Xbox One reportedly will be region-locked

Microsoft's new Xbox One console will be region-locked, according to a report from Digital Trends, which cites a Microsoft representative that said regional locks on games will be a feature of the next-gen system.

Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale. We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.

While the rep confirmed that region-locking will be a feature of the Xbox One, it's unclear as to what extent this will affect the sale of games. It's possible that the Xbox One will operate similar to the Xbox 360, where publishers have the option of either region-locking games, or publishing them as region-free; or alternatively region-locking of games may be mandatory on the Xbox One, preventing a North American-bought console from playing European games altogether.

We'll likely have to wait for more information until this is clarified by Microsoft, potentially after the console has actually launched. Meanwhile, Sony hasn't stated whether the PlayStation 4 will be region-locked, although it's likely it will follow the (mostly) region-free path set by the PlayStation 3.

Source: Digital Trends

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Haven't all consoles in the past been region locked anyway? Isn't that why people would put mod chips and stuff in the PS2s back in the day?

Gerowen said,
Haven't all consoles in the past been region locked anyway? Isn't that why people would put mod chips and stuff in the PS2s back in the day?

No. Most people put mod chips in the PS2 to pirate. The majority of PS2 games were not region locked.

On that same note there was a way to do it on a strictly software level that didn't require any hardware change at all. It was tricky at first but once completed you were set for quite a long time. I used to do it back when I didn't really have any money...

ive been keeping score,according to the internets

everyone plays out of region games
everyone doesn't have cable
everyone doesn't have an internet connection
everyone goes to their buddys house and brings along their games


got it

vcfan said,
ive been keeping score,according to the internets

everyone plays out of region games
everyone doesn't have cable
everyone doesn't have an internet connection
everyone goes to their buddys house and brings along their games


got it

With the exception of the "out of region games" comment, you're pretty much right. I got to my friend's house(s) quite often, take my PS3 controller and pair it to his system and play his games or mine that I take on his PS3, or visa versa with his games on my PS3. We are lucky enough to have cable internet, but we do not cable television, and living in a rural area puts us at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to really fast and reliable internet, so even though our internet is "ok", requiring it in order for a console to work is unreasonable for many people in this area.

my comments are said in a sarcastic way. people make it seem like the new xbox is too advanced for technology,when that's the furthest from the truth. there are over 110 million people with cable in north America. there are plenty of top notch internet connections. not many people want to pay out of region games,and the majority don't care about playing games on others' consoles. yes there are exceptions,but these are a small minority.

yes you might be an exception with internet/cable in rural regions, but again, this doesn't apply to a huge market segment. it may suck for you, but I don't feel like I should be left out from using these things because my region has great internet speeds,and cable.

lol... these articles are becoming so ridiculous.

This is exactly how it already is on the Xbox 360, PS3/4, DVD/Blu-ray players... etc. What did you expect otherwise? It's obviously needed for those without global content rights.

No it's needed so they can stop users from buying cheaper copies from other countries and importing them so they can continue to gauge regions they think can afford to pay more for the same ****

This would only be news if it wasn't region locked. It wouldn't play any movies and no one release any games for it. This is a demand of the content providers and not really a choice.

This isn't news. Just about every modern console has been region locked in some way. Even the Super Nintendo had it with plastic tabs inside the cartridge slot.

Now maybe if they posted an article like "Xbox One reportedly will require electricity," we'd all learn something new about it.

It is capable of enforcing region locks, but nobody used the lock as far as I know. If the Xbox One's region lock is like the X360, publishers have the option of going region free.

Isn't every smartphone too region-locked to the region of your Windows/Google/iOs account? It's up to the devs and content providers to decide how to handle that.

Andrea Barbera said,
Isn't every smartphone too region-locked to the region of your Windows/Google/iOs account? It's up to the devs and content providers to decide how to handle that.

My smartphone is free.

Andrea Barbera said,
Isn't every smartphone too region-locked to the region of your Windows/Google/iOs account? It's up to the devs and content providers to decide how to handle that.

The apps market is; my Lumia 920, SIM free, is not.

The article didn't show the quote where the rep said it would be region locked (I take this with a pinch of salt) , but the quote shown is very normal practice due to age ratings for games .

So if it is age restricted the same parental controls rather than region locking can be used for xbox games as it is in windows.

Reading the article and the quote he seems to have written the article just to get traffic on his site.

If this is how it's on the 360 then it's up to the developer to enforce a region lock, MS doesn't do it. There are a few 360 games that aren't locked at all from what I remember.

If the region locking is the same as the 360, I don't really care. I can still buy PAL region games from the UK for $40-$60, instead of Australian games for $90-$110.

If I'm locked to Australia though that's the end of Xbox for me.

but i wonder how MS would (re-)define the 'region',
as with XBOX-1 'mandatory' internet connection once in a while,
MS will know XBOX-1 IP address, the ISP, ISP service area ranges.

For example, MS/Publisher could block games to be played in west coast 'region', in favor of exclusive show-case in east coast states.

Torolol said,
but i wonder how MS would (re-)define the 'region',
as with XBOX-1 'mandatory' internet connection once in a while,
MS will know XBOX-1 IP address, the ISP, ISP service area ranges.

For example, MS/Publisher could block games to be played in west coast 'region', in favor of exclusive show-case in east coast states.


No your unit is region locked they wont use the IP (that's Google stuff)

Riva said,
they wont use the IP (that's Google stuff)

thats good if that really the case.

But since MS are infected with Google-envy, I must treat this with suspicion.
After all:
- XBOX-1 is not just for games, but for other medias too.
- Some online media distributor did checks users' IP to see if they allowed to view the certain media contents or not.
- MS very likely having contracts with media publishers, that such publisher might want IP based 'region', so MS might have to accomodate that wish.

Torolol said,
For example, MS/Publisher could block games to be played in west coast 'region', in favor of exclusive show-case in east coast states.

I prefer using InDesign.

Region locking will be done as it always has been done.
By shipping.

Import a 360 or PS3 from the US, and it will have the US 'regionlock'. Same in previous generations. And why should this change in future consoles, it has only losened up with the current generation.

It wasnt MS's or Sony's choice to implement the current generation 'regionlock'.
Sony always supported region free and AFAIK so did Microsoft. (Sony allowed making the PSX region free, and the PS2 untill a month after release... forced by the game publishers due to 'piracy'.)

It's not a protest, it's just how i feel. There are a lot of other restrictions out there that sucks as well, like cell phones for example.

Oppss, place for this reply

V-Tech said,
I hate restrictions so much!

DVDs, Blue Rays and existing games consoles are region-locked so you are a bit late to protest

PS3 games are NOT region locked when played via HDMI as far as I know (and it was like this since day one), and when it comes to bluray, most studios are NOT enforcing the region restrictions at all, not even on hot releases. Studios are not too transparent about this (some like disney will put in the box that it is region free or regions 1/2/3, others will say region 1 when it is region free).

So yeah ,it is a step backwards.

Julius Caro said,
PS3 games are NOT region locked when played via HDMI as far as I know (and it was like this since day one), and when it comes to bluray, most studios are NOT enforcing the region restrictions at all, not even on hot releases. Studios are not too transparent about this (some like disney will put in the box that it is region free or regions 1/2/3, others will say region 1 when it is region free).

So yeah ,it is a step backwards.


The consoles are region-locked. Regardless of whether the publishers choose to make use of the feature. That PS3 GAMES are not region locked isn't an argument against the PS3 CONSOLE being region locked.

And in fact, the Xbox 360 already has this region lock, meaning it cannot possibly be a step backwards. Not a step forward != a step backward.

Lamp Post said,

The consoles are region-locked. Regardless of whether the publishers choose to make use of the feature. That PS3 GAMES are not region locked isn't an argument against the PS3 CONSOLE being region locked.

And in fact, the Xbox 360 already has this region lock, meaning it cannot possibly be a step backwards. Not a step forward != a step backward.


The console isnt region _locked_, its just set to a region. Its upto the developers to region lock their games or not.

If you're against region locking, don't buy region locked games.

MS and Sony where forced to still have a form of region locking. And i highly doubt both will change this, as its a highly loved feature of the current generation.
And if it wasnt for piracy, Sony would've still alowed making the PSX/PS2 regionfree

A console is region locked when you can't change the console region without significant hacks.

On XBox 360 you require a jtag (or similar modification) + the ability to modify the internal keyvault where the region tag is set.

On PS3 you can do it in software but it is a pain in the rear and I don't think it can be changed in hardware.

In either instance your console is no longer covered under warranty and you face possible ban for the console modification (XBox 360 is virtually guaranteed)

TheLegendOfMart said,
Getting more anti-consumer with every leak and rumour.

My Xbox, Xbox 360, DVD player, Blu-Ray player, PC DVD drive are all region locked. This is nothing new.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Getting more anti-consumer with every leak and rumour.
You realize this is due to Government regulation to protect consumers.

McKay said,

My Xbox, Xbox 360, DVD player, Blu-Ray player, PC DVD drive are all region locked. This is nothing new.

Indeed is not. They got away with this bs when the DVD format was launched, our ( the buyers) fault...

Fritzly said,

Indeed is not. They got away with this bs when the DVD format was launched, our ( the buyers) fault...


And they got away with it again on Blu-ray, where as HD-DVD would have been so much better for consumers…

MFH said,

And they got away with it again on Blu-ray, where as HD-DVD would have been so much better for consumers…

And ironically, the Blu-Ray format won because of the PS3

MFH said,

And they got away with it again on Blu-ray, where as HD-DVD would have been so much better for consumers…

Sad but true......

McKay said,

My Xbox, Xbox 360, DVD player, Blu-Ray player, PC DVD drive are all region locked. This is nothing new.


Both the 360 as the PS3 are NOT region locked by the console. Its upto the developers if they want to region lock their games, many... most games however, are not locked to a region.
Although this trend is stronger on the PS3 afaik.

Region locking is a relic of the past when we had PAL and NTSC. Now its all HD.

Also a DVD/bluray player isn't region locked, at least in europe they are required to allow 2 region changes before it fully locks IIRC.

Also the PS3 bluray player is not region locked.

Umm... The console is region locked. It just doesn't apply it if the disc doesn't have a region set on it (eg it is region free). Same goes for DVD and Bluray players. All DVD and Bluray players are for the most part region locked to whatever region they were sold in but will also play discs that don't have a region coded on them. On some standalone players you can change the region in a hidden screen or in rare instances (and they are rare now) shut it off entirely but some DVDs had mechanisms in place to prevent playback on non region locked players.

Umm what!! The console is region locked... If it would not be, how on earth would it know whether to play a disk or not if a region locked disk is inserted...

psreloaded said,
Umm what!! The console is region locked... If it would not be, how on earth would it know whether to play a disk or not if a region locked disk is inserted...

DeathByPenguin said,
It reads all the regions?.... Reading that actually killed my brain cells. That's how stupid you are.

Umm... just who exactly are you responding to? I can't tell if you are responding to me or to the OP or to someone else. It would be nice if you could quote the message you are responding to for readability.