Since the launch of the Xbox 360 there was an easy solution to circumvent region locks on Xbox Live content. All you had to do is set up a new Xbox Live account with a Gamertag in a different region. This gave people outside of the USA a chance to enjoy some video marketplace content and North American Xbox 360 owners demos of games that are only available in Japan. However, Microsoft is clamping down on region free downloads in the Xbox 360 spring update.
So what does this mean to you? Well, if you have an account that matches the country where you are located, then you will probably notice little to no difference. However, if you have set up an account that does not match the country where you are located, you will find that these new security measures will only allow you to purchase and download content that is licensed in the country where you are located.
For example, if you are not located in the US, but have created a US Xbox LIVE account, you will not be able to download TV shows and movies that are currently available for use only in the US.
One thing that Microsoft didn’t specify is how they are going to enforce regional downloads. Is it going to be by your IP address or by the region your system came from? If it is by IP address, imported Xbox 360s might not be able to download legitimate content like extra missions in Absolute: Blazing Infinity or the Shuffle Dungeon maker for Blue Dragon. This probably won’t affect the large majority of US Xbox 360 owners, but if you’re say in Europe which has no video marketplace and occasionally has to wait longer for Xbox Live Arcade titles this is disappointing news.