As you probably already know by now, Microsoft’s Xbox One will not be available in South Africa when it launches in much of the rest of the world in November this year. It’s home to some really great games (like Dead Rising 3, which is one of my top games from E3) – which has some planning to import the console before its local launch. Unfortunately, that might not be a good plan.
It seems that the new Xbox One, which has Xbox Live and that goddamned nearly always online DRM nonsense so intrinsically interwoven in to it won’t work at all in regions where the console is unavailable. At launch, the list of countries where it will work is not especially large. Here are the countries that will get support at launch, according to a disclaimer on the Xbox One site.
“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,” says the disclaimer.
What that means is that the system will actively block you from activating games if you fall without the supported territories. And if you take a look at those regions on Microsoft’s own map detailing said regions, we don’t even feature. At all.
You might think I was jumping to conclusions based on semantics – but the lock has was confirmed by Xbox support.
It’s a bit of a slap in the face to the local Xbox 360 die-hards, who imported that console well before local launch – and were in fact pivotal in getting the system launched here in the first place. So yeah – even if you wanted to get the Xbox One before everybody else (and by all accounts, you don’t) you wouldn’t be able to use it. Sure , there are probably ways around this silly geo-fencing, but you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops just to play video games.
Honestly, the way this is all going, I’m not even sure it’s worth Microsoft even launching the thing here. And that’s bad for everyone. But it’s ok. You could always just get an Xbox 360.