Xbox Classics region locked downloads?

By Spencer . December 4, 2007 . 12:43pm

xboxclassics.jpgWith the simple trick of making a silver Xbox Live account in Japan, Xbox 360 owners were privy to advance demos like Eternal Sonata and a chance to try out unreleased games like Zegapain Not. However, even if you have Microsoft Points loaded into a Japanese account you cannot download Puyo Pop Fever or Magatama.


After running through the system update I attempted to purchase Magatama. I haven’t played it before so I was looking forward to giving it a go. I got ready to expend 1,200 Microsoft Points when an error message popped up explaining the download was not available in my region. The same problem occurred with Puyo Pop Fever. I turned off my 360 and tried again, but this time the option to download the games was not present. I was able to download the freebies (themes and icons), but it appears Microsoft closed off a path to downloadable import games.

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  • thaKingRocka

    region locking is something i never really cared about back in the day. little did i know that it would someday become my most formidable foe. i am hoping that they limit by IP rather than system origin. i have a japanese 360, but i moved back to the US, and i have had to hold off on, and sometimes pass up, a lot of games until i could learn of their region-locking status. i never thought i’d say this, but, “sony have the right idea.”

    incidentally, i picked up magatama some time ago, and i wasn’t impressed at all. it was kind of awkward and the hits didn’t feel solid. it fails in most of those intangible qualities that constitute good gameplay.

  • Aoshi00

    Same w/ me as I have a Jpn 360 as well, so it was a good move I imported Trusty Bell since the US Eternal Sonata is region locked. At least it’s only limited to software unlike Wii.

    As for PS3, so far there are no games so it’s kind of moot.. and Sony did lock us out of the whole import PS1/2 library, which is really inconveneint since I have a backlog of import PS2 games and I can’t play it on the game-deprived PS3 now, which defeats the backward compatibility point entirely.

  • Freakeeg

    It’s pretty much what happens for users that live in a country where the Xbox Live doesn’t exist. They have to create accounts using, for example, US adresses for being able to enjoy the service benefits.

  • @thaKingRocka – I guess I’m not missing out Magatama then. Thanks for the info. I was sort of curious about that and a few other only in Japan Xbox 360 games. aww man a Japanese 360 in the US is rough. You end up having to import everything right?

    @Aoshi00 – Ahh…. sorry to hear you’re having the same 360 problem. Next year should bring some good PS3 imports Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan is a start :)

  • The Lost Listener

    Try a Japanese Proxy Server.
    (Post should work now.)

  • This is actually to protect (most) consumers. Because of the region locking, if users created a JP account on a US console and download Magatama, the content wouldn’t play and they’d be out 15 bucks. It is unfortunate for users that have JP consoles in the US, but as a protective measure for the majority of users, I think that this is a net positive.

  • Cryptnotic

    Chris: The idea is that people should be allowed to play whatever they want. If a small fraction of U.S. users who happen to be able to read Japanese want to play Eternal Sonata before it comes out here, why not let them? Yes, it’s nice that it blocks you from wasting your points on something that won’t work, but why shouldn’t it work in the first place? Who does it serve to not let someone who wants to buy a game buy it and play it? It’s the kind of thing that drives people to piracy, since there’s no region lockout on the pirated version.

  • Freakeeg

    Cryptnotic: Where have you heard that pirated games don’t have a region lock? And the piracy is a result of outrageous prices caused by a large number of taxes upon the videogame related products in Third-World Countries.

  • MyTZuS

    What about those of us who use the 360 to keep our language skills sharp now that we’re in an english speaking country. I know that I play the games I have in english and then replay in german and french or just in german and french and maybe english. I’ve found this to be a great pleasure of mine to do so and a wonderful benefit. My wife used to complain but now can’t cause I use the argument that I play in order to remember and keep my mother tongues! :-D

  • AGW2097

    Sounds like Magatama isn’t a big loss..

    As far as Puyo Puyo Fever goes, either download it for Dreamcast and burn the ISO, or just play Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (for Genesis or in Sonic MegaCollection)- as it is the best version of Puyo ever made.

  • Ste

    Yeah, the region locking is a pain. I’ve a Korean xbox, a uk billing account, but currently still in Korea….why do they do it, why, why why why????
    Apparently it’s to stop ‘grey imports’ but, when I asked someone at ms support for info on using my box in the uk as I’ll be returning shortly. The rep said…well can’t you import al your games? Soo…because of import protection, i’ll be importing my games…go figure.

  • BHo

    I have a US system stationed in Korea. I got my XBox live account while stationed in Japan using my stateside address. When stationed in Cali I was able to access all downloads but moving to Korea I don’t get the access to movies and stuff. Demos are fine just no media.

    I recall having issues with getting downloads when using my PC as a modem in Cali too. I think that using proxy sevice blocks accounts from certain items too?

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