Confirmed: Microsoft is testing streamlined region porting for Xbox Live

Earlier this morning we were tipped off that Microsoft would soon be making account migration much easier than the current process which can take up to six weeks. After digging around a bit more, we have uncovered more information and can confirm that the feature is currently in testing.

The service is currently in pilot and some lucky users (our tipster was based in Germany) are already being moved to the program. We have attached several screenshots of the new tool that will be going live shortly, no timeline given, but know that the old way will soon be an item of the past.

As it stands right now in the pilot program, you can only move your account using the tool once every three months. When you do change regions, your gamer tag, achievements, Microsoft points, and any time left on your Gold subscription will be moved.

While many items will port to other regions, not all of your content and settings will be transferable. Some services which are region locked, such as IPTV services, may not be ported.  Xbox Music subscriptions will also not make the cut and any other regional items including promotional material may not be moved as well.

The porting worked quickly and required just a few clicks by the end users. First reports of the new tool are positive and should help all of you out there quickly change regions without any headaches. 

So there you have it, Microsoft is about to streamline one of the most annoying issues with Xbox Live which should put a smile on the faces of many individuals who are currently region locked to a location where they no longer reside.

Thanks for the tip @dlaplexurenet

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Intention is nice but it still sucks. I'm from the US and have been living in France about 7 years now. I had this xbox live account problem.

So I made a new French xbox live account, I get a crappy crappy dashboard entirely in French and lose everything I had on the US one. However I can easily add time and points to my account.

In the end I reverted to using my US account and suffering the hell of adding points and time.

Why? Simply because your dashboard language is not controllable. You can change your system language, but your dashboard will be the language of your region. Even though I can speak and read French just fine, the content of the French dashboard sucks. It is NO WHERE near as interesting as the US one even if I can't use anything (last.fm, streaming etc, which uber sucks). I'd much rather keep my US dashboard and have access to things in my mother language (including DLC content), than being stuck with another one. (Dubbing is usually pretty awful in games like Skyrim for instance)

Nice intention, but no thanks.

AnexRavensong said,
Why? Simply because your dashboard language is not controllable. You can change your system language, but your dashboard will be the language of your region.

Yeah just saw that yesterday.

I'm a french canadian but prefer to play my games and movies in english cause the french translation usually ****. So i've set the language of my new 360 to english. Problem is my dashboard is mostly in french (some part of it is in english). I don't mind too much but eh! if i set the console in english i would expect to get the dashboard in english too.

I don't remember it being that way back when i had a 360 elite model two years ago.

Finally! After years of telling us how changing region was totally impossible, it's suddenly possible. Better late than never, I guess...
I still cannot see how this can possibly be so difficult. Sure, there may be a few region-specific content items, but apart from that it's just editing a field in a database. And that should have been possible from day one.
I'm impatiently waiting for this to go live. Has anybody else been able to access it so far?

Off topic... but whats up with the Win 8 UI there? It's different. The time is in black, and the minimise/maximise/close buttons are different.

1Pixel said,
Off topic... but whats up with the Win 8 UI there? It's different. The time is in black, and the minimise/maximise/close buttons are different.

As far as I can tell, it's the Aero Lite theme:

http://windows8themes.ms/aero-lite-rtm-theme-for-windows-8/

There's no patching or modifying system files needed to use it, since it's technically a complete and signed style. But it just isn't put together into a "full" theme for the user to choose.

The download link in the site above is for a ready make Aero Lite theme in case you don't want to go through the hassle of going into your Themes folder.

However, if you would rather avoid downloading from someone's SkyDrive, there's a way to "make" the theme yourself outlined here:

http://www.askvg.com/how-to-en...ite-theme-in-windows-8-rtm/

As per my personal experience migrating accounts (see http://www.itisourdata.com), your WP account will move as well, and so will our apps. But you might find that attempting to re-download an app will ask you to pay for it again - at least through the phone. However I noticed that through the WP website the paid apps are still listed in my purchased history, so it might as well be the case I would be able to re-download them from there - but I haven't tested this.

matro said,
if they would only support Italian language for Switzerland country...

LOL... They don't?

God... Everyone with an ounce of knowledge about Switzerland knows they have three major languages.

GS:win

It annoys me as well that they don't. But the argument is that considering the four languages of Switzerland, the vast majority of the population is bilingual and one of their spoken languages would be either French or German.

Preferably I would like to choose the language I will use regardless of the country I am in (since people move through the EU a lot -- at least to be able to choose English as a fallback anguage) but I realise this would incur a lot of work by MSFT.

pmdci said,
It annoys me as well that they don't. But the argument is that considering the four languages of Switzerland, the vast majority of the population is bilingual and one of their spoken languages would be either French or German.

Preferably I would like to choose the language I will use regardless of the country I am in (since people move through the EU a lot -- at least to be able to choose English as a fallback anguage) but I realise this would incur a lot of work by MSFT.


I understand your point but it's frustrating being bilingual (Italian and English) but not with the right ones.

I was under the impression that people from Ticino would speak either French or German as a second language. Anyway... I reckon this proves that this system of setting the language for you is far from perfect.

Glassed Silver said,
Different idea: Stop the region lockouts alltogether. -__-

GS:win

Regioning exists because of different laws in different countries. The only way it would be removed is if laws become worldwide, which isn't happening in our lifetime

These lockouts are going pretty far though.

I have both used the Video application of Microsoft with an US account and a NL account. With the US account I saw a free show named "The Guild" but couldn't download it because my region was not matching the Windows settings.
With the NL settings and account do I still see the same show but it doesn't got any seasons in it so there is no way to get it.

Also that show isn't restricted for me because I still can watch it on MSN through my web browser. =\

That isn't going to happen. As with the laws (For example: classification ratings), there are other things that are specific to countries that tailor the experience differently depending on where you live. Some services may only be available in say the US, so moving to Australia where there are none and still providing non-working links wouldn't make much sense would it?

Not to mention agreements with the music/movie/TV studios differ between regions. This isn't Microsoft's fault, this is the way those industries continue to restrict access to their content based on where you live.

Other things like hooks into services, such as the more advanced features of Bing that only work in certain countries, it's much better to only provide the links and hooks to those services if they're available. Yes it sucks when you don't have them, but it's better to have them removed rather than visible with a "Nope, sorry, not for you" message when you try to use them.

Essentially, while Microsoft inflict some of the pain on themselves by not providing the services in other countries, it's also forced upon them by the content creators/distributers, and they're forced to abide by their terms in order to provide them. If some small developer in the US decides that his creation should only be accessible to the US, it's not up to Microsoft to override that and expose it worldwide. Unfortunately, the fault is then often seen as Microsoft's when it's not.