Microsoft appears to have addressed a longstanding criticism with the Xbox LIVE service, with their customer support service now seemingly offering an account migration service to assist LIVE account holders that have relocated internationally to move their purchases to the new region (via: WMPoweruser
, thanks Polygon
Aussies users getting excited at the prospect of using it to dodge around region-blocks are going to be disappointed however, as the procedure is reportedly a manual process that can take up to six weeks and may disable your access entirely during that period. A post by an MS support rep on the official xbox forums
details the caveats:
Some of the services and content that you are currently benefiting from in the country originally registered may not also be available in the country you are willing to migrate to.
All of your current subscriptions, except for Xbox Live Gold if you had any, will be cancelled.
You may lose the ability to re-download some, if not all, of the content in your download history.
Any content that you will subsequently download after the account is migrated will be subject to any applicable geofencing rules of your new location.
Note on Geofencing: If you bought something in the country you originally registered in that wasn't geofenced, it could be that it will be if bought again, in your new location. These geofencing constraints depend on the license to distribute that Microsoft was granted by the content providers.
Please note that the migration process can take up to 6 weeks. During this time your account will not be available. No refunds will be given for any content that is lost during the migration.
So if you move overseas, you can switch, but you might lose all your purchases, and don't expect to be able to access your Netflix, ESPN, or Hulu content and such if you've departed North America etc.
Oh how we wish there was a way to end all of this regional content licensing madness for good. Digging the term geofencing though, it sounds like some form of subterranean sword-fighting.