Xbox One Games Will Not Be Region Locked Says Microsoft

By Ishaan . August 16, 2013 . 10:00am

Microsoft have shared with Eurogamer that Xbox One games will not be region-locked when the console releases this year.


“When the console launches this November, we will support Xbox One in 13 markets,” Microsoft said to the publication in a statement. “Xbox One may be used in all countries, including the non-launched markets. In addition, Xbox One games are not region locked. Any Xbox One game purchased at retail can be used in any country on any Xbox One.”


“That said,” they continued, “there needs to be a valid payment method corresponding to a supported launch country in order for any transactions to occur over Xbox Live, and some content may not be accessible outside launch markets due to geographic content restrictions imposed by content right holders.”


Xbox One will launch in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States this year. Certain other territories will get the console in 2014.


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  • malek86

    Sounds like common procedure: region-free games with region-locked DLC and payment method.

    I wish Nintendo would wake up too. Region locking really has no place in today’s borderless markets.

    • lunarwhale

      Wasn’t there a push to try to get Nintendo to end region locking via a firmware update? I hope this news will maybe help push them towards that.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Unlikely. Iwata’s given his reasons for supporting region-locking, which he reaffirmed back in June when the Xbox One was originally announced to be region free. So, unfortunately, they’ll stand by it.

        • Armane

          Where does he give his reasons? He just dodges the question entirely. It was utter nonsense.

          The reasons, which he doesn’t actually go into, are based on deals with distributors, retailers, and just good old fashioned price fixing.

          So of course they aren’t going to give that up. And they certainly aren’t going to release a firmware update circumventing it on current or older hardware.

          • Solomon_Kano

            “There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want. ”

            That’s Iwata’s reasoning for region-locking persisting.


          • Armane

            Try reading a quote before you post it. Nothing there even suggests he’s talking about region locking. He could be talking about why we don’t see games like Captain Rainbow. Or why we can’t get access to all region’s eShop titles.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Or… try being a bit nicer, eh?

            I interpreted that as Iwata’s reasoning, if you interpreted otherwise, so be it. That’s the thing about interpretations: different people can have different ones.


          • Armane

            I feel like you’re twisting his words to come up with that interpretation. If anything, what he is saying there is reasons for removing region locking. Being able to circumvent laws deemed inappropriate for a largely adult consumer base. Experiencing games in their own cultural context. These are reasons why people would want “freedom to play whatever they want”.

            I don’t think I was being particularly untoward. But obviously this is an important issue. Somewhere down the line, I might have to get another console or two, when 1 would have been sufficient. That obviously annoys me. So I apologise if I came across as curt.

          • Solomon_Kano

            It’s entirely possible that I’m reading his statement wrong, certainly, though in the context of their conversation I can’t see Iwata offering up reasons to get rid of region locking and then being like “But we’re still going to keep it.”

            I can definitely understand your annoyance over the topic though. Region-locking is a point of contention for a large number of the posters here, including myself.

          • Lucky Dan

            If the European and Oceania pass laws to make it illegal they would have to get rid of it….

            Finger’s Crossed

          • Solomon_Kano

            Oh? They’re in the process of legislating region locking?

          • Lucky Dan

            Yea but wait till 5-10 years before they do anything as always :)

          • Solomon_Kano

            Ah lol.

          • Shady Shariest

            Holy ****! Do you have any links or anything regarding this? Would love to read more ’bout it!
            (Would google, but same sources make for a better starting point)

          • Lucky Dan
          • Shady Shariest

            Danks :)

          • WyattEpp

            (and @Solomon_Kano:disqus )

            I contacted NoA about this and their official support line is as follows:

            “Regarding region locking, by taking this approach, Nintendo is able to include parental controls and ensure compliance with regional standards and rating systems. I know this isn’t what you were hoping for, but I’ll be sure to document your comments and make certain they are forwarded to other departments here at Nintendo.”

            So yeah, pretty much as Iwata said.

      • Lucky Dan

        In Australia and many European Countries they are finding the whole thing illegal soon or later they will probably have to remove it to get access to those regions as Nintendo are charging high prices indiscriminatory

      • Lucky Dan

        Yes in Australia there was a push to get rid of region locking and had a consesus on the view of IT pricing in Australia. Even though it may be 5 years in Australia they might decide to make region locking illegal cause of price gouging which Nintendo and other companies are allowed to do.

    • $36598391

      It would be nice if Nintendo disabled the Wii’s region lock with a final patch for the system

      • British_Otaku

        Using homebrew (got an SD card? It’s free then) or a small Freeloader (not possible for firmware updated a good few years ago) to bypass the region lock isn’t that hard or expensive. If they were going to fix up anything, it should be the 3DS’s region lock.

        • $36598391

          or both,
          I’d love to have an official nintendo patch to disable the region locking so I could finally play Fatal Frame IV

    • Sardorim

      Yes, I want to play Japan exclusive games on my 3DS like Super Robot Taisen/Wars! They also need a way to tie games/DLC to Club Nintendo so if your 3DS is damaged in anyway you can get the games back on a newly registered 3DS on your account. Limitations like only one active 3DS per account maybe?

  • Eddie

    This is unexpected news, but good news nevertheless.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    First good news of this thing I’ve heard thus far.

  • Arcana Wiz

    Wasn’t that a given?

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Didnt we already know this? Still its good for people who travel but meaningless to everyone else because of how account systems work on Xbox.

    • Wappuli

      Wait, how excatly is this meaningless to everyone else?

    • drproton

      I was concerned their previous statement meant that the consoles were not region restricted, not the games themselves.

      Good for them. I had no interest in the Xbox One from the initial details, but now I could see myself buying it for the right games.

      • $36598391

        I’m not getting an Xbox One because Microsoft could easily turn around and suddenly announce everything they previous said was false

        • infinite legion

          I’m pretty sure we can rest assured they wouldn’t bring back the things that nearly put them in the dirt, for no real reason at all. that’s one thing that really doesn’t make any sense to worry about

    • FetusZero

      Not sure how that would be meaningless.. Unless you’re speaking exclusively of the One. But on X360, I’ve purchased every content available for my region-free games on the Japanese marketplace and can enjoy them on my primary account.

      And after their big 180, it feels like the account systems on the One will work pretty much the same way as they currently do on the 360.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        You’re account is incompatible with various regions on the Xbox One.

        So those people who say want an XBox One from France will have issues

        Considering how account and online oriented with live the Xbox One is, then it doesnt make much sense to get one from another region. But if you travel to somewhere else you can pick up a game from another region and take it home.

        • FetusZero

          Couldn’t you do the same as we currently do on X360 and PS3 using several accounts on one system, each account made for a different region? Or you mean they lock the accounts based on the location of your connection rather than the region it was created in?

          If it’s the latter, then they can forget about me for a few years as the only games I’ve been playing on X360 are the region-free shmups, and if I can’t access their additional content and such, I see no point in importing them (thus no point in buying the Xbox One for now).

          Thanks for the info by the way.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Unfortunately no.

            And yeah you’re welcome

        • Harley Gorillason

          Your account isn’t incompatible with various regions on the Xbox One. It works the same as the 360, you can use any region account on any console, now you can also play any game on it.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Thats not what Xbox support said

  • Martian Wong

    Sony is like 8 years or so ahead of Microsoft then. But still good news is good news~~

  • Highasthesky

    Nintendo: “No comment”

  • Chim_era

    And yet another smooch to make it all better. Frankly my country is already getting it later so…. I bought a xbox360 but frankly I don’t see what the fuss behind the xbox is, so i think i’ll stay a sony girl

  • SlickRoach

    Great news that it’s region free, now I can play all of those Xbox exclusive JRPGs on it. Oh wait…

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

      like it would get any outside FFXV and KHIII

      • Phantom_Roxas

        And those aren’t even exclusive. They were announced primarily for PS4, with the Xbone versions being afterthoughts.

        • Shady Shariest

          *A brief mention of possible maybe PC-version of FFXV*

          • Phantom_Roxas

            Also possible, since Square Enix said that they were using a PC to port.

          • Shady Shariest

            Yup, there was an article about the interviews of Squeenix, and a possible PC-port got its own article!

            And as a btw…The Console version was Downgraded from the PC development version :)

          • Phantom_Roxas

            And yet, they somehow can’t managed a Wii U version. Sorry, I get WHY they won’t make it, but it’s still a sore point for me.

          • Shady Shariest

            Hmhm… If even Xone and PS4 versions were downgraded, think about how much job would go into tearing the game down enough for a Wii U to run!

            And i fully understand your situation… I was eating my nails for VIta when it released…Now it seems to be off to a Brighter Darkness…I mean future…

            Edit: I have jumped in time, DAMN! *Are downgraded
            Edit2: What i love in disqus is the upvote/downvote system, so random at the times :3

      • looks like someone is mad.

        • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

          why would i be mad for.
          I am not getting Xbox One.
          I have Wii U, Wii, 3DS, PS3 and 360.

          Getting PS4 sometime late 2014.

          • Lucky Dan

            They are all the same as a PC, Xbox One and PS4 just wait for 2 years time where the consoles will be half price and has better technology to handle the heat and you can them both at the cost of a PS4.

            Kinda dissappointing they are using 2 tablet 4 core cpus in the system

          • Lucky Dan

            I don’t know if it would be worthwhile to get either system as 90% of the launch titles right now are coming from the Xbox or Playstation or PC what’s the point in getting either system to play 1st party games (I do not know why Microsoft is not abusing the crap out of Banjo or the squirrel)or 3rd party exclusives that would eventually be released on PC

            I would have to wait till the 2nd or even the 3rd generation of both systems to come out when it will be cheaper (I could purchase both the same price as the launch price of the PS4 or just a bit over) where the improved technology in both systems would be made more stable like they did with the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

            ATM I’m gonna sit back and watch the war and see how many people cry foul that all their games are released on the PC.

      • Lucky Dan

        You’ll see them on PC since they are easily ported…
        Fingers crossed for GG Xrd on Steam :)

        AT least its coming on the WII U

    • Lucky Dan

      People are still trying complete the massive backlog on the Wii and PSP they are buying and hacking with their massive backlogs

  • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

    Big deal lol not like Japan cares

  • DS23

    Pretty sure they said they were making it region free at about the same time they announced the removal of the 24 hour check in requirement…

    • Demeanor

      Yeah it was one of the many 180s, the day before they were all adamant about complying with each region’s policies or something like that.

  • British_Otaku

    The fact that they had to specify this is scary.
    Good to know that there is no lock on the system either, kinda expected some services to be locked…

    • Aoshi00

      I hope it’s easy to set up multiple accounts for different regions though like the PS3 & 360, that way it’s still easy to access DLCs from other regions (provided you import the PSN/MS pt cards), not like the Vita, which I gave up using DLCs for my imports..

  • MrRobbyM

    Still don’t trust/not like Microsoft much, but at least they’re making improvements. I’d actually consider getting one now…used, years later when it’s cheap and if it has some nice single-player exclusives(because f**k paying for online on two systems)

  • AuraGuyChris

    It’s like this policy went to the wrong company while many wish Nintendo had this instead. Isn’t the Xbox pretty much non-existent over at Japan?

    • Solomon_Kano

      Yea, the Xbox brand isn’t really anything in Japan, but it’s not like Japan’s the only place one can import games from.

      • Ixbran

        the only place that has games worth importing anyway.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Not if you live in another country and want to get a game in a language you understand before your region gets it (if your region gets it).

  • See… Nintendo look even Microsoft doesn’t need region locks.

    Come now.

    • Aoshi00

      I doubt Nintendo would suddenly unlock their 3DSes after so long (we should just be thankful a lot of games people want are being localized now, like Senran Kagura or Bravely Default) while XB1 reversed this policy before launch. It’s not like they’re following the trophy/cheevo standard either w/ the Wii U.. also they’re still taking their time w/ an account based system when it comes to digital d/l.

      BTW, I’m playing Gyakuten Saiban 5 for a bit now, the quizzes DLC really aren’t that relevant, just a situation where you solve questions like Professor Layton but not related to the story much..

      • Oh I certainly don’t expect Nintendo to suddenly unlock the 3DS and I am glad localizations are happening more frequently. I hope those accounts come soon as well.

      • British_Otaku

        I imported Gyakuten Saiban 5 and will be playing the quizzes religiously (when I get the patience with a dictionary or learn more) just because you think that they are related somewhat to the story. If they didn’t want to annoy a soul, they better be completely detached from the story .

        I’m grateful for a good number of games coming worldwide, I won’t be so much when I hear of a European/Japanese version having less content (Virtue’s Last Reward) and when I notice any good title which I would just import a generation ago which sells so poorly that the company goes under. >_>

        • Aoshi00

          The quizzes are marginal they might as well have nothing to do w/ the main story.. it’s like Apollo & Trucy are trapped in their office, and someone left a threatening note saying they can’t leave the room unless they solve the puzzles on the cards, or the others would be in danger. You get to play the free intro quizzes after you finish the first case (and then part 1,2, & 3 later are sold as DLC for 150 yen each). The graphics are like Apple commercial silhouette, one quiz is like a girl is standing in front of a clock at 3pm, but the discrepancy is that it’s supposed to be 9am flipped because her kimono/kukata flaps are reversed like a mirror, so that’s what Capcom meant by cultural references.
          People are really not missing anything w/o these.. we should be good getting the DLC bridging 4 & 5. I would only get that and not the rest of the quizzes.. otherwise I would just play Layton lol.. (still have 4, 5, & 6 on backlog..)

          I’m near the end of the 2nd case right now. 5 is probably more streamlined and harder to get stuck since there’s a progress log indicating where to go next, and one can’t investigate anywhere like in the other games. The design and chars are very interesting as always. I wonder how they would localize the 2nd case since it’s very Japanese w/ demons and such :)

          • British_Otaku

            That doesn’t sound complex enough to leave the content in Japan. *pouts* That said, I would agree that it doesn’t seem worth the money at all and I’m pretty grateful to get the case…

            I would rather not have parts of the experience (especially as they don’t seem to be asking about Japanese culture directly) locked behind both a region lock and pay wall.

            They are writing themselves into a corner I say. I’m usually very antagonistic to adaptations/localisations which throw out all of the names, change the location and rewrite all of the humour. Surprisingly, I like it so far (played AA1-4)… >_> The first three games weren’t written to account for how people in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian will receive or adapt it. The later titles likely had them hard at work too, so they will manage somehow…

  • Vash bane

    only one word…


  • windrincar

    Games won’t be region locked, but consoles are. Literally.

  • artemisthemp

    This ain’t a surprise seen as Microsoft announce ad their first 180, that Xbox 1 wouldn’t be Region lock.

    Now I just wonder if, Microsoft will restrict DLC, so you can’t use American DLC on EU Xbox Live Profile or it will work like PS3 does now.

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