Xbox: third-party devs finally recognising it as a viable platform?

Recent experiences suggest devs are waking up to the fact that there’s a huge MSFS market on console — although I think the majority of Xbox simmers will be more casual. Even so, there are plenty of serious simmers on Xbox, and encouraging more traditional gamers could bolster more serious interest — and thus greater revenue potential for third-party devs.

There seems to be a palpable shift by some devs towards better console optimisation, and I’m really hoping others will follow. PMDG has just announced an update to its 737, that is primarily intended to improve performance on Series S (however Series X benefits are expected too). In recent communications with developer Pyreegue, he was very keen (and quick!) to patch EGNX for Xbox users, and it looks like we’ll have a stable version from tomorrow.

I’ve said previously that I believe it’s currently a case of ‘won’t’ rather than ‘can’t’. MSFS has traditionally always been a PC thing, and I think independent devs have demonstrated a reluctance thus far to make any great effort to revisit their sceneries to improve console performance. Too much work for too little reward… perhaps until now.

I hope this isn’t just two devs having a temporary change of heart. The potential on Xbox is undoubtedly massive, and if Pyreegue’s superb EGNX proves to be a true winner tomorrow, it will confirm that a touch of optimisation and innovation is all it takes to appease Xbox simmers.

The likes of Aerosoft’s LDZA, FlyTampa’s KBOS and IniBuilds’ KLAX, KDTW and KOKC — plus the rest of Pyreegue’s catalog — are demonstrating just what can be achieved on Xbox, in spite of the memory limitations.

Your thoughts? Do you agree?


One of the developers months ago stated that Marketplace sales tripled what they sold on all other platforms. There are many reasons for this, such as freeware on, piracy, easier access to the store (people have to actively look for addons otherwise), demographics of users, easier installs, etc. But yes, selling on XBox and in the Marketplace opens up a massive revenue stream for developers.

This isn’t to debate pros or cons of buying from the Marketplace. I’m just relating to what one developer remarked about experience selling on the Marketplace, and having it being offered on XBox.

1 Like

Hi Jak, you participated with good arguments in my other topic about Xbox. Now let me comment on yours. I was analyzing the number of people who rated the 737-800 on the Marketplace and came to some conclusions. I think I saw 754 reviews. Let’s consider that a good part of these reviews came from Xbox and that even more people have not yet rated it. The investment that the Xbox guys made in PMDG products yielded good values in the bank for them. This must explain PMDG’s quick reaction in seeking to solve problems and improve performance on the Series S. I think they liked the feedback from the Xbox community. I think this debate starts there.


We have to ask ourselves, how many simmers take the time to rate products on the MP? I only recently started rating stuff — for many, it’s just a chore that’s better left to others — and no doubt for some, it’s just too ambiguous a system to justify the effort.

MS recently stated that it estimates there are currently around 12million MSFS users. Yet here, in the forums, it’s mainly the same names popping up time after time. Again, joining and participating in the forums is just something many aren’t fussed about. I’m not sure how many registered users of the official forums there are but certainly many, many times more than actually regularly post. To further dilute the community’s input, there also exist other, independent forums, which some prefer due to their being less ‘sanitised’.

Of the 12m estimated users, MS reckons around 3m are serious enough to buy third-party add-ons. And this number will no doubt continue growing. I’ve no idea of the ratio of Xboxers to PC simmers but it’s clear from frequenting these forums that many console users are every bit as serious as their PC brethren.

I’ve always had the feeling Xbox simmers have been seen as little more than arcade gamers; not only by some PC simmers but by the dev community too. The fact that some devs are now willing to take console users seriously is testament to the size of that platform’s market. Today’s casual gamer could be tomorrow’s real-world pilot so anything that encourages the growth of home flight simulation should be regarded as a positive thing.

One dev I’ve never been able to figure out is Drzewiecki, whose customer service often seems very curt; almost rude at times. They went to the effort of toning down KEWR and EETN for Xbox but then, a couple of months later, slated Xbox Series S users and basically said they have zero time for simmers on that console. They probably have a point re that machine’s limitations, but subliminally insulting a huge portion of your customer base isn’t the wisest idea. Perhaps it doesn’t take a lot of effort to simply remove bits for Xbox, without actually adjusting anything in the code to improve stability?

Pyreegue and PMDG should be applauded by the Xbox community. I hope other devs follow suit and properly optimise for console.

Please don’t forget that many simmers are not “American or European” and may have limited options to purchase directly from developers. Marketplace is a very accessible platform because of the use of local currency and payment methods. (Maybe I’m a little off topic)


My question is: What does that mean?

Is there one plane/scenery mod for both platforms? Do the devs have to reduce the complexity of the code to ‘dumb down’ their product to ensure better Xbox optimization, thus reducing the fidelity for more powerful PC systems?

Or are there two completely separate versions - one for Xbox, and one for PC?

I honestly don’t know, and have heard very mixed answers in the past.

1 Like

I could be wrong,

Is it the case you have to submit your 3rd party offerings to MS who then place it on Hidden MP so the dev can then test out their offerings. As Xbox is a closed eco system how would they get their aircraft/scenery on to their Xbox ( do they have both a Xbox X and S ) or do they just create for PC and fingers crossed it works ok on xbox. I think most devs don’t even take the time to check their work on xbox x or s. I could be wrong :slight_smile:

There can be two different versions for the same item on the marketplace. For example, I have KEWR by Drzewiecki Design and while I only purchased it once from the marketplace, it’s different for XBox than it is when I used it on PC.

PC version has more detail and the XBox version is optimized for console (no people in terminals, slightly less detail on smaller items), but I only needed to purchase it once from the marketplace and it was in my content manager on both systems. I’m sure there are others that work the same way but that was the main one I tested.

Hope that helps clarify.

1 Like

This is precisely the point. The standard modus operandi seems to be to develop for PC and simply port across to Xbox and hope it works. This seems to be what’s been causing the performance issues on console, since both systems (Series S in particular) have very limited VRAM.

But there seems to be a very recent recognition that some of these products need to be reworked for Xbox, to reduce VRAM usage. My understanding of this is that it doesn’t necessarily involve removing the more complex detail, such as custom animations (the Xbox’s CPU/GPU is more than capable), but rather, reducing the sheer amount of detail.

In the case of Pyreegue’s EGNX, he specifically stated that it would be unfair to PC users who’ve spend a fortune on the best hardware if he were to make the fix available to them, since it removes a bit of the detail and reduces some texture resolutions. His reasoning was that PC users have much more control over graphics settings, which they can use to squeeze the best performance from their systems.

This is what we need: a two-tier system by which the dev optimises specifically for Xbox. Those with top-end PCs get to keep all their meticulous detail, those with lesser PCs can optimise ‘in-house’, and Xbox users can enjoy the product without having to worry about constant CTDs. No one suffers because of another platform.

And it all seems to be happening because devs are waking up to the potential revenue the Xbox market will generate. What some perceive as a threat to the fidelity of their PC products is in fact likely helping fund the longevity of the sim.


Jorg said 3m were serious simmers, 3m were gamers, and the other 6m were causal simmers. The gamer probably won’t buy addons except for perhaps the military jets. But causal simmers also buy addons. For evidence of that, no serious simmer would buy a MScenery plane or helicoptor. There are just way too many problems with them. Yet, someone is buying them, because more planes, helicoptors, and airports are produced by them nearly every week. So the Marketplace consumer base is realistically about 9 million.

1 Like

yes, one cannot say for sure who’s likely to buy what in the MP. I have two simmer friends who are both fairly casual — one PC, one Xbox — but they’ve both bought a few items from MP (including the Bredok 737). They’re both considering the ATR, almost purely based on its price.

I’m certainly not arguing against inclusivity. And yes, making the sim run well on Xbox is a smart business decision; one that will benefit everyone. And if Microsobo and 3rd party devs all had different code optimized for each platform (PC and Xbox) then there wouldn’t be any threat to either group of users. As it stands, reducing fidelity to address Xbox limitations is a threat to those of us who have invested in the more powerful platform.

I’ve been saying this for months. Glad you agree.

Potentially; but only if devs see more sales coming from Xbox than PC. Unlikely, I think, because PC is still the flagship platform for MSFS, and the only one truly capable of running top add-ons like Aerosoft’s Brussels. Devs can’t really push boundaries and innovate with Xbox (at least without doing it on PC first). Let’s remember that simply having a PC doesn’t mean you’ll get the better experience, since not all PCs are the same. Those with low-spec PCs are also a threat to those with the best hardware, although they can negate the memory issue console users face.

The problem has I think been that the devs have seen Xbox as more of a sideline, rather than a market in its own right. Obviously things are changing and I dare say it’s a realisation that there’s money to be made from console simmers. They’re now putting in the work to respectively optimise for each system, because they see it as ultimately paying dividends — develop initially for PC, then chop and change a bit for Xbox if need be (some sceneries run well on Xbox completely unchanged from their PC originals).

I think it’s possibly a bit paranoid to think that the PC experience is being ruined by console simmers, though. If that were the case, we’d not be experiencing these memory outage problems on Xbox. Besides, Series X users could argue that the lower-tier Series S holds us back but in reality I think any universal optimisation is simply to accommodate the diversity of hardware the sim’s bound to be running on.

If devs see Xbox generating a significant portion of their earnings, they should be putting in the extra hours to ensure their products are 100% stable. As an Xbox user, I think it’s beneficial to continue developing for PC first, then tweak for Xbox. Pyreegue’s approach is the right one: don’t dumb down for PC, just to appease Xbox users.

The devs can’t expect the full support of the console community if they’re unwilling to address the issues with some of their products. Everyone wants to make a quick buck with minimum labour but that won’t ultimately benefit any of us.

1 Like

I’ve always put myself right in the middle of casual and serious. I do a lot of serious flights, but I don’t take the time to learn every single aircraft I want to fly. There are a handful that I know well, the ones I most enjoy. But I also love some ridiculous flying in fighter jets that I’ll absolutely never take the time to learn. After nearly 500 hours in the past year, I can honestly say I get equal enjoyment out of it all.

I’ve enjoyed aviation for a long time. I had toy airplanes as a kid, various aviation-based games as a kid, went to airshows as a kid, eventually got FS2004 in '03 when I was a teenager, at Airventure, which I’ve been to a bunch - including this year. Every time a plane goes over my house, I either look up to see what it is, or check the radar.

Obviously, I’m aimlessly rambling at this point, but I guess I’m doing it so that any developers that might wind up on this thread understand - Xbox users like myself aren’t just stereotypical gamers. Many of us love aviation just as much as PC users - it’s just more practical for some of us to use Xbox. It’s a bummer whenever a dev doesn’t want to bring their product - specifically aircraft - to us. There are a few aircraft I’d buy today if they were brought over to Xbox. Instead, I’m just stuck waiting - either for the developer to change their minds, or for another developer to release the same aircraft of similar quality.


That’s the (potential) threat I spoke of. It costs money to develop parallel (but unequal) versions of software to account for operability on different platforms.

If the Xbox market keeps growing, devs will have a choice to make:

  1. Develop a single product made to run well on the least capable platform. (Cheapest solution.)

  2. Develop the same product in two different ‘flavors.’ (More expensive as it requires much more programming resources.)

Microsobo and the devs will need to choose which path they take in their pursuit of that expanded revenue base. I’m sincerely hoping it’s the latter, but fearful that it may be the former.

How you choose to sim and on what platform is in no way indicative of your level of interest in, or knowledge of, aviation. I class myself as a ‘semi-serious’ simmer too because there are times when I just want to abandon the realism and enter the cockpit purely for fun. And no one dictates how I choose to have fun!

I’m pretty sure it is. If it were the former, us Xbox users wouldn’t be so frustrated with what are obviously PC products being expected to run without issues on console. The devs seem to be in a constant battle to outdo one another in the detail stakes and they just can’t do that on Xbox.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.