I have been wondering for a while on whether Xbox One would be region locked like the Xbox 360, or Microsoft would finally embrace a region free philosophy. Unfortunately the response to my dilemma doesn’t seem to be very encouraging, as reported by Digital Trends.
Apparently a Microsoft representative was asked the same question and here’s the answer:
Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale,” A rep from Microsoft confirmed to Digital Trends. “We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.
While the response isn’t exactly the clearest we could get (hence the “probably” in the headline), I would say it leaves very little room for doubts.
It has to be noted that the writer at Digital Trends is very quick at trying to justify Microsoft’s decision with the fact that different regions have “different rules regarding what content is acceptable, both from a moral and a legal standpoint,” but those regulations (or any kind of “regulatory guidelines”) didn’t really stop Sony from offering both the PS3 and the PS Vita as region free systems.
It’s a quite weak justification for an artificial limitation that, in my opinion, is an obsolete and unnecessary annoyance for the customer.