Continuing an unfortunate trend, the Xbox One will indeed be region-locked, so if you’re looking for games to pay on your new console, you’ll have to buy them locally. It’s about what we’d expected – both the Xbox and the 360 were region-locked, as well as every Nintendo home console, the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2. Nintendo‘s handhelds, the PlayStation 3 and the Vita have escaped the same hard-coded fate, leaving region decisions up to developers.
Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale.
We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.
This is the first we’ve heard of region-locking on the new generation consoles – Sony is keeping quiet on how the topic affects the PlayStation 4, but we’re anticipating an announcement soon enough (and it could really go either way).