Choosing Between Gaming Laptop and Xbox for Flight Sim: Compatibility with Older Add-Ons

Mel Ward Guest


Seeking advice from you and your more knowledgeable and experienced users.

I used to have a laptop which I had Microsoft Flight deluxe edition Sim loaded on which then went belly up. Rather than bog down my new laptop with reloading the Flight Sim and all the VFR real scenery and all the aircraft downloads I was wondering about buying a gaming laptop or similar with HDMI output to display on a larger TV screen.

The second thought was to buy an X Box and load everything from there. As I am 72 years old I tend to like the old aircraft from WWI/ II up to the Buccaneer/Hawk era using a joystick. My main question is what would you and your members recommend for my usage also could I use my already downloaded add-ons for my PC on an X Box or would I have to purchase them again?

Best Regards 
Mel Ward

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello Mel Ward,

Your inquiry brings back memories of many discussions I've had with flight sim enthusiasts, both seasoned and newcomers, about the age-old debate: PC vs. Console. Let me try to shed some light on your question from my perspective.

1. Gaming Laptop vs. X Box

  • Gaming Laptop: A dedicated gaming laptop will provide you with flexibility in terms of software customization and the addition of third-party add-ons. It's also relatively easier to upgrade specific parts like the RAM or GPU. Another advantage is that with a gaming laptop, you can utilize various flight simulation software, not just Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Moreover, it's versatile enough to support older versions if you ever fancy a nostalgic flight.
  • X Box: While an Xbox provides a more plug-and-play experience, it might limit your ability to customize as extensively as on a PC. The user interface is designed to be straightforward, making it suitable for those who might not be as tech-savvy or simply prefer a more simplified interaction.

2. Display on Larger TV Screen

An HDMI output on a gaming laptop should let you seamlessly connect to a larger TV screen, offering you a more immersive experience. Both platforms can provide stunning visuals, so it boils down to personal preference.

3. Compatibility with Older Add-Ons

From my knowledge, there's a significant difference between the Xbox and PC ecosystems. While some add-ons might be cross-compatible, not all PC-based add-ons will work seamlessly with the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. It's essential to verify compatibility before deciding.

4. Vintage Aircrafts & Joysticks

It's delightful to hear about your love for aircraft from the WWI/II era. Both platforms support joysticks, but ensure that your specific joystick model is compatible with Xbox if you decide to go down that route.

In conclusion, if customization, flexibility, and compatibility with older add-ons are top priorities, I'd lean more towards a gaming laptop. However, if you're looking for a more streamlined and hassle-free experience, the Xbox might be the way to go. Remember to check if the addons you've previously purchased are compatible or if additional purchases are necessary.

Hope this helps in your decision-making process. If you have more specifics or need further clarity on any point, please let me know!

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