UPDATE: Microsoft's quick-fix solution for migrating Xbox Live accounts between regions is now live, the company has announced.
"Xbox Live users can now migrate their accounts to a new region!" wrote Nick Ferguson, senior producer at Microsoft Studios, on Twitter. "(Sorry it took so long)."
Microsoft previously promised the new method, detailed below, would be live in mid-January. Bang on.
ORIGINAL STORY: After years of frustration, gamers with an Xbox Live account will soon be able to switch regions with ease.
Microsoft is testing a new web-based tool that allows users to migrate their account from one region to another in just a few clicks.
The new method (currently in beta, NeoWin reports) allows users to quickly shuffle their account between regions, with one change available every three months. Your gamer tag, Achievements, Microsoft Points and Xbox Live Gold subscription are all included in the transfer.
Microsoft warns that some region-locked items may not be transferred. These include subscriptions to TV services that may not be available in another region (Sky, for example). Xbox Music passes will also not be ported (and you won't get a refund).
Updating your Xbox Live region has historically caused headaches for users, who have been unable to do so without lengthy waits or the dreaded possibility of calls to Microsoft's support line.
Gamers who had moved countries often encountered problems - such as local Microsoft Points cards and codes not working with their account, or content not available to them because their account is still registered to another region.
Microsoft has yet to officially mention the new tool or announce when it will be live for everyone. We've dropped them a line and will update if we hear back.