• Review: FSDreamTeam - GSX Ground Services

    GSX Ground Services X

    Publisher: FsDreamTeam

    Review Author:
    Meng Yu

    Suggested Price:
    $39.00

    Buy Here

    FsDreamTeam's Ground Services X (hence referred to as GSX) is an add-on package released by the company as a way to greatly enhance the user's experience on the ground. Owing to a less-then-satisfactory default system in FSX, GSX replaces the default baggage and push-back trucks in flight simulator with a high-quality set of vehicles, ranging from the push-back truck right down to a gate marshal.

    Features

    Not only does it fully integrate with all FsDreamTeam published airports, GSX also boasts compatibility with every airport in FSX, default or otherwise. It also supports all default and most 3rd party add-on aircraft, with an editor for those add-ons that aren't directly supported.

    Owners of GSX will also be pleasantly surprised by the different liveries and models utilized by the add-on depending on location and aircraft size. More information can be obtained from the product page.

    System Requirements

    As per the manual provided with GSX, the system requirements are as follows:

    • Pentium 2.5 GHz or faster - a dual core CPU is recommended.
    • 200 MB free space on your hard disk
    • 2GB RAM
    • 3D video card with at least 512 MB
    • Microsoft FSX + SP2 or Acceleration Pack or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D 1.4 or 2.0 and above.
    • Microsoft Windows XP with SP3 or Windows Vista or Windows 7, both 32 bit and 64 bit versions are supported.
    • Adobe Acrobat® Reader 8 or later version

    Installation

    The initial download is indicated to be 2 KB in size. In reality, it's only 1.7 KB! Hence, download times should be no factor at all as far as the initial setup program is concerned. Upon opening the zip file however, you'd quickly realize that only a simple HTML file is included. No wonder the download was so small...

    The actual setup for FSX is about 125 MB in size, which should be of no concern for most modern broadband connections. The download is provided directly by FsDreamTeam so you can be assured that the latest version of GSX will be downloaded.

    The installation process is rather straightforward. Do note that the download FsDreamTeam offers is only a trial version. Once you've installed the trial version, simply activate the product through the Couatl interface located within FSX and select "Addon Manager", "FsDreamTeam" as the publisher, then GSX as your product. Simply click the "Register Serial" button, enter your serial key and activation would be complete. Enjoy!

    GSX
    The add-on menu where you can activate GSX. The button to press is circled in red.

    Documentation

    Accompanying the add-on is a 42-page pdf manual that explains the usage of GSX in detail, including what the various gestures made by the marshal mean and how to interpret the instructions given by the follow-me car.

    Additionally, the manual also details the various procedures of vehicles, some of which are covered later in this review, as well as instructions on how to customize GSX for individual add-ons. Whilst highly informative and a definite must-read for new users getting into GSX, an index or content page will definitely help with the organization and ease of location information within the manual, although the manual is arranged reasonably and not too terribly messy.

    If you have any troubles with regards to GSX, the manual is likely to contain the solution on resolving your issue. Failing that, the support forums for FsDreamTeam products can be found here.

    The product also comes with a paint kit for ground vehicles, which, along with the installers for other additions, may be downloaded at the FsDreamTeam product page here.

    Lastly, the FAQ page also contains a few bits of useful information and can be located here. For those who are more curious, a list of changes made to GSX since its launch is found here.


    11 Comments
    1. TightGit's Avatar
      TightGit -
      Thanks for an in-depth review.

      I've used GSX with my PMDG 747 for a couple of years now and 100% recommend it.

      Actually it does far more than I require.

      When I have a sim session, I'm impatient to get airbourne so, rather than spend 15 mins watching all the loading activity, I jump straight to Option 5 (pushback)!
    1. vflight2's Avatar
      vflight2 -
      Excellent review, I'll buy!

      ~Doc~
    1. royyeadon's Avatar
      royyeadon -
      Quote Originally Posted by TightGit View Post
      Thanks for an in-depth review.

      I've used GSX with my PMDG 747 for a couple of years now and 100% recommend it.

      Actually it does far more than I require.

      When I have a sim session, I'm impatient to get airbourne so, rather than spend 15 mins watching all the loading activity, I jump straight to Option 5 (pushback)!
      Seems to me like all FSX addon software to be well over priced. Should be around $5 or so.
    1. TightGit's Avatar
      TightGit -
      And I thought I was a TG!

      Given all the hundreds of hours that it must take to write and test these programs, I think that most of them are very reasonably priced.

      I'm just grateful that some people are prepared to spend so much time enhancing our wonderful hobby.
    1. kingnorris's Avatar
      kingnorris -
      Best addon I've bought. Only gripe is, it's constantly requesting a new version be downloaded. If you don't use their standalone manager, it'll screw things up.
    1. Karl's Avatar
      Karl -
      Quote Originally Posted by royyeadon View Post
      Seems to me like all FSX addon software to be well over priced. Should be around $5 or so.
      Wait! You think if they reduce the price of $35 to $5 that they'll sell more than 7 times as many copies? Pfft, go on with yourself. That type of logic will never fly (pun intended).
    1. Karl's Avatar
      Karl -
      Quote Originally Posted by TightGit View Post
      And I thought I was a TG!

      Given all the hundreds of hours that it must take to write and test these programs, I think that most of them are very reasonably priced.

      I'm just grateful that some people are prepared to spend so much time enhancing our wonderful hobby.
      The cost of production is ~not~ a direct component of supply/demand. If the production time/cost was 100x greater does that mean you would consider it a good value to pay $3,500USD for it?

      I personally agree with the previous comment regarding the price. I've found when asking FSX vendors that there is little if any research done by these vendors in pricing their product. Consider how many people don't get pirated copies of the software on their phones these days. Why? Because the price truly reflects the demand. How many people would be getting pirated apps for their phones or pirated mp3's for their iphones if they were trying to charge $9.99 instead of $0.99 for each purchase.

      Vendors in this arena are often a flavor of computer nerd. They like others of the personality type can a pattern of being less than socially adept. The slightest suggestion that there is a mismatch between supply/demand in the pricing and they react unpleasantly and defensively almost immediately. All this attitude and I have yet to have one say that they have done a cost/benefit study on the price of their product.

      If I ever develop a PMDG level model for this sim, I will charge ~$15USD for it. I am confident that I will sell far more than 6 times as many copies as PMDG and have to spend less in fighting piracy of the product. Final example.... FSNavigator had a great scheme to prevent piracy, sold their product for $20 and almost everyone used it. When the revamped it and rebranded it to FSTramp they doubled the price to $40. I am the only one that I know of that uses it. Even I am done with it now. They recently changed the price to $40 per year subscription. It's lunacy IMHO.

      I wouldn't have spent $35 on GSX but my wife got it for me last year for XMas. I would have bought it years ago if it were $15 or so. This coming from someone who spends a lot every year on his FS hobby. (After all its so much cheaper than flying in a real aircraft).

      Cheers
    1. betelgeuse's Avatar
      betelgeuse -
      You hit the nail on the head, Karl, I couldn't have put it better myself.

      I am on the FSTramp trial out of curiosity. It's quite a good program but there's no way I will subscribe at any price. If it was a $20 one off payment I would buy it.

      I feel the same about GSX. Overpriced.

      And as for Aerosoft's AES, it's a cash cow, pure and simple.
    1. tgon's Avatar
      tgon -
      Personally I am loathe to pay subscription for any software as I never actually own it, just the use of it.

      As for GSX, my FSX SE set up is a bit of a mess so didn't really get a good go at it. I will again when Ive tidied up my PC. One question that the review makes me ask: does GSX rely on FSX's own ATC for procedures and follow-me?
    1. flightjim's Avatar
      flightjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
      The cost of production is ~not~ a direct component of supply/demand. If the production time/cost was 100x greater does that mean you would consider it a good value to pay $3,500USD for it?

      I personally agree with the previous comment regarding the price. I've found when asking FSX vendors that there is little if any research done by these vendors in pricing their product. Consider how many people don't get pirated copies of the software on their phones these days. Why? Because the price truly reflects the demand. How many people would be getting pirated apps for their phones or pirated mp3's for their iphones if they were trying to charge $9.99 instead of $0.99 for each purchase.

      Vendors in this arena are often a flavor of computer nerd. They like others of the personality type can a pattern of being less than socially adept. The slightest suggestion that there is a mismatch between supply/demand in the pricing and they react unpleasantly and defensively almost immediately. All this attitude and I have yet to have one say that they have done a cost/benefit study on the price of their product.

      If I ever develop a PMDG level model for this sim, I will charge ~$15USD for it. I am confident that I will sell far more than 6 times as many copies as PMDG and have to spend less in fighting piracy of the product. Final example.... FSNavigator had a great scheme to prevent piracy, sold their product for $20 and almost everyone used it. When the revamped it and rebranded it to FSTramp they doubled the price to $40. I am the only one that I know of that uses it. Even I am done with it now. They recently changed the price to $40 per year subscription. It's lunacy IMHO.

      I wouldn't have spent $35 on GSX but my wife got it for me last year for XMas. I would have bought it years ago if it were $15 or so. This coming from someone who spends a lot every year on his FS hobby. (After all its so much cheaper than flying in a real aircraft).

      Cheers
      Utter bollocks. YOU will NEVER produce any kind of FS software because you don't have the guts, the determination, the capital to invest, the time, the knowledge, the education, or the experience.

      You're another useless internet keyboard hero who proclaims to have all the answers yet has none.

      Your first statement proves that utterly: Of course the cost of production relates directly to price/value (not supply/demand which is an incorrect correlation by you in the first place! LOL). Would you have your software programmers work for free or at a huge discount so that you could sell your "$15 PMDG Equivalent"? LOL, what a joke.

      If it was that easy, there would be loads of competitors flooding the market with low priced PMDG equivalent products. (Including you, lol, not) And yet there are none. I wonder why? Maybe the cost of development, testing, publishing, marketing, support and such are very expensive and no one else wants to take the risk in the very small flight sim software market.

      And your miracle product is somehow going to clone human beings so you can sell six times as many units at your economy cost? Lol. I have no idea how many more units one could sell at a lower than PMDG price, (and neither do you) but it certainly isn't a factor of six, or a professional company like PMDG would have done some discounting already and grabbed a portion of that market.

      And "no developer has given you their pricing research and strategy" LOL, really? A private business hasn't "given" you information on their very confidential strategies? Yeah, you've asked no one, and no one is ever going to share with you for any reason. YOU of course have spent the time and money already to run market research studies and product/marketing tests to confirm YOUR pricing/unit marketing strategy - LOL, right.

      And yet you "seem" to "understand" the value of flight simming over the cost of real life flight. So DO THE MATH - I've used FSX Steam alone for over 600 hours and probably CD-FSX/FS2004 and previous for thousands of hours more. Let's say I only used a PMDG NGX ($69.99) for 1/4 of those Steam hours - that's 150 hours/$.50 per hour. Dirt cheap entertainment for the ability to pilot a very exact replica of a $50M aircraft.

      Your premise is based in no reality whatsoever.
    1. Karl's Avatar
      Karl -
      Quote Originally Posted by flightjim View Post
      Utter bollocks. YOU will NEVER produce any kind of FS software because you don't have the guts, the determination, the capital to invest, the time, the knowledge, the education, or the experience.

      You're another useless internet keyboard hero who proclaims to have all the answers yet has none.

      Your first statement proves that utterly: Of course the cost of production relates directly to price/value (not supply/demand which is an incorrect correlation by you in the first place! LOL). Would you have your software programmers work for free or at a huge discount so that you could sell your "$15 PMDG Equivalent"? LOL, what a joke.

      If it was that easy, there would be loads of competitors flooding the market with low priced PMDG equivalent products. (Including you, lol, not) And yet there are none. I wonder why? Maybe the cost of development, testing, publishing, marketing, support and such are very expensive and no one else wants to take the risk in the very small flight sim software market.

      And your miracle product is somehow going to clone human beings so you can sell six times as many units at your economy cost? Lol. I have no idea how many more units one could sell at a lower than PMDG price, (and neither do you) but it certainly isn't a factor of six, or a professional company like PMDG would have done some discounting already and grabbed a portion of that market.

      And "no developer has given you their pricing research and strategy" LOL, really? A private business hasn't "given" you information on their very confidential strategies? Yeah, you've asked no one, and no one is ever going to share with you for any reason. YOU of course have spent the time and money already to run market research studies and product/marketing tests to confirm YOUR pricing/unit marketing strategy - LOL, right.

      And yet you "seem" to "understand" the value of flight simming over the cost of real life flight. So DO THE MATH - I've used FSX Steam alone for over 600 hours and probably CD-FSX/FS2004 and previous for thousands of hours more. Let's say I only used a PMDG NGX ($69.99) for 1/4 of those Steam hours - that's 150 hours/$.50 per hour. Dirt cheap entertainment for the ability to pilot a very exact replica of a $50M aircraft.

      Your premise is based in no reality whatsoever.
      I suspect they don't have Econimics 101 at that prestigious school that you went to? What I wrote can be proven in any Econ 101 textbook.

      Did you try to answer my question regarding the price. If the production costs were higher would you pay $3,500 for it?

      From a producer stand point, production costs are a component of whether supply can be produced to meet demand within budgetary constraints. If I can produce a ride to Mars for $10,000 I could probably make some money charging $50,000 for a ride. But if it costs me $10,000,000 to produce that trip I don't think I could find a feasible way to bring that ride to market.

      It really isn't that complicated.

      I didn't give a lot of attention to your math. It seems to an anecdotal description what you individually see as value. In contrast I tried to use market trends and patterns. (another clue about which of us might just be nothing more than an internet typist who nothing substantive to contribute).

      I'm okay with you having an opinion contrary to mine. Using insults and being dismissive as the cornerstone of your arguments is a fool's errand IMHO. It certainly will not cause me to seriously consider your position. I doubt it will sway others once they get the feeling that you're acting rude.

      Now that I mention it, I look at see that you have 0 prior posts. That makes me think that I'm dealing with a troll. I didn't know we had those on flightsim.com. I'll consider myself fore-warned.

      Cheers.
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