Region locking, which is when a device cannot utilize media from outside its region, has been in place for many consumer devices over the years. Video game systems, DVD players, and other items often come with these locks but go unnoticed by many. After all, most movie fans don't usually need to pick up discs from other regions.
Gaming fans who are highly invested in their hobby sometimes desire to pick up a game ahead of time or when it is exclusive to a specific region. Region locking blocks these efforts unless the importer chooses to buy a system specifically for the region in question.
As we should probably expect of upcoming systems, the Xbox One is going to be region locked. This quote was shared with Develop:
â€œSimilar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale. We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.â€
Game importers have had lucky breaks with certain systems not imposing region locks, but it's likely that the PS4 and Xbox One will enforce the stance.
Do you import many games?