Microsoft to Euro gamers: Xbox One games not region-locked

To the European gamers stuck waiting until 2014 for the console's launch in their home country, Microsoft reiterates the point: Games can be played on any Xbox One regardless of where it's bought.

Microsoft's Xbox One gaming console Microsoft

After having to concede that the Xbox One would not be able to meet its original 21-market goal at launch, Microsoft is reiterating the point it announced in June: its next-gen console's games will not be region-locked.

That means fans stuck in the eight European countries that won't be seeing the Xbox One until sometime in 2014 have a workaround available if they want to get their hands on the console come November.

Reiterating that the delay Microsoft announced on Wednesday was due to voice support for various languages into the console's dashboard, Microsoft's director of marketing, Albert Penello, cleverly pointed out to a commenter on NeoGaf that because the games are "worldwide signed" -- meaning not restricted to operating on a console specifically registered to a certain market -- the Xbox One could be purchased from any country.

And if you want to pay for Xbox Live Gold or purchase downloadable titles, Penello pointed out that it's a simple fix if you have a method of payment from one of the 13 launch markets. "Now, of course, if you were using Pre-Paid cards..." he said with an apparent digital wink.

Microsoft did concede that certain media, like movies and music, are geo-restricted due to licensing deals, meaning the Xbox One can't run Netflix if the streaming service isn't supported in the country it's being used in.

Still, it's refreshing that the company would open up about such workarounds. Of course, once the console does go on sale in the eight delayed markets -- Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland -- the ability to use local payment methods will become available.

About the author

Nick Statt is a staff writer for CNET. He previously wrote for ReadWrite and was a news associate at the social magazine app Flipboard. He spends a questionable amount of his free time contemplating his relationship with video games while continuously exploring the convergence of tech, science and pop culture.

 

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