Developers are being pressed into making Add Ons XBOX Compatible now so should there not be a method of viewing / testing New Product directly on the XBOX ?
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Some thoughts here, from someone that already went to the Dev Mode route, with little success ( but I'm having some fun playing Retroarch on my Series X ).
First and foremost, in order to upload anything to the XBOX, you must activate Dev Mode, which require first to have a Developer account. If you are already a partner in the MS Marketplace, you already have a Developer account, so you just need to add an Xbox Developer license to it. It's 19$/year if you are registered with Microsoft as an individual, or 99$/year if you are registered as a Company.
Once you get this subscription and install the apps, you can reboot the XBOX in "Dev Mode", which is a different shell that is able to connect to a PC using IP ( Ethernet or Wifi ).
With this mode, you can send an application you made to test and launch it from there. It must be a Windows UWP app. You can start the normal Xbox shell too but, the caveat is:
- When the Xbox is booted in "Dev Mode", you can only start YOUR OWN apps, the ones you send through IP, all installed games (like MSFS) are completely invisible in that mode, because they are normally mounted in their own partition from an encrypted file and ONLY when the Xbox is in "retail" mode.
- Conversely, when the Xbox is booted in "Retail" mode ( the mode you normally use it ), you can see ONLY retail games, everything you uploaded when you were in Dev Mode is not accessible.
So, that's the main issue, which I think it MIGHT be fixed, if MSFS had a special support to "expose" the Community folder when in Dev Mode, maybe a Symbolic link to a folder visible in both modes OR, perhaps, behaving itself like a Photo app, having some option to "import" a package from an USB drive and copy it in the Community folder on its own, this might not even require a Dev Mode.
I think this should be addressed sooner or later, because it's really impossible to expect us to "optimize" for the Xbox, and having to wait for the Marketplace team feedback. It doesn't make any sense, and it will put pressure on the testing team, which is already overwhelmed with normal releases.
With no Dev Mode in Retail Xbox MSFS, this is a major issue. How to test airplanes and scenery (not applications) on Xbox platform before publishing to a live MSFS Marketplace? Providing a route to side load content into the xbox version may be one solution... Come on MSFT, lets have a workable response (please).
Indeed you can't sideload content on Xbox, and there's no plan to allow that anytime soon.
However, to make sure your content will work properly on Xbox, you can:
- Check the Xbox optimizations documentation , where we gathered a series of guidelines to optimize the content
- Enable the "Xbox LOD Selection Mode" in the DevMode menu > Options, to enable the Xbox mode and see how your scenery/airport will actually behave on Xbox.
The main thing that could prevent your content from working on a console is the performance management. If you properly design LODs, manage the texture sizes, create optimised cockpits (everything is detailed in the documentation above), it should run as well on Xbox as it does on PC.
The inability to test locally on Xbox is really required, for many reasons.
I posted in another thread an example of a scenery that works perfectly fine on PC even with Xbox LOD selection mode enabled, but I had to learn AFTER SU6 update came out, that jetways don't show up, on Xbox only and yes, they have multiple LOD levels ( 3, which according to the latest docs is the minimum over there shouldn't be any change in LODs ) so, I'm not even sure it's a LOD issues, although another scenery we made, with jetways using 5 LOD levels is the only one that works on PC and Xbox as well.
I wanted to TEST the theory that 5 LOD levels are the solution but, how I'm supposed to test, other than resubmitting it to the MS Marketplace ?
I tried to tell to our Marketplace contact "could you just TEST on Xbox and report back if this fix works ?" I wasn't asking to speed up the *realease* of the update, I only wanted to know if the fix worked on Xbox, because I can't test it.
The reply was that testing would be done when the update will be processed so, of course, because of the long queue, it might take weeks just to KNOW if my "fix in the blind" worked. What if it didn't ? Should we supposed to wait weeks just to know if something works, then try another random fix, wait another 2-3 weeks, and so on ?
Users are frustrated with us, and we don't know what to reply other than the "if it works on PC, it should work on Xbox", and Xbox users are way less tolerant to bugs.
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