC (and I assume Xbox).

Crossing my fingers that this will at least open the door for the possibility of updating the Navigraph navdata in the PMDG 737, and upcoming 777, on Xbox.

knowing PMDG they’ll release on their own platform first. Marketplace (both PC and XBox) likely behind. at minimum a couple of weeks, might be longer.

Bad news - PMDG’s tablet is not ready for Xbox, still just in the “theory” stage. Posted by Robert Randazzo later in the PMDG forum

CORRECTION, per TheFalconOne’s comment below - PMDG’s tablet must still be tested (going via the MS Marketplace intake process). Regardless, updating navdata on Xbox does not appear to be part of the announced UFT.

https://forum.pmdg.com/forum/main-forum/general-discussion-news-and-announcements/268165-21oct23-introducing-the-universal-flight-tablet-for-pmdg-s-microsoft-flight-simulator-airliner-fleet

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So is it coming to marketplace for PC?

apparently yes, probably best to read the PMDG forum thread from the beginning

That is wildly incorrect take from what RSR wrote. I suggest you read it again and take it for what it is.

The simple fact is that easy testing on the Xbox platform as it is on PC is not possible. The only way to have your code tested is to submit it to Microsoft and let it go through the standard process. When that is done, you can have a limited group test the code. If there is even the smallest issue, you undergo the same process. While we understand the technical demands of the platform, this is unfortunate, but we have no way of avoiding it.

The tablet, however, was created fully to the SDK standards, we even waited for SU13 to offer us the features we needed on Xbox/Cloud. So we did all we could for a release on Xbox, we just have to see how it works out. That is VERY different from your statement.

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I apologize if I misinterpreted RSR’s statement. He does say, “… we are still only working on ‘theory’ as the only way to test airplane DLC on Xbox is to get the product through the MS Marketplace intake process… We will keep you posted as to what we see once we actually have a tablet build operational on Xbox.”

I have no doubt the UFT will come to Xbox (great)… but the UFT is only of concern to me (for the purpose of this thread) becaues I assumed (hoped) it would open the path to update the navdata in marketplace products such as the PMDG 737 on Xbox…

… As it turns out, according to Navigraph, this “UFT” has nothing to do with updating the Navdata for the PMDG 737 on Xbox, so it’s a moot point. Navigraph says they are actively working with PMDG on finding a solution, but that it is a separate project from the UFT. (I suppose if they find a route to update navdata on the xbox, it could still go via the UFT, but the functionality is not part of the UFT currently… is my interpretation of that).

I mean no disrespect, and am happy to be corrected. I’m doing my best to understand the issues - as a customer - and it’s not easy. I am surprised that Microsoft have not proactively provided a solution to this problem - since it’s the closed Xbox system that is the source of the problem and they provided no warning about the inability to update navdata in the marketplace prior to purchase. I bought the plane this week, but it comes with navdata that is 19 AIRAC cycles out of date already - with no way to update it. A year from now it will be 32 cycles out of date…

I really appreciate the amount of work and level of detail in the PMDG 737, and that it’s available on Xbox. And I am learning to fly it as I write this - but the navdata issue is a real issue for me, and perhaps others.

I’m glad that developers are trying to find a solution, and I hope they will find one. Thanks.

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I’ve received a response from Microsoft on this issue.

Microsoft uses Navblue data, and makes it available for devlopers to use for free via an API. PMDG claimed it wasn’t “what they needed for simulation”. Microsoft says, “This might have been true at launch, and they [PMDG] may have never updated their understanding as we have made changes…” And, “Our goal is to use the best real-world data and have a single format, and then anyone can access it and use it and it has everything they need.”

That rings true to me - MSFS has improved greatly, if incrementally, in the past 18 months that I have been using it.

For their own reasons PMDG decided they wanted to use the Navigraph navdata instead of MSFS data, but in doing so created an issue with updating navdata. It’s up to you to get a Navigraph subscription in order to receive AIRAC cycle updates (13 per year).

That’s fine - I already subscribe for the charts. Technically all that is needed to update navdata in the PMDG 737 on Xbox is a way to enter my Navigraph credentials and download the data file. You can do this on PC - but not on Xbox, “because Xbox is a closed system.” That reason is hollow, MSFS is downloaded and runs, the PMDG aircraft is downloaded and runs. Data is streamed, downloaded, installed all day as I fly. So why not the navdata - surely they can authenticate it and still have a closed system? Sure, it’s a challenge - but everyone is entrenched against each other and so customers are stuck.

I realize Xbox users of MSFS are a minority… and only some of us purchase the PMDG planes… and only a very small subset like me care about navdata updates… or maybe I’m the only one?

Still, Microsoft went to a lot of trouble to get WASM working on Xbox precisely so that developers like PMDG could offer their planes on Xbox. And PMDG isn’t the only developer using Navigraph navdata.

So as more and more high-quality detailed airplane simulations become available, I’m going to hazard a guess that this issue will come up more often, and create a wider divide between Xbox and PC, when Microsoft says they are trying to narrow that gap.

I do hope the excutives at Microsoft, Xbox, PMDG, Navigraph, and Asobo can find a way to either offer users a choice to use the native MSFS navdata on planes, and/or a path to update Navigraph navdata on Xbox, in order stay up to date and in sync with the sim over time.

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