Games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale, says spokesperson

Report: Xbox One to be region-locked

Microsoft’s newly unveiled console the Xbox One may be region-locked, according to a report.

In a statement to Digital Trends, a Microsoft spokesperson said games for the hardware must adhere to “country-specific regulatory guidelines”, similar to that of other entertainment sectors.

“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

“We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.”

It is not completely clear however exactly what this means for the console, given that Sony has to adhere to similar guidelines, and PS3 games are region-free.

In a further statement to Polygon, a spokesperson added: "Regarding region blocking, Microsoft don’t have anything further to announce at this stage. We’ll have more to share later."

Microsoft’s previous consoles, the Xbox and Xbox 360, were both region-locked. It should be noted however that it is left up to publishers whether or not a game is region-free on the Xbox 360.

Console rival Nintendo has also enacted region blocks on most of its hardware, such as the Wii, Wii U and 3DS. The Nintendo DS however was released as region-free.

Games for Sony’s PS3 and Vita meanwhile are completely region-free, except for one title, although its previous systems the PS1 and PS2 were locked.

It is currently unclear whether the PS4 will be region-locked.

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