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Microsoft Flight Sim descends on an improved Japan today

Landing on the Rising Sun

Having already fit the world on my hard drive, Microsoft Flight Simulator now begins the long and painful process of making it all look a bit nicer. The flight sim's first World Update drops today, sprucing up Japan with photogrammetry-scanned cities, improved terrain mapping, custom-built airports and new landing challenges to break in the new runways. Tickets are free, so why not pop over to Tokyo for a spell?

Announced last week, Japan is the first in what the devs hope to be many free World Updates - improving sections of the flight sim's satellite-scanned geometry, one corner of the Earth at a time.

Flight Sim might offer the whole world, but the sheer scale means it's done so at a fairly rough level, with only 341 of Earth's cities given the photogrammetry treatment in-game. The Japan World Update adds six more cities to that list, including Sendai, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Tokyo, Utsunomiya and Yokohama, as well as an "all-new digital elevation map" that increases terrain detail across the entire island nation.

Being the important bits of any flight, six Japanese airports have been reworked with bespoke assets. Three new landing challenges should help get you acquainted with these new ports - though if you're anything like me, you'll be spending more time veering dangerously close to some of the update's pretty new landmarks.

World Update 1 is free to Flight Sim owners, arrive as part of the game's latest update. There's a good amount to check out besides Japan, with the full list available on the official patch notes. While it's unlikely they'll ever get the entire world 1:1, the devs hope to keep dropping free World Updates to spruce up various parts of the planet on a fairly frequent basis.

I do hope they get 'round to fixing Scotland, though. Bass Rock was done dirty by Flight Sim's world gen.

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