Xbox One will be region locked - Report

Game software and console hardware regions must match; lock introduced to comply with international laws.

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The Xbox One will require game software to match the console's hardware region to play, according to a report by Digital Trends.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to the publication that region-specific encoding will be put in place to comply with legal requirements for selling the hardware across various global markets.

“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale," said the rep. "We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.”

Microsoft includes a similar feature on the Xbox 360, but allows game developers and publishers to determine whether they will opt to lock out players who import games from other countries. Nintendo’s Wii U software is also tied to the country of console purchase. Sony is yet to make an announcement regarding region locking on the PlayStation 4.

While the PlayStation 3 natively allows users to play discs from other countries, the PlayStation 3 version of Atlus-published fighter Persona 4 Arena recently became the first game on the platform to enforce region locking.

GameSpot contacted Microsoft, seeking confirmation and clarification of the report. The company was unable to provide a comment at the time of publication.

Discussion

1862 comments
leonardozaki
leonardozaki

vai toma no cu microsoft vcs pensao que nos gamers somos otarios vao toma no zoio do cu seus filhos da putas caralho para que fazer isso tomar nossa privacidade n respeitar pq vcs fazerao tanto susseço com o xbox 360 e agora vem fazer essa merda pra que fazer isso pra que seus filhos das putas de microsoft eu to decepcionado caralho o mundo intero todos os gamers estao decepcionado pq vcs querem fazer pra que ???

theimortal2
theimortal2

when i heard about the region locked annoucement i laughed.  to affect anybody there has to be any other regions that exist that give a ****.  it's like the time when i was a kid and i was having a terrible time at the camp so i announced that i would never come again.  the problem was that nobody liked me or gave a crap about me so it was like who cares.

Saturniidae
Saturniidae

Not that my opinions matter, but: Dear Everyone in the Gaming Industry: Every time something is announced to have a region lock, I not only don't buy it, I put all my effort into supporting those who jailbreak and crack those systems. I refuse to support any company who says I can't play a native-language game "just because." Given the huge number of games that never make it to my part of the world, you're just driving your customers away. Case and point, part of the NDS family of system's huge prior success, was that there were no region locks preventing players from playing, say, Nanashi no Game, or Soma Bringer, or the German-language version of Fishdom DS. If you fancied it, you could play it, and that means more profits all around. Why the hell you would want to gut your profit margins is beyond me.

Essentially, you have just given me reason to a) not purchase this system and b) pirate anything to do with this system if ever I do wind up with one. Things like this make me hate one of my favorite past-times, and sometimes I honestly wish the market would crash into oblivion. I'd rather not have a gaming industry than have a fragmented and restricted one. With the way the next console generation is shaping up, I'll probably just quit gaming outright, I guess. I have no other option to combat this gross censorship and idiocy than to take my business and wallet elsewhere.

I have spent a lifetime's worth of currency, of time, and of emotion on gaming. I have a massive collection of both games and pre-order bonuses that I'm rather proud of. It makes me sad to see all that fall to the wayside for the foolishness of pointless regulation.

DKant
DKant

Region locking has always been bad, and like every other "protectionist" measure has only hurt legitimate gamers in favor of piracy.

Not just games, but other media as well. There are certain old/rare movies that are simply not available in stores (and we don't have Netflix here), that I'd like to order from the US via Amazon or eBay, but I can't because of region locking.

Guess what options I have left.....either using an unlocked player (thus circumventing the legal purpose of a region lock) or pirating.

Scholar_Of_Time
Scholar_Of_Time

That's....bad news for the people who actually still want an X-box one...

ArmyRecon14
ArmyRecon14

Who the F*#! cares about region locking? If you think that this "problem" is going to be the one thing that makes the ONE suck then you obviously have some unbelievably high expectations for the next gen console.  

pete420630
pete420630

im getting it until ps4 can prove psn isnt the stiff it was with ps3

zintarr
zintarr

Yes!!!!!!!!!

One more reason for peeps to bitch about the Xbox1.

SKErwin
SKErwin

This is the worst decision from Microsoft and publishers: e.g. If you have lots of games in stock and you can't sell them in US, then you could have the option to send them to Europe, but with the region lock you can't do that. 

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

This generation of gaming is going to be a bust. All three companies are rushing into it way too early. Its evident in the amount of restrictions and cutting back of fundemental features it takes just for these consoles to do what they were designed to do.

Instead, a bunch of time was invested around expanding the integration of other forms of media and social networking.

arkor7
arkor7

it'll be awesome!

MalakTawus
MalakTawus

And this makes it official: Xbox One can go to hell for all i care, what a sh*tty console......

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

Police: nothing new to see here people... move along.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

Yay, more things for people to complain about. Give me a break.

chad28_69
chad28_69

they should change the laws.

in a world that is so connected these imaginary limits are bs.

Ryozo
Ryozo

As I have stated often, region locking is a concept long overdue for a swift and certain demise; it has no place in today's world, especially with digital distribution.  On this note, Unfallen_Satan makes a good point: hardware developers might insist on including this nonsense, but what happens if the software people decide as a body to do an end run around it as he suggests is the case with the PS3?


The obvious question arises, then: cui bono?  Somehow I doubt the answer to that includes the software developers and publishers.

Raeldor
Raeldor

Comply with international laws my a$$.  This is more of a killer for me than the used gaming fiasco, as I like to import games from Japan.

deliman
deliman

This is shocking.


Shocking I tell you.

transferstude
transferstude

so all the things i hate about a console are there plus more horrible things do they even want this system to sell

asmodeus_z
asmodeus_z

This would be the death knell for X1 if PS4 is region free.

wexorian
wexorian

Ps3 Wasn ot region locked and it was quite good deal for Players with normal internet around world it had no problems and lags, also region locked games are Quite horrible. 

Jasurim
Jasurim

Well that sucks...hopefully the PS4 allows for all regions.

There are a fair few games that aren't released in Australia I like buying and added onto that sometimes it's just easier buying the games overseas.  Incredibly frustrating if this gets put in place on all consoles.

kozakon
kozakon

one of the features that i always appreciated about the PS3 is the fact that it was region free. this way i was able to perches more games each month from every seller on  the planet. blocking this feature will be a bad move for everyone!

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

What's new about this? North America has been getting Region Locked games and region restrictions since the old days of NES cartridges and even prior. They have to do whatever they can to combat piracy. Eventually broadband networks will get to a point there will be absolutely no physical media and everything will be a download. Until then we'll just deal with whatever they dish out.

I'm 100% sure when kids force mom/dad to line up to buy a XBOX1 or PS4, they won't even be thinking about "region restrictions". Most of em can't spell "restrictions.

krev23
krev23

I live in Aus. New games here retail for $89.95 which is about US$88. I find it funny when US reviewers whine that next gen games might be as much as US$50. We've been getting screwed for a long time Down Under (which in different circumstances I'd not complain about). 

I've never paid full Aus retail price for any game on my Xbox 360. Not when I can Ebay the title from HK for $62 including postage from day one. So I was never aware the 360 had region blocking as I've never had any issue with my games bought from HK and UK at substantially reduced prices (sometimes as much as 50% off).


I can totally see why they want to region block (you don't want all us Aussies buying our games from India at less than 20% the Aus price do you?) but if they destroy the pre-owned market with a fee for subsequent installs (not sure if this is still a rumour or confirmed but if it does happen...) and make all developers enforce region blocking then I'd not buy an Xbox One even if they only cost $100 (currently rumoured to cost us Aussies A$899). 

I'll go back to my PC thank you very much.

Also I'm not bagging MS for doing this as they're not the only one. I'm simply saying if they do x then they will not get my business. My "willingness to pay" falls off a cliff for any console that has region blocking and pre-owned market destroying pay walls.

ultra-zealot
ultra-zealot

Every console ive ever owned has been region locked. Never bothered me before and it wont start now. I already have my Xbox One on Pre Order :-)

Scorex_VII
Scorex_VII

This got me thinking... I have a question... Is this region locked to continents or countries? Like, being in Portugal and buying from Amazon uk( england) still possible (both Europe) or its specific to each country? Both are bad, but one is simply awful... I pray PS4 doesnt have this, but we all know it should have... *Prays its onlY continent lock, not country lock* 

gotenks0709
gotenks0709

Wait a second.... Xbox 360 was region locked as well the only way you can make it region free was by "soft" modding it and last time I checked that got your system banned. So why is everybody upset about this? This is nothing new.

MVan86
MVan86

Point to come from article: MS isn't the only company apparently having to do this.

Point to come from comments: Some people want to blame MS for EVERYTHING they don't like.

theimortal2
theimortal2

@Scholar_Of_Time exactly it's like if they followed up an announcement where they announced that the new product was going to smell like crap that comes out when someone has the flu, with an announcement that it will look like it and work about as well as it too.  who cares nobody liked it after the first announcement.  just making it even stink more.

action_ramboXXX
action_ramboXXX

@ArmyRecon14 I do. I live in Asia and both my Xbox 360 and PS3 were bought in North America and my country sells Region 1 and Region 3 version of games. The 360 and PS3 are pretty much region free so it gives me flexibility which version to buy pending on availability. Which means I can also buy Region 3 games while going to the US I can buy some  R1 games.

zhoule211
zhoule211

@ArmyRecon14 dont cry like a bitch when your internet is down and you can't play your game on xbox one!!!

OzoneOfDarkness
OzoneOfDarkness

@pete420630 The omnly thing psn lacked was easy socializing and party chat as well as difficulty using their shitty headsets all of which the ps4 was confirmed to have. Also as far as i can tell psn will still be free. 

zhoule211
zhoule211

@zintarr please tell me microsoft has been doing gaming business for how long?! when were you born?!! How many games have you played kid!?

ultra-zealot
ultra-zealot

@SKErwin Hasnt hurt the current gen has it. Europe us PAL and have forever just like the US use NTSC. NTSC is the inferior format so maybe its time the US adopt PAL.

Scholar_Of_Time
Scholar_Of_Time

@Double_Wide - I sort of still have hopes for Nintendo...the Wii-U does "feel" like a modern console without the executive meddling...

leonardozaki
leonardozaki

@arkor7 incrivel vai ser seu cu seu animal vc faz ideia do essa merda de microsoft quer fazer com vc eles so querem pegar seu dinheiro para de ser retardado eles querem tomar nossa privacidade esses filhas das putas de microsoft


ultra-zealot
ultra-zealot

@asmodeus_z How do you figure. PS3 is region free and the 360 is region locked. Hasnt stopped either competing head to head in sales for years. There are essentially 2 regions around the world PAL and NTSC. Each has different sub formats but all NTSC work on NTSC systems and its the same for PAL. NTSC-J also works on PAL Systems

ultra-zealot
ultra-zealot

@krev23 By region blocking they simply mean in the current PAL and NTSC system that is used. They dont mean that if you buy a game in the UK that you wont be able to play it in  AU as we both use PAL. There are some games that are NTSC-J which seem to be universal as i myself have bought some online at a reduced price and was able to play them on my AU system. No need to worry about next gen. It will be no different than the current gen in terms of region locking. You will still be able to import UK and HK games and play on a Xbox One

aovannor
aovannor

@gotenks0709 360 can be region locked, yes.. but many games were released region free and still are. Resident Evil: Revelations, for example, is completely region free. So is Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, BioShock Infinite and Dead Island: Riptide. It depends on the game but most aren't locked.

MNDMTX
MNDMTX

@gotenks0709 not all games are released at the same time. some games are exclusive in some regions. some games has a censored content in your region.


you don't have to worry about all that in PS4. but i do like Xone too  

MJ-X
MJ-X

@MVan86 Not really, SONY didnt do it with PS3 and i dont think 360 had it, never got into a situation regarding that yet so every1 at least hoped that MS learned that its a good thing but here we see them doing it along with DRM and cameras and controlling your games licenses physically and digitally.

rez_1kabir
rez_1kabir

@ultra-zealot @SKErwin I know a friend of mine who purchased his 360 from the States...but when he came back to his home country - Bangladesh, he found that almost none of the games being sold there were NTSC! Now where he would have spent hundreds of dollars purchasing games, he just has a small collection of a few handful. Think about him...he's not the only person who has faced a situation like this (even though he should've anticipated the region lock)...Now he's actually thinking about breaking his 360 cuz he can't even sell the console...

The region lock is actually a very stupid! Even Sony does something similar with their games when you need a PSN account of the same region as where the game was purchased in order to access the online features and DLC's. It's simply stupid and limits your sales.

gotenks0709
gotenks0709

@Cillah187 @gotenks0709  I guess its certain games because I have some games from Japan and they don't work on my US console. Maybe its my system.

MVan86
MVan86

@MJ-X @MVan86 Yes, really.  The article names Nintendo as doing this as well, yet the comments focus SOLELY on MS.

Sorry but until I hear from MS, specifically the Xbox One team, that the 'fee' rumour is true I will continue to say "stop treating rumour as fact".

MJ-X
MJ-X

@MVan86 @Korvus85 I understand what you u mean it may sound like some are taking beyond its boundaries but from my experience with MS services and products its not that far fetched.

MJ-X
MJ-X

@Korvus85 @MVan86 Didnt miss it and I couldnt care less why other people blame MS every1 has the right to voice their opinion on this website, if u find that hard to keep up with or "tiring" then by all means skip my comments and any others you might not like, on the other hand if you want to engage in constrcuctive conversation to try and understand how others think and whats their reason then i'll gladly talk to you and care as to why u might think otherwise.

MVan86
MVan86

@Korvus85 @MVan86 It is a little, but as far as I'm concerned I'll continue to try to bring some reality to this.


I would, except for the fact that since their unveiling people have gone WY over the top about the 'greed/evil/whatever' of MS...

korvus
korvus

@MVan86 Isn't it tiring to repeat yourself over and over again in the same article? Have you considered that people only blame MS because they couldn't care less what Nintendo does? Or maybe you've missed the "Wii U is crap" shitstorm...

MJ-X
MJ-X

@MVan86 @MJ-X 

Who said i dont? i condemn every single company that enforces region locks, DRM, Spying methods, Lack of server securities. along with anything that exploits consumers and abuses their rights.

Point is Nintendo is already out of the bag but MS seems to be coming out with more and more and it only gets worse for them everytime.

As for the spokesperson i know that its different people but something like that leaking to the public sounds like MS screwed up big time because they did not set limits and red lines not to cross during interviews, speculation or talking when you are not supposed to or not informed  about could only mean 2 things: unprofessionalism or a massive leak.

I'd venture to the latter as well as a bit of the first depending on how you see it.

MVan86
MVan86

@MJ-X @MVan86 It is not a fact; Harrison is the head of a large section (and thus could be mistake) and another MS spokesman who had an interview with GS denied they had any set policy.

As far as I'm concerned if you're going to condemn one company for doing "x" then you must condemn other ones who do the same thing.

MJ-X
MJ-X

@MVan86@MJ-XThe Fee was actually a fact even a spokesperson from microsoft was the one who mentioned it. As for Nintendo part its no special treatment im not being a fanboy or anything but when a system comes with many flaws and still arrogantly sticks to its old methods i dont see how in hell any1 would love such a device with extreme measures to take your consumer rights and still ask for money.