MS to tighten 360 border controls
No more sneaky foreign accounts.
Having turned a blind eye for some time now, Microsoft is finally moving to clamp down on people who set up foreign Xbox Live accounts in order to download content they can't access locally.
In a statement released overnight, Microsoft said that the territory controls would be strengthened by next week's "Spring Update" for the Xbox 360 dashboard, due out 7th May, which also introduces Live Messenger support among other things.
While this will have very little effect on Xbox Live users whose account details match up to their point of origin, it means, for example, that anybody in the UK who has set up a US account in order to access downloadable films and TV shows made available to US customers will see that access cut off from next week. The practice is also popular with gamers who want to try out Japanese and US game demos.
The statement, posted on the Microsoft-run Gamerscoreblog, explained that it was Microsoft's responsibility to comply with government regulations and licensing agreements that determine where content is to be made available.
"As a general policy we try to get global rights to content, but in some cases, it's not possible because of legal restrictions," the statement added. "In other instances, we have to get legal rights on a country-by-country basis, which unfortunately results with us having content on the service that has to be filtered based on geographical location."
Microsoft said it hoped users would understand "our responsibility, and the necessary security requirements that need to be in place in order to comply with applicable laws and [to] honour our agreements with content providers," and concluded by advising any US Xbox Live users who experience problems accessing content following the release of the Spring Update to call 1-800-4MY-XBOX to receive assistance.