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