Xbox Games on Demand : Region Locked

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The Xbox Live Games on Demand Service – Which requires a credit card, automatically excluding us – allows you to download digital copies of classic retail games. What it doesn’t cater for though is digital importing, as it’s been confirmed that IP-based restrictions are in place, meaning you can’t download the delightful Japanese launch games (Bullet Witch? Yay!) unless you live there. If you live in [insert area that isn’t Japan] and wanted to become a hot-shot producer with [email protected], I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Should you try, you’ll be greeted with the now all-too-familiar “This item isn’t available in your location” message.

This is the 21st century and we’re living in an extended global village. I’m glad at least one of the big three (Here’s to you, Sony!) have realised that region restrictions – barring certain licensing issues – are unnecessary.

Last Updated: August 13, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • I think Region restrictions are in place to protect certain copyright infringements… not quite sure on how it all works but just thought I’d throw my 2c in. That being said I’m not sure how Sony would be getting away with region free content.

  • Yeah, I do agree with region restriction being in place as a result of licensing – particularly video and music content. Strangely though Guitar Hero isn’t region restricted on the 360.

    At the end though, it’s up to console manufacturers to decide on whether they implement region restrictions; and this generation it’s only the PS3 that doesn’t have a system in place. Well, the PS3 and handhelds – but it makes sense for handhelds to not have region restriction.

  • Bboy

    Seems like they losing cash and making customers unhappy tho – I’ve wanted to buy loads of arcade games / add-ons which have been blocked.

  • fallen_angel

    No no guys region restrictions are illegal. If you guys do a quick google search you will find a case from Australia where their high court has ruled that region locking are completely unnecesary when it comes to video games. Region locking is mainly a pal vs ntsc signal issue, since most tv’s can handle both signals why the need for them.

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