If you’ve ever had to relocate from your country for whatever reason, you’re likely familiar with how much of a pain it is to switch the region associated with your Xbox Live account. Soon, however, Microsoft will make the process less painful.
A report from Neowin from earlier today claimed that Microsoft is working on a system that would allow gamers to change the region associated with their Xbox Live account simply by pointing their browser to Xbox.com.
Microsoft has since confirmed the report, telling Joystiq that customer service has already stopped manually migrating Xbox Live account regions. A spokesperson said:
“As of Friday, December 14, Xbox customer support will no longer manually migrate an Xbox Live account from one region to another. The conclusion of this pilot program is in preparation for the release of an automated tool which will be available in mid-January on Xbox.com.”
The new system will allow you to transfer your Xbox Live account, and with it all of your achievements, Microsoft Points, friends list, and so on. However, you won’t be able to transfer access to services that are region locked, such as Sky TV in the UK.
There’s one more catch, too: Microsoft says that you’ll only be able to switch your Xbox Live account’s region every three months. If for some reason you relocate more frequently than that, well, it sounds like you might be out of luck.
Most of you will never have to use the new tool, but those of you that do will be glad that it exists. The old system took as long as six weeks and involved long (and often multiple) calls to Microsoft’s customer support line.