Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s big pitch is that its world will get more realistic over time, incorporating more photogrammic data and better 3D scenery. And next week, Asobo Studio is delivering on that promise with a big update focusing on Japan.
The first major update — which will be free to download for all players — drops on September 29 internationally. It’ll add six handcrafted local airports and six cities, all manually tuned by the developers for accuracy and richness. There’ll also be prominent local landmarks, such as Itsukushima Shrine, the Great Seto Bridge, Himeji Castle, Kobe Port Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Horyu-Ji, and more.
Here’s the full text of the update:
World Update I: The Japan world update features an upgraded digital elevation map across the entire country, high-resolution 3D photogrammetry for six prominent Japanese cities (Sendai, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Tokyo, Utsunomiya and Yokohama), and six handcrafted local airports (Hachijojima, Kerama, Kushiro, Nagasaki, Shimojishima, and Suwanosejima). Players will also be able to try their hand at executing a trio of exciting new Landing Challenges set at Japanese airports.
The next major patch, according to the official roadmap, is due out in late October. It also comes after the most recent performance patch, where Asobo reportedly corrected some of the CPU and GPU overheads that have been bringing PCs worldwide to their knees.
Fixes included making heavy airport scenes less CPU-dependent, improving loading times, memory optimisations and more:
- Optimised cockpit screen display when screens are not displayed on screen.
- New option available to control cockpit screen update frequency.
- Tweaked CPU thread priorities to reduce interruption of frame critical threads.
- Optimised loading system to reduce overall loading times.
- Optimised heavy airport scenes impact on CPU.
- Reduced the amount of GPU overdraw to improve GPU performance.
- Memory optimisations to reduce software memory footprint and improve performance on memory limited computers.
- Overall performance optimisations