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Questions about XBox360 Marketplace access from outside the US.
October 6, 2007 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get an XBox360. I live in Japan, but I'm not really interested in playing Japanese XBox360 games. The two options are buying a US XBox360 and importing US region games, or buying a Japanese XBox360 and importing Asia region games (unlike Japanese region games, almost always in English). Since I'd be playing English language games either way, and importing either way, the deciding factor, then, is XBox Live US Marketplace access.

How is XBox Marketplace access restricted? Would I be able to access the US marketplace from a Japanese XBox360 physically located in Japan with a registered US gamertag, or would it be impossible because the XBox region would not match the marketplace region? Could I even register a US gamertag, considering that I don't plan to use a credit card, but just point cards? Would I be locked out because my IP address is in Japan but the marketplace I'm trying to access is in America? If I were to buy point cards, would the point cards have to match the region I'm trying to use them in? If so, I'd import US point cards, but would they even work on a Japanese region XBox360?

The information on the net is incredibly contradictory, and apparently there was a patch in the last year or so which increased the restrictiveness, so some old information and new information is getting mixed and making it even harder to figure out.

I tried asking the folks at XBox, but they clearly didn't know what they were talking about, and contradicted themselves a lot, because these are not the really common questions.

Does anyone have direct experience with this, or know with some certainty what the answers are?
posted by Bugbread to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It is not in the least difficult to create an account that will allow you to download US demos, this I'm sure of. I'm not sure how DLC and Points would work. But it's a pretty regular thing to have one or more accounts registered to different countries for DLing demos that premiere in different regions.
posted by GilloD at 3:57 PM on October 6, 2007


I posted this Q to a video game forum I frequent, someone replied:

"if you say you're from the U.S, Japan, EU or whatever and give a legitimate address from there and select an appropriate language, you would use the marketplace for that region.

demos usually get released all in the same marketplace but I heard that in the Japan marketplace, the movie selection is dwarfed by that of the US one so it would make sense (if you're going to live in japan) to make a (silver) Live account with a US address to download marketplace movies.

however, XBL might also check your ISP so if they see you're actually from japan, they might not let you download it anyways.

it says you have to pay to register there so could you please post that."

You can follow the post here: http://www.evilbore.com/forum/index.php?topic=13234.0

Beware, it can get a little NSFW.
posted by GilloD at 4:24 PM on October 6, 2007


I got our resident trans-nationalist to answer up. This should clear up your query, I think:

Would I be able to access the US marketplace from a Japanese XBox360 physically located in Japan with a registered US gamertag, or would it be impossible because the XBox region would not match the marketplace region?


You would need to use a gamertag registered for that particular country.

Quote
Could I even register a US gamertag, considering that I don't plan to use a credit card, but just point cards?


Points are region-locked I believe. You would have to find someone who would sell US point cards.

Quote
Would I be locked out because my IP address is in Japan but the marketplace I'm trying to access is in America?


No

Quote
If I were to buy point cards, would the point cards have to match the region I'm trying to use them in? If so, I'd import US point cards, but would they even work on a Japanese region XBox360?


Yes, No


The information on the net is incredibly contradictory, and apparently there was a patch in the last year or so which increased the restrictiveness, so some old information and new information is getting mixed and making it even harder to figure out.


That was just for the Video Marketplace, due to content licensing restrictions

All due thanks go to Demi.
posted by GilloD at 7:34 PM on October 6, 2007


Cool. Very, very helpful. I'm a little confused by one point, so I'm signing up for evilbore to ask Demi, but I'll post it here too, in case some other MeFite knows the answer:

Demi indicates that I would have to buy US point cards (not a problem for me) to use the US Marketplace, but then says that US point cards will not work on a Japanese XBox360.

Does that mean, then, basically, that my choices are:
1) Buy a US XBox360, US point cards, create a US gamertag, and access the US Marketplace from Japan, or
2) Buy a Japanese XBox360, Japanese point cards, create a Japanese gamertag, and access the Japanese Marketplace from Japan?

But not:

3) Buy a Japanese XBox360, US point cards, create a US gamertag, and access the US Marketplace from Japan?

(Oh, and I probably should have mentioned, I want Marketplace access just for the demos and added content. I don't care about downloading movies or TV shows)
posted by Bugbread at 7:48 PM on October 6, 2007


I used to use my US 360 to access the marketplace and play online from Tokyo with no problems, until it died. Now I have a nice dead Xbox in my closet.

Also, apparently most Japanese 360 games have English language audio and/or subtitle options, and are relatively cheap.
posted by ejoey at 12:43 AM on October 7, 2007


Thanks, folks. With y'all's help and the help of the folks at evilbore.com, I've finally made my purchasing decision.
posted by Bugbread at 4:53 AM on October 8, 2007


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