Hopefully you weren’t counting on the Xbox One to be region free, because Microsoft has reportedly confirmed that their next console will be following in its predecessor’s footsteps, and will also be region-locked.
The news comes by way of a report from Digital Trends, who claims that a Microsoft representative confirmed that the Xbox One will be region-locked. Whether or not the region-lock is on hardware level, or perhaps determined by the publisher – as is the case with the Xbox 360 – isn’t clear at present.
“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale,” the Microsoft representative told the site. “We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.”
Microsoft isn’t likely to win over many fans with their decision, but it’s perhaps a bit too early to get out the pitchforks. The Wii U, for example, will only allow a game to be played on the console if both the game itself and the console’s region match. Microsoft’s statement to Digital Trends wasn’t specific, so it’s possible that region locking will be decided by the publisher/developer.
It wouldn’t be a win for frequent importers, but it at least wouldn’t be a crushing defeat.
IGN reached out to Microsoft for comment, but Microsoft wasn’t willing to clarify at this time.
Sony has yet to say a word about whether or not the PlayStation 4 will be region-locked or not. Should they choose not to region-lock the hardware, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact would make to consumers.
What do you think? Is the Xbox One being region-locked a deal-breaker for you?