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I am planning on going out to Portugal soon and I am wondering if I should bring out some Xbox 360 games for a friend that stays there, as the games cost a lot more there than they do here. So,

  1. Would the games work on his Portuguese Xbox 360?
  2. What happens with the DLC and online pass situation?
  3. Any tips or anything I need to know if I do this? Thank you.
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3 Answers

Portugal is a PAL region. The UK is also a PAL region. There should be no problem. If you happen to have a game not from a PAL region, here is a compatibility guide.

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Eplezmuerto has covered the basics but one thing you might want to watch out for is what languages the game(s) come in.

If your friend is English/English speaking then he'll be fine with games from the UK.

If you want games in a specific language you'll need to look carefully as though games will be PAL and so compatible with his XBox they may not necessarily ship with an appropriate language depending on which country you buy the game in. UK games usually ship with a selection of western european languages so you are probably fine.

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I live in France and have a French bought XBox 360. Being British I buy my games in the UK which is substantially cheaper and the games are in English! I also run my console in English.

This works fine, except that:

  • the apps that are provided on the UK XBox dashboard (things like Last.fm, Sky, etc) don't work because I'm not in the UK
  • Zune doesn't work so I can't buy films, music, etc because I'm not in the UK

Things that do work:

  • buying games online (I've only bought small games such as Toy Soldiers, Monkey Island - it's cheaper to buy the physical game in the UK than to buy the downloaded version)
  • free updates to games
  • updates to the XBox dashboard itself
  • buying XBox Points in the UK
  • the free XBox Live Gold membership that I had when I bought the console (I don't game enough to justify the cost of buying that)
  • Facebook through XBox Live worked fine too

I've not tried:

  • bought DLC

EU rules make it clear that a product bought in one country should work in another country in the EU - if this isn't the case the EU comes down on companies like a ton of bricks. Somehow the content industry has got around this, but if you buy a physical product in a shop in one country in the EU it has to work in another country. Big companies like MS are aware of this and behave within the rules. The EU rules are why DVD/BluRay region codes are the same across Europe.

One last thing, about PAL etc, I don't know if there's such a difference as there once was - if you're using HDMI then it's the same standard everywhere. France used SECAM for its analogue broadcasts (not PAL) but games and DVDs bought in the UK worked fine in France and vice-versa (having family in both countries I've tested it both ways!)

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