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Zac Ploch

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition Released

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Today, Dovetail Games re-released FSX Acceleration for sale via Steam and has re-branded the product to FSX: Steam Edition (hereafter referred to as FSX:SE). According to a Dovetail news release, changes in FSX:SE include support for Windows 8.1 and updated multiplayer functionality.


The Administration Team purchased a copy of FSX:SE in order to test the platform. The following information is the result of testing we have completed today.


The user interface in FSX:SE is identical to FSX. Menus, available aircraft, missions, and settings are all the same. As far as we can tell, there is no new content in FSX:SE. Despite that, FSX:SE installs as a new product, whether or not FSX is installed. Existing add-ons, tweaks, and configuration changes are NOT ported over from an FSX installation. Only one of FSX or FSX:SE can be running at a time, although it is possible to have both installed on the same system.


As a result of the multiplayer conversion from GameSpy to Steam, FSX:SE is not compatible with BVA’s network. Users on FSX cannot connect to servers running on FSX:SE, and vice versa. Therefore, multiplayer in FSX:SE is not compatible with Boston Virtual ATC’s server, or any other server that is running FSX.


There is no indication as to whether Dovetail will, at some point, support backwards compatibility between FSX:SE and FSX. Unless that happens, BVA will continue to be available to users running FSX and will not be accessible to those on FSX:SE.


In our opinion, FSX:SE is a re-branded version of FSX Acceleration with some minor changes. It is not an upgrade to FSX but rather a standalone program that is not compatible with FSX or BVA’s network. Therefore, little to no reason exists for current BVA users to purchase the program. If you wish to see what other users are saying about FSX:SE, you can view the official FSX:SE discussion board.


Below are screenshots taken from the Administration Team's licensed copy of FSX:SE. As you can see, nothing except the GameSpy and Steam brands have been changed.











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I do want to mention this post by PMDG's CEO regarding whether or not they will officially support FSX:SE in the future: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/457475-pmd ... ?p=3133704. It seems that the jury is still out on that one.


Here's the text in case viewers don't have Avsim accounts and can't access the forum directly:




I wish I could give you some guidance on this, but unfortunately it will require some community guniea pigs before we will know the answer.


We have been approached by Dovetail, who are interested to host some of our products in their Steam channel- but thus far the discussions have been inconclusive. We are attempting to secure arrangements that are beneficial to all parties, including the community itself- but thus far the discussion has been... hasn't been.... Uhm... Thus far... erm... Yeah- as of now it just isn't looking very good

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In reading some of the comments on the Steam Community, it appears that:

  • The PMDG NGX isn't currently compatible.
  • FSUIPC isn't available/compatible.
  • Some users are having trouble with TrackIR.

So far, I haven't heard complaints about any other add-ons. Phil, Zac, and I are keeping a close eye on that community and will post about any other issues we notice.



Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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I just purchased the new version and it comes with the uiautomationcore.dll file and other files to optimize the game pre installed. It also stated that they fixed some cfg files to add the highmem fix and other things like that. Also they will be releasing updated to the game and a whole new game most likely FSX 2015 or something

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I imagine that most add-on developers will eventually update their installers and products so that compatibility with FSX: Steam Edition is possible. I don't think there will be many, if any, add-on manufacturers that decide against supporting FSX: Steam Edition. For most manufacturers, the changes appear to be relatively straightforward to make because they own the code they are modifying.


For us, however, Dovetail has completely changed the multiplayer landscape and, of course, none of that is open source. Compatibility isn't a "quick fix" that we can make. Obviously there is little to no reason for BVA members to purchase FSX: Steam Edition as you're really just re-purchasing FSX (as we saw Dovetail themselves describe on their forum). However, it's clear there will be a new base of users out there and it's regrettable that people who discover BVA through FSX: Steam Edition won't be able to connect until they have purchased FSX.


I imagine we will need to look to the third-party developer community for someone with the skill and ability with multiplayer networking/gaming to try to create a bridge between FSX and FSX: Steam Edition, unless Dovetail decides to do that at a time in the future.


For BVA, Prepar3d is still the top priority when it comes to compatibility and, amongst other projects, we are dedicating our time to building a bridge to that platform. P3D is a well-established program that is starting to offer improvements over FSX, while maintaining compatibility with the add-ons we know and love. We know there is future support for P3D in terms of development, and that the platform is alive and well. These are all uncertainties when it comes to FSX: Steam Edition.


I'm hopeful that someone will find a way to bridge the multiplayer functionality between FSX and FSX: Steam Edition so that we may someday be able to support users from there. Until then, it's business as usual for us.



Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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This is an uneducated question and should be taken as such: what was the point of releasing SE if it is hardly compatible with addons and the multiplayer capability is not supported by anybody?

I tried searching forums and reading market mumbo-jumbo about the release but so far I have found only one reason for this release: profit from hyped-up sales. And I fail to see any user experience enhancement.

Am I missing something obvious?

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You're pretty much correct. Dovetail made some changes but only to the multiplayer so that it was able to run off of Steam. FSX:SE is pretty much the first ever version of FSX, without the add-on compatibility and GameSpy option. It still has its bugs, glitches, and connectivity issues.

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