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21 launch countries listed for Xbox One

By Dan Pearson

21 launch countries listed for Xbox One

Fri 14 Jun 2013 8:10am GMT / 4:10am EDT / 1:10am PDT

Console may not work at all in other regions, including Japan, Poland

Microsoft has revealed the list of 21 countries which will support the Xbox One at launch, intimating that the machine will not function at all in areas which aren't named. There are several notable absences, including Japan and Poland - home to some major developers.

Because of the console needing to 'check in' once every 24 hours to function, customers hoping to import a machine to an unsupported country may well find themselves out of luck. Previously, region-locked software meant that gamers would have to buy the appropriate discs for a machine, but could take that machine anywhere. Now, they'll have to wait until Microsoft decides to add their country to the list.

A list of requirements on the publisher's pre-order information page is somewhat ambiguous in its wording, claiming that users will require "a Microsoft account and an account on Xbox Live in an Xbox One-supported Xbox Live country/region", but requests for clarification to Xbox support staff seem to indicate that if your country isn't on the list, you won't be playing Xbox One.

The following exchange between an inquisitive customer and Microsoft seems to be pretty clear.

Q: "Does the Xbox One disclaimer imply you won't be able to authenticate a disc-based game if not in one of the 21 countries?"

"The Xbox One will only be available in the 21 launch countries."

Q: "But say someone from Poland, not listed, imports it from the UK. Will they be able to play disc-based games?"

"They would want to wait until the console is available in their region."

In an attempt to bring some clarity to yet another confusing stance on Xbox One, Microsoft has issued a statement.

"At this time, we have announced Xbox One will be available in 21 markets in November this year and additional markets later in 2014. Similar to the movie and music industry, games and other content must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale - which means that games will work in the broad geographic regions for which they have been cleared, much as today with Xbox 360. While the console itself is not geographically restricted, a user's Xbox Live account, content, apps and experiences are all tied to the country of billing and residence."

The list of 21 countries, reproduced in full below, isn't final - Microsoft will continue to add new regions as part of a the Xbox One roll-out. Inquiries with various local Microsoft offices have indicated that missing European countries will start appearing during 2014.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

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James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
It's only 13 of the 27 EU member states. I'm in one of the 14 not supported. :)


I just can't comprehend their strategy here. I mean, I pointed out in two other threads how they are limiting their business. Another thing that occurred to me is that there are many console and game sales from countries that are not supported. For example, here in Malta all games and consoles are sourced from the UK. Yes, Malta by itself isn't a big market but combined with every other country and consumer that has "foreign" consoles... that's going to reduce the numbers of units sold in the countries that are supported at the same time.
I hope they factored this into their equations! Seems like an easy thing to miss out on when you say "UK retained 10 million units but Poland only retained 1 million units... let's not support Poland at launch."

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 14th June 2013 10:43am

Posted:3 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
Well, didn't they say they'd be rolling out in at least Japan in 2014? I'd hope that this might mean more Asian territories at some point then as well, but I guess we shall see. If they're writing off every other territory PLUS locking out all regions (making the console a brick if you decide to travel with it to a new country), it's a really bad model for a small segment of users (but perhaps that's the point?)...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 14th June 2013 11:39am

Posted:3 years ago

Its my party and I cry if I want to?

Posted:3 years ago


Stephan Schwabe Multichannelmanagement, Telefonica

74 34 0.5
Brazil, Mexico and Russia not known for good internet reliability outside the main citys.

Posted:3 years ago


Stu Johnson Technical Lead

24 50 2.1
Well the good folks of Luxembourg must feel pretty isolated! (not to mention the Portuguese)

But yeah, as I'm sure location will be determined by IP address, then US citizens can freely move thousands of miles between the East Coast and West Coast but move from Belgium to France, surely no-one would ever do that.
Personally I have 2 houses, one in Scotland, one in the Republic of Ireland (but only one bank / billing address). That's not going to work is it!

Leaving the EU out of the equation, and just looking at the physical island of Ireland, and I guess by Ireland above they mean Eire, many Irish have friends & family either side of the border (a political not physical line) so going back to your mams for Xmas, staying with friends etc., if it means crossing the border then leave the Xbone at home, and don't bother logging into your account at the other end.

Even moving home from Dundalk to Newry (a few miles) will make your shiny new Xbone an expensive brick.

Anyway to quote a well know TV show:- 'I'm out!'

Posted:3 years ago


John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London

510 549 1.1
Popular Comment
Well, that's ironic. Microsoft show off The Witcher 3 as part of their E3 press conference, then announce that the game's developers won't be able to play it because Xbox One isn't being supported in Poland at launch.


Posted:3 years ago


Benjamin Seeberger Writer/Translator

28 18 0.6
Apparently the XBO is only allowed at launch if you live in particular countries where the majority of the population is white or the powerful and rich are descended from white settlers.

Posted:3 years ago


Martin Appleton Artists

4 1 0.3
As a old Xbox 1 and Xbox 360 user, that's the nail in the coffin for me.
I didn't like the 24 hour phone home - sometimes I am on the road without a connection, and a mandatory online patch being pushed over my 3G won't go over well. There's been plenty of times when I've started a game when I happened to be online and I had a patch that I had to wait for before playing. Not that Sony are much better for small patches, but at least by the sounds of it if I don't want multiplayer, then I will have no issues with living offline.
I don't like being told what I can do with the software that I purchase - if I want to give it away to someone, that's my choice.
I don't like region locked software because it makes no sense - if someone wants to give you their money for a product, make it as easy as possible.
And now because I don't currently live in one of the 21 special countries on Microsoft's list I won't be able to activate my console?
Thank you for making my purchasing decisions so much easier.

Posted:3 years ago


Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,500 1,899 1.3
Locking XBone accounts to individual European countries is as insane as locking accounts to individual U.S. states.

What exactly makes my German account so special that it may not log in from France and vice versa?

Talk about handing Europe to Sony on a silver platter, this is it.

Posted:3 years ago


Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,201 2,053 1.7
It's no surprise at all that they didn't include Japan. I'm sure they would love to never release the system there but kind of have to in order to get continued support from all those Japanese developers/publishers. But not launching there is a very smart move. There are certain key markets where XB1 will potentially sell out during the holidays so theres no use wasting available stock on a country that won't support your system regardless of what it does or doesn't do, just because it wasn't made in their homeland. As for the rest of the list, like they said it will continue to grow thru out the next year or so.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 15th June 2013 6:39am

Posted:3 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
@Paul: Oh, I figured that out, but as with the Xbox and Xbox 360 there, if you poke around, there are a few import gems in those libraries made there that are worth owning that probably won't come out here. Of course, region locking and the console locked to an account and region seems to mean that importing a console is a no-go even if it's from one supported territory to another. Weird.

THAT said, yeah, it'll be a super niche console when it finally does land. I'd bet they get a lot of the usual suspects genre-wise, a few popular games (sci-fi stuff, maybe that Halo, and a western RPG or four, perhaps The Witcher 3 once it's done) and probably the big third-party stuff from Konami, Capcom, Square Enix and so forth and so on...

But whaddever. I'm trying to figure out how CD Projekt RED will QA the Witcher 3 for the console if it's not currently set to be released in Poland. I guess it'll be farmed out to a country that can use the system (or am I wrong here as well?)... but doesn't that add more cost to development if this is done? Or is it already done elsewhere?

Posted:3 years ago


Makeda De'Jene Creative Director & Founder, Zombie Gamer Online

15 26 1.7
Well according to Xbox Support Team's Twitter, even if the console is activated in it's original country, if you bring it to any other country including one of the approved launch countries, it will not work. I just need Microsoft to stop with these mixed signals period.

Posted:3 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
@M D'J: Yeah, it's convoluted as hell isn't it? If so, it's a shame because people DO sometimes move from one country to another or import consoles to play games that aren't coming to their territories. Small number compared to the core users, yes... but still...

Posted:3 years ago


Makeda De'Jene Creative Director & Founder, Zombie Gamer Online

15 26 1.7
So true, but let's not forget the military as well... what are they going to do when they are deployed? This just seems so half-assed. Part of me feels like Microsoft doesn't even know, they are just guessing as well lol

Posted:3 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
The funny (or really, not so funny) part about that was a few days before that badly made "submarines" comment, I was thinking they would indeed have a military solution worked out at let those guys and gals in on it first. Perhaps they will, but I think they need to get those other now over-charred fish out of the fryer and put out the grease fire they've started...

Posted:3 years ago


Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,292 456 0.4
I think their military solution was to keep playing on the 360, ignoring that the PS4 exists. Not convinced?

Posted:3 years ago


Justin Trautmann Studying Digital Media & Multimedia Technology, Hillsborough Community College

24 35 1.5
Region locking confuses me. Not to how it works - but to its purpose in existence.

Is this hardware or software? If it is hardware - wouldn't that make production more expensive? If it is software - why? To what purpose or cause would there be in restricting your customer base from movement? Unless, of course, there is going to be some Windows-based mobile/tablet incorporation involved, ala PS3/Vita?

Posted:3 years ago


Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

1,166 1,297 1.1
So, since I live in Germany, I have to import a lot of games from UK to bypass censorship. Does this mean that Dead Rising 3, the only game that calls my attention in Xbox One will provably give me trouble?

Funny: the companies that pretty much sold me the PS4 are both Sony and Microsoft. Both at the same degree...

Posted:3 years ago


Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

1,166 1,297 1.1
@Makeda It's a problem for military indeed. In the case of Europe is going to get even worst. Did Microsoft marketing team never noticed that, dues to the lack of restrictions, people from Europe are moving all the time from one country to another? not even the people in Microsoft Europe mentioned that to the people in higher places?

They better drop this nonsense soon. Because that is the only description that fits their choices. Who is making this guys' marketing? Sony?

Posted:3 years ago


Michail Mavronas 3D artist

12 2 0.2

Posted:3 years ago


Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

682 540 0.8
I'm trying to figure out how CD Projekt RED will QA the Witcher 3 for the console if it's not currently set to be released in Poland.
I don't see having to do QA on dev consoles as such a big problem. Isn't that how it's normally done anyway?

Posted:3 years ago


Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

119 127 1.1
This is so wack. It's like every week Microsoft is like "Hey, guys what new piece of crazy ass information can we release that will just piss off everyone more than last week?" It's like they are actually trying to be jerks.

Posted:3 years ago


Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,500 1,899 1.3
every week Microsoft is like "Hey, guys what new piece of crazy ass information can we release that will just piss off everyone more than last week?"
This week it is the news that regional locks work down to the level of the country a game was bough in. It's Microsoft vs. the European Union now. Fabulous.

Posted:3 years ago


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