Games for Microsoft’s Xbox One will be region locked, meaning no importing of titles from overseas.
“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale,” a Microsoft rep told Digital Trends. “We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.”
Truth be told, that Xbox One is region locked will be of very little consequence to UK gamers.
Region encoding was not enforced on Xbox 360, with the decision being left to publishers. PS3 is also region free as are DS and PSP, although 3DS and Wii software is not. Vita games are region free although its DLC is not.
Xbox 360 had a handful of decent region-free titles released only overseas that were worth importing – Cave fans in particular were delighted to be able to import the likes of Espgaluda II and Mushihimisama Futari 1.5, particularly when they were released for a second time in Japan on the discount Platinum line.
But with Xbox being such a Western-centric device there was little-to-no reason for the average punter to dabble in the import waters.
What would be more of a loss would be is PS4 were to be region locked. A decent volume of software is only ever released for Sony machines in Japan and, while vastly reduced after the glory days of yesteryear, a small PS3 import scene certainly exists.
As it stands we’re not certain whether PS4 will be region free or not.