Xbox Region Swapping Is About To Get Easier

Shifting regions for an XBox Live account used to be a world of hurt, but it appears that Microsoft's softening its stance on gamers who move countries with their beloved consoles in tow.

NeoWin reports that Microsoft's working on a tool that will allow gamers to shift regions once every three months with a simple click-to-change tool which will shift the region that their Xbox Live account is associated with. Your gamerscore, achievements, subscription time and any points you have will shuffle with you, but not your Xbox Music subscription or "some content".

Which content? Microsoft's not exactly clear on this point, but notes that it may include content which "may be blocked in the new region because of legal obligations or regional restrictions" — which means, presumably, if you had Mortal Kombat DLC, it'd vanish in a puff of Ninja smoke if you switched over to Australia as your region of choice.

No word on exactly when the planned region switching app will officially emerge, or whether it'll also check against other measures (such as the IP address) to confirm that your region has actually changed, for those who might be thinking of getting US/UK/JPN content we can't get here. [NeoWin]


    Fingers crossed that last paragraph doesn't happen. I just obtained The Walking Dead from XBLA.

      It's more than likely going to happen I recon. I mean when you take into consideration the few hoops you have to jump through now to create overseas accounts, then compare them to this, you would imagine they would want to add in some extra checks.

      Fingers crossed that they don't though.....

        But they must realise that - while it isn't really above-board - it's an extra sale they wouldn't have otherwise gotten. Actively discouraging business like this might be counterproductive.

        No matter, I don't have XBLA Gold. I can leave my console offline if this comes to pass :)

          Yeah it's no question that getting a sale at a lower (US) price is better than no sale (that's exactly what they are doing with the $15 W8 upgrade "loophole"); but since it's not just their content they are selling, publishers would have a say as well I would assume.... And we all know how influenced those are by retail chains lol. eg: on Steam.

          Last edited 04/01/13 11:31 am

            In this case, the publisher wouldn't be getting a sale either. The Walking Dead isn't available here at all :P

            But your point is received.

              Indeed no sale for them as well, but it's hard to say how forceful retail chains are with digital pricing.... For all we know it could be to the point of threatening to not stock the publishers items if they don't comply.

              I do look forward to the day where every country has fair pricing. *sigh*

    About bloody time - I lost 400 MS points when I changed my hotmail account from one I didn't have access to (set up when I was 14) to the one that I use now. Unfortunately, the original email address was classed as no-region or some such nonsense, and the new one 'Australian'. Apparently this was the basis for my live 'region' and so they wiped the points with the transfer. I should point out that all of this happened without turning on my xbox. I only know what happened because other people had the same problem. I rang MS, who didn't contest it, but would return the point either.

      LIVE doesn't let me use my Bigpond E-mail, which I have always found strange... considering they have unmetered usage with Foxtel!

    This would have had me calling fair trading and calling shenanigans. You paid for something and you didn't get anything. They don't have the right to just 'take them away'.

    Glorious, now I can change my region to US and be done with the AU pricing BS forever.... I don't know what possesed me at the time set up my 360 as an AU account. Hopefully MS wont require proof of address.

    Last edited 04/01/13 11:19 am

    Finally!! I have been asking for this for years. I understand the reason it wasnt possible in the past is because of the different rating laws in each country. But damn they took their time to fix this flaw in the system. I wonder if this also changes your microsoft billing location or is specfic to XBL only?

    Good news - my brothers LIVE account has been locked to UK ever since he signed up - and so to use Australian Microsoft points he has to use an secondary, Australian account to enable them, though his main account is where his Gamerscore is at... Corporate logic at it's finest (all the while promoting Globalisation... go figure)

    I just assumed the last sentence would include things like downloaded films that Microsoft may not have licensing deals with in other countries.

    I just contacted Xbox Live Support because I have just moved to the US from AUS and they plan on having this service available mid Jan

    Does anyone know how it works currently? I'm moving to Japan in a couple of months, will my Australian account still work over there if I take my 360? All the stuff I can find on the net about different regions is all about buying stuff from overseas, not the actual moving process... I'd rather not leave the Australian region if I can...

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