Considering Neoseeker's broad international community and the ongoing discussion in the forums and our news threads, I figured a post about Microsoft's "21 supported countries" for the Xbox One was in order. Officially the list is of the Xbox One's supported countries for Xbox Live, which is a complicated statement -- more confusing than informative. Let's go over what is confirmed and what isn't.
Let's start with the Xbox One's online policy. With the Xbox One, console owners will have to register their games online which will tie said game to the user's account. In order to play their games, the account will need to be connected to the internet once every 24-hours in order to verify the account and each game's authenticity. This has all been officially confirmed via Microsoft.
Next is the fact that the Xbox One, unlike the PlayStation 4, will be region locked. At least in the context of this story, what this means is that Xbox One games can only be activated and played in the regions they're purchased in:
"Xbox One games are for activation and distribution only in specified geographic regions. See game package and/or retailer product information, for each game’s specific geographic regions."
Now we get to Microsoft's list of the Xbox One's supported countries for Xbox Live. Due to the lack of clarity in the information provided by Microsoft up to this point, I must make it clear that everything from here on is assumptive and not official.
Basically, since we know that Xbox One games are region locked and that Microsoft has announced that only these following 21 countries will support Xbox Live, the conclusion is that all other regions will not support Xbox One games. This means, for instance, that if you bought an Xbox One from a supported country and took it to an unsupported country, it could potentially:
- Refuse to authenticate any games...
- ... or refuse to authenticate the user's account at all
As such, games bought in Italy could quite possibly only be played in Italy on an Italian console. Further, if you took said Italian console with your Italian Xbox Live account and a bevy of Italian-bought games to Turkey, they won't work. Games bought in the country won't work. And the console itself would potentially be useless beyond any offline functionality we have yet to hear anything about.
Where a Japanese PlayStation 2 could be purchases and brought to the United States in order to play Japanese PlayStation 2 games, the Xbox One's digital authentication process could make this impossible.
Ultimately, I would not recommend anyone not in the 21 supported countries preorder or purchase an Xbox One without further information on this matter. That matter being whether region-locked games and region-locked consoles can be brought to other regions for use -- which is quite unlikely at this point. Otherwise, it's likely they'll be waiting for Xbox Live support to come to their country.
Here's the official list of the Xbox One's supported countries for Xbox Live that Microsoft has released:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States