Xbox Live in South Africa

4 min read

This gets quite lengthy so get your coffee first…

As you are all acutely aware we still do not have official Live in South Africa, there was a petition and a strong community drive for it a few months ago and we even got an official mass media response from Microsoft.

However things have dried up since then. I have received countless enquiries online and through email about what is happening with Live in South Africa. Just to let you know that I have constantly been hassling Microsoft South Africa about this to make sure that they don’t forget.

However at the moment there is still nothing to report. In my last correspondence with them I asked why they cannot just give us a scaled down version of Live? Basically just allow us to continue exactly as we are doing but just with the option of choosing South Africa as our home country and to be able to buy Microsoft points and subscriptions in Rands.

The main part of their answer is….

This will only happen when we have a Live offering and the infrastructure required to manage the service and deliver an experience Microsoft is satisfied is consistent with the service users in other parts of the world enjoy.

A diluted Live service is not an option at this point

I am holding onto the “this point” part because until Telkom and our Government sort out the telecommunication problem in this country I don’t see us getting Live.

Oh and that Telkom ITPV rumour that did the rounds a while ago..

The rumours of the tie in with Telkom are just that and premature until we get any form of go ahead from Microsoft Corporation around an official launch

Read into that what you will…

So for now we have no dates or anything of great interest coming out of Microsoft about Live in South Africa. Fear not though I will continue to hassle them about it…

South African Players
A few people have also been asking how many people in South Africa are on Live? Well we can’t really say for sure. However according to (MGC) 2 179 people have selected South Africa as their region on the console itself. However some of these people do this so they can be close to the top of a countries leaderboard (yeah pathetic I know) and a lot of South Africans on Live have chosen the UK or USA as their country of origin, wrongly thinking this is what Live looks at when you connect.

I think it is safe to say we have a minimum of 2000 people on Live.

2000 * R70 p/m = R140 000 per month… that is the bare minimum that we are paying Microsoft every month for the pleasure of playing on Live. With nothing being returned… annoying isn’t it.

But wait it gets better. As I am sure you are aware India is the most recent country to receive Xbox Live so lets see how many people they have registered according to MGC… 472 or 1/5 of what we do…

So why did they get Live and we didn’t?

1. Cheap Internet Access Costs – Thank Telkom for holding us back here
2. Over a billion people – That is a huge driver
3. Large amount of Indians working for Microsoft. We really do need to start getting some South Africans into those corridors of power in Redmond.

So what can we do about it? I really don’t know…. Any ideas are more than welcome. Though I do think we need to make sure we are not forgotten. Remember that Microsoft South Africa really want us to get Live so sending them hate mail is pointless, rather send it to America 😉

Last Updated: November 2, 2007

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