Microsoft answers the question of Xbox One region locks

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xbox-one-event-console-sideAs the details of the Xbox One continue to trickle out following the May 21, 2013 unveiling and the subsequent deluge of facts (some real, some not), we have one more piece of information to confirm about the console: the Xbox One will still feature regional locks.

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

No surprise here. Region locks are nothing new, especially for video games. Different parts of the world have different rules regarding what content is acceptable, both from a moral and a legal standpoint.

Brazil, for example, has incredibly high taxes on video game software and hardware. Whether or not those taxes are fair is another conversation, but without region locks people would simply circumvent the law and order their games and hardware from a foreign vendor. While that might sound like a good thing for Brazilian gamers, it would create mind-bendingly complicated legal problems. All of that can be prevented by a simple piece of software that is already considered part of the industry standard.

Showing 18 comments

  1. Tantan IstheOne 11 months Ago  
    that's ok. hackers wil save the day haha
  2. Thaao Hanshew 11 months Ago  
    How is this a "feature"? Today my car featured a flat tire. I got hit on the side of the road while trying to fix it and now my leg features a broken bone.
  3. George Dumblione 11 months Ago  
    "Feature" lol
  4. Kevin Daniel 11 months Ago  
    MS has lost me on this one, the lack of freedom in the XO is absurd. Every new "info release" is attached with some binding structure. I have been an Xbox fan since the original, but I am hesitating for the first time on this one.
  5. Crusbien Mohlala 11 months Ago  
    Typical Microsoft jus keep forcing things on us.. Sony must b looking @ this wit a grin
  6. Sebastian Haselbeck 11 months Ago  
    the article takes an almost annoyingly positive look at this topic. frustrating.
  7. Tantan IstheOne 11 months Ago  
    that's ok. hackers wil save the day haha
  8. Thaao Hanshew 11 months Ago  
    How is this a "feature"? Today my car featured a flat tire. I got hit on the side of the road while trying to fix it and now my leg features a broken bone.
  9. George Dumblione 11 months Ago  
    "Feature" lol
  10. Kevin Daniel 11 months Ago  
    MS has lost me on this one, the lack of freedom in the XO is absurd. Every new "info release" is attached with some binding structure. I have been an Xbox fan since the original, but I am hesitating for the first time on this one.
  11. Crusbien Mohlala 11 months Ago  
    Typical Microsoft jus keep forcing things on us.. Sony must b looking @ this wit a grin
  12. Sebastian Haselbeck 11 months Ago  
    the article takes an almost annoyingly positive look at this topic. frustrating.
  13. viniciusale 11 months Ago  
    If the 360 had the same lock, in my country the cost of the games would be mostly $100, so I always gets my games from US. Now, if this report is true, I think most of the people who is really into games in any country with a abusive taxes will not get a Xbox One. Let's hope the PS4 doesn't make the same mistake.
  14. zidane.tribal.5 11 months Ago  
    Well not region locking for the ps3 worked fine, it's PROOF that you don't need it.
    1. Well if you look at it technically, the playstation console share went down from 75% to less than %40 so region locking on xbox360 didnt stop it going from 10% share with the xbox to %40% with the xbox 350
  15. patrick.haraguti 11 months Ago  
    DVD is one thing and BR is other! Brazil use the same region as the USA for BR.

    Sony are Doing a Great job in Brazil lauching game titles as same day launch in other parts of the work! and the Price for ps3 games here are Fair! arround 70$ including all tax!

    Region lock is a Bad thing in my opnion! If i wish to play metal gear in japanese i can´t?! I Think the best is was the Ps3 is right now!! you have the game, you play!

    the money goes to same place after all!!

    Ryan Fleming. What can help us is get more games company making presence in Brazil, and pushing the GOV to get tax reduction. the PS3 are now factored here! and they just get 30% reduction on the price based in the imported version of the console!

    Magic can´t happens. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have big presence here! but the gov want see investment in the coutry, is very complicated politic.

    Ubisoft brasil are selling some titles with a significativelly reductoin of the price! as Origin and steam

    Steam is a great example how reach the Brasillian market! they just make easy to buy games on steam, using bank and other online payment services avaliable in Brazil. I dont need a international credit card to buy on steam.. just purchase the game and pay via any bank service i want!
  16. Enrico Roberto 11 months Ago  
    Well, I'm from Brazil, and I can safely say: you're not using a good example.
    Our taxes are indeed face-slappingly high, but that doesn't stop us from buying games from foreign vendors. All the games I have I've bought either at Amazon.com or during trips to the U.S.
    In fact, games and consoles sold here (I speak for the PS3 and for the Wii, but I'm quite sure the same thing applies to Xbox) are all Region 1! (This might change from this year on, for Sony is intending to build PS3 consoles here, but that hasn't happened yet.)
    1. Oh, and Blu-rays sold in Brazil, even if they're produced here, are also Region 1. Which is weird, since DVDs are Region 4.