Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition

From Dovetail, makers of Train Simulator. Taking flight on Dec 18th.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aerial experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight. Pilots can climb into the cockpits of over twenty aircraft, from commercial and fighter jets to single-engine private planes and helicopters. More than 80 missions will test players in a variety of ways, including search and rescue challenges, test pilot scenarios, races and more. The game features updated multiplayer functionality, Windows 8.1 support and over 24,000 airports, delivering a beautiful, connected world and vast horizon begging to be explored.

Wonder if it will have any DLC…

I tried one of their games many years ago, and enjoyed it. I do think what I’d like to most, is just a tourist thing where I can fly over big cities with recognizable landmarks and just enjoy the flight itself.

So long as it at least comes bundled with the first-person and cockpit add-ons.

I wonder if any of Aces team ended up at Dovetail, and are working on more MSFSX stuff. I remember watching the Aces folks working on train stuff after MSFX released… (I wonder if Dovetail IS the old Aces team. I dunno.)

Nice to see MSFSX back up, though. It’s a little old, but with the right add-ons it’s still pretty kick-ass.

Keep in mind Dovetail also has the rights to create new Flight Simulator games. They announced that back in July.

The award-winning creators of the best-selling Train Simulator franchise have today announced a global licensing deal with Microsoft, granting them the rights to develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft’s genre-defining flight technology. The company is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.

I’m curious whether this will replace the current MSFSX title in the steam libraries of those who already own it.

In their contract allowing them to publish this, they apparently aren’t allowed to make any improvements in the graphics engine.

What a bizarre thing to put in a contract.

Any improvements? Or any changes?

Yeah. it’s odd. Not sure if it has something to do with MS’s existing agreement with Lockheed Martin, who have been working on an update to the engine in their Prepar3d product.

FSX hasn’t aged well. Back when it was developed, the team was counting on CPU speed continuing to ramp up at the same rate, and the game is hugely CPU dependent. It takes all kinds of fiddling to get it to run decent even on a modern rig.

I still have my MSFSX boxed copy. I remember when I first got it and I was massively disappointed that my PC couldn’t handle it well enough to play above 10fps in most cases. Once I got a new PC, I loaded it up and was crushed to see it still playing at around 20-30fps and sometimes still dropping into the teens in areas. Since then, I’ve gotten another PC, but I haven’t even tried to install it.

At least some of the Aces team (and I’ve read that it’s a lot) went to Lockheed Martin, where they have continued working on the FSX engine in the form of P3D. A product that largely renders FSX obsolete at this point, with the exception of a few remaining addon developers that are yet to make the move and provided you are comfortable with the fact that the licenses are for professionals or students (though they don’t stop anyone from buying it).

From the P3D page:

Big red X’s for “Personal Consumer Entertainment” on the license comparison.

Guess when you’re a megacorporation that routinely and fraudulently overcharges the US taxpayer, you don’t have to deal with the proles.

Used to play the one before, Century of Flight. I greatly enjoyed the challenge of a smooth landing, the technical skill of navigating, communicating with ATC etc. What are the tutorials like? Are the cockpits all 3d?

My understanding is that they only purchased the license and source code for the commercial-use version of FSX and I expect they have to put those disclaimers all over the place to cover themselves legally. But they are well aware of how popular the product is with the flight sim community and have never done a thing to stop anyone purchasing it other than put up disclaimers saying “No really, this product isn’t to be used for entertainment!”.

They’ve been quite welcoming of flight sim fans on their forums, even though a lot of those posters are openly just hobby simmers and not professional pilots or anything.

Steve Hood has left Codemasters. He is joining Dovetail to work on their in-house developed Flight Simulator game.

Those of you that frequent the site and/or follow me on Twitter will know I have left the building (so to speak). I’ve little desire in debating the reasons for my leaving, what did/did not happen in the Formula One series over the years and why certain decisions were taken - that can perhaps come at a much later date and outside of this forum. For what it’s worth I decided to resign even though F1 could be on the cusp of being bigger than it has ever been before. I want the F1 team, in particular the guys I spent many years working with, to take future games in the direction they feel comfortable with and without me casting a distracting shadow. My talking about what might have been helps nobody. I’ve every faith in them creating a fantastic title on the more powerful consoles next year. I won’t engage in discussion, this is a goodbye post. I’m actually very excited to play the next title as a gamer rather than the developer this time around! The handling is where I had hoped we’d have been with the initial F1 2010 game. It’s typical we would (they would?) reach that point as I decided to move on. An opportunity came along and I weighed everything up, for myself and my family. It was a difficult decision to make, indeed I agonised over it for some time because I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got to work on a series dedicated to a sport so close to my heart and with wonderful people to boot. I might even invest a few hundred pounds in a wheel and pedals setup… it’s that good! But enough of that romantic nonsense! I’ll only be accused of promoting the next game even though I won’t benefit from it.

I wanted to post one final time to thank you, the guys and gals that take the time out to post (and read) on this, the official forum. Over the years I spent countless hours reading and sometimes even involving myself in the debates that raged in this small pocket of the Internet. You are important and I tried to impress this upon people. I got to appreciate the varied views on display. I understand it’s difficult to convey your point of view in text alone and never took anything personally. My only regret is not getting to the point where I’d made the game I really wanted to make - because that, I feel, is what many of you would have liked to have played. Whether or not I’d ever be entirely happy I’m not sure - it might well be an impossible goal :smile:

Please, do try to get onboard with what the team are working incredibly hard to bring to a store near you in 2015. They have an enormous amount of passion and you can help fuel their desire to make the very best Formula One game. Those that wish to follow me on the next adventure, please do so. I’d love for you to come along. Those that want to blame me for anything and everything, as you were. I promise the current issues in the real world of Formula One are not of my making.

Thank you for your interaction, commitment and time. The F1 community made everything worthwhile. Au revoir.

He was creative director of the F1 series.

Here’s a list of the changes Dovetail made to the normal FSX:


  • FSX: Steam Edition is now built using the VS2013 compiler for better optimisation and performance. (Still makes use of VS2005 libraries for backwards compatibility.)
  • Updated splash, launcher and mission preview images for FSX:SE versions.

Multiplayer, networking and communications

  • Gamespy networking now replaced by new Steam networking.
  • Game chat now integrated with Steam chat
  • Friends/Banned lists now integrated with Steam.
  • Game invites now use Steam.
  • Host networking defaults to a single port 6112.
  • Host networking uses 27016 for Steam Master Server Browser.
  • Host timeout (loss of connection to host) now 35 seconds by default (was 55).
  • “Disconnected” message dialog now retained on screen for 4 mins before automatic dismissal (was 30 secs).

Steam Support

  • Top Down Camera (camera view select 4) was previously bound to F12 by default which is normally used for Steam’s screenshot feature. Camera View Select 4 now uses Shift+F12 by default to avoid potential clash.

Compatibility with FSX boxed

  • FSX and FSX: Steam Edition co-Existence feature allows both versions to be installed on the same machine.

Default System-Setting Alterations

  • Increased TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 4096 up from 1024
  • Changed HIGHMEMFIX=1
  • Increased Vertex and Index Buffers and the number of buffers.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fix to particle emitter controllers which were not being updated properly.
  • Fix to flush all levels of detail in terrain cache.
  • Fix to Texture Composition preventing fail and crash.
  • Fixed issue where player is able to reserve more slots for friends than maximum players allowed in the game.
  • Fixed issue where invalid Briefing Room was presented to player when cancelling session creation.
  • Fixed issue where weather text in the multiplayer briefing room is partially cut off.
  • Fixed issue where no error message appears when attempting to host a session with the network adapter disabled.
  • Fixed issue where there is no error message when attempting to host a session with the network cable unplugged.
  • Fixed issue where host player is frozen after a collision occurs in multiplayer.
  • Fixed issue where client gets dropped from a multiplayer game after they crash into the host.
  • Fixed issue where the Host Options in multiplayer/ Free Flight allow a user to have a maximum of 99 player slots.
  • UIAutomationCore.dll work-a-round is now supplied by default with FSX:SE. This fixes a number of crashes relating to UI interaction on 64-bit versions of Windows.
  • Fixed issue where the application’s taskbar preview window displays no content on Windows 8 and above
  • Prevent default colour mode for Windows 7 and above (enable automatic display composition).
  • sserife.fon file now automatically supplied and loaded.

Plus, it’s on sale right now for $4.99 in the sale.

Is there any improvements as far as making it multi threaded or able to use more memory? Because FSX is a game I throw at every new computer I build and so far it still runs like shit even on modern hardware.

I would imagine something like that would take a long time to impliment but I’m curious to see how this version runs compared to the old retail box. Let’s head on over to Avsim to see if there are any impressions of it . . . the first post I see is “What is Steam”.

Never change flight simmers.

P3D has had multi-threading since 2.0, along with DX11 support. Maybe Dovetail’s version will catch up but for now P3D is a far better solution for playing FSX on a modern computer, if the cost and licensing aren’t an issue.

In case anyone is wondering, the Steam version isn’t currently compatible with all addons. So if you use addons then you may have to wait for them to get updated by their author (as was the case with P3D too).