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Microsoft Clarifies Xbox Live Region Restrictions

In response to last week's announcements of tighter country restrictions on Xbox Live Marketplace content, Microsoft has clarified some of the issues surrounding the new rules coming in its Xbox 360 Spring Update.
In response to last week's announcements of tighter country restrictions on Xbox Live Marketplace content, Microsoft has clarified some of the issues surrounding the update, as well as given a breakdown of the remaining Spring Update features. As previously reported, Microsoft's Spring Update for its Xbox 360, will introduce additional security measures designed to enforce regional lockouts of certain territory-specific content. In effect, this means that users who have registered Xbox Live accounts for regions outside their current home country will not be able to access content not licensed for their residence. Xbox Europe group product marketing manager Michael Newey, talking to 'AceyBongos' (Xbox Europe's 'MajorNelson'), has said that users with out-of-country accounts will not "get shut down" -- that users will continue to be able to play through those accounts, and, in fact, all previously downloaded content will still be active and available, according to AceyBongos. However, content licensed exclusively for a particular region will no longer be accessible to foreign countries as determined by the 'location of the Xbox' (likely determined by IP), and the Xbox's own region settings. This goes primarily for Video Marketplace content, which has thus far been exclusive to the U.S., with Newey stating that while no equivalent European Marketplace has yet been announced, "Europe is very important for us, and we will be making announcements in the future." The interview also notes that the same is applied to specific games as well, with the interview noting that the Xbox Live Arcade port of Doom has not been licensed for release in Germany, and thus will not be available to German Xbox Live users. Meanwhile, the full Spring Update, which as of press was still not available but has been promised for the week of May 7th, will contain a number of other new features, including, as previously reported, Windows Live Messenger support, achievement updates, enhanced family settings, progressive download controls, and more.

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