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I notice that some of the electronic stores in Norway has started to sell Xbox One as an "import model", stating that local services are not yet available.

I understand the part about local services, like local access to movies and tv series or whatnot.

What I'm wondering about is if buying such a model will waive access to other things in the future as well, or locking me to services from a different country?

For instance, say I ordered that Xbox One in Norway today, "import model", would I never get access to Norwegian services? Will I forever be locked to, say, UK services, or spanish services, or wherever they imported it from?

The web page mentions that in order to buy content I would need to enter the zip code and stuff like that from a country which currently officially sells Xbox One.

Will I then forever be locked to that country? Or is it a temporary issue until Xbox One actually do gets released here in Norway?

Note that Norwegian consumer laws will protect my rights in case of warranty issues, I don't have to deal with Microsoft or the source country regarding such things, the shop where I buy the item will be required to handle those things, so the only thing I'm asking about is what, if anything, will I be locking myself into?

  • I'm also very interested in the answer to this as I'm from Sweden and I'm facing the same problem as you. – user1021726 Apr 15 '14 at 10:52
  • where did you buy it from? – calebkitt Apr 15 '14 at 14:58
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First off, let me share who I am and what Xbox One I own. I live in Luxembourg, a country where Xbox Live has never been supported and most likely never will due to its small population. My Live profile is bound to the UK marketplace after I migrated it after long years of struggling with support from the German marketplace.

I bought a Day One Edition from Amazon.de, so, in essence, I own an imported Xbox One. All services on the one are tied to your profile. So if your profile is tied to the UK marketplace, you will see ads, movie recommendations, application recommendations, etc, for the UK marketplace. If you are tied to the Norwegian marketplace than the worst thing that could happen is that the feed supplying this information is not available. Should you have your profile tied to a different region, like me, than everything is just fine except for the occasional content that is region locked (although no Xbox One content is to date to my knowledge, speaking from experience with the 360) and you may need to go through a VPN to get it.

So all in all, I see no problem with importing an Xbox One. The console should work just fine and if it is officially launched in Norway, I am pretty sure it will just start loading all the content from the Norwegian marketplace if your account is tied to it. The reason why the console was not released was market focus and console saturation, not some technical issues. They simply wanted to flood their major markets with consoles.

I say, go for it. You will anyway have a warranty and right to return the goods if you purchase online, will you not? I am a bit fishy about the Norwegian law. I think that things are looking pretty good and that if you want it, you should get it.

Update Since I have posted this, I have run into some problems. It seems that payment methods are subjected to more scrutiny than before the One was released. Even purchasing on the 360 has become less forgiving. For example, using PayPal to make a purchase on a UK account while residing in Luxembourg has resulted in a payment block after three failed attempts. I had to contact the advocacy team to get it unlocked. Furthermore, they seem not very understanding of the problem and just scold you for trying to make purchases out of region.

However, using a gift card to charge money onto my account seemed to work just fine. It seems like that is the method I will have to use. Unfortunately, this might mean that I can't benefit from several services such as video streaming as they, to my knowledge, require an active payment method on your account.

  • How about services like Netflix? Do you know how they will work? – user1021726 Apr 15 '14 at 10:52
  • Netflix requires, as far as I know, that you register with them. When you are registered, Netflix, like many streaming services, will not allow you to stream to unsupported regions. Note that it is their unsupported regions, not necessarily the Xbox Live unsupported regions. But there are many services to hide your real location, like Unlocator, which will let you use it nevertheless. – Eric Apr 15 '14 at 12:08
  • I know how Netflix works, sorry if that wasn't clear. What I was asking was if Xbox One's restrictions will restrict the usage of services like Netflix, or if that is entirely dependent on the service itself. – user1021726 Apr 15 '14 at 12:19
  • @user1021726 - The only requirement for Netflix is an active Xbox Live subscription. If this is from time from a Xbox Live Card or an actual subscription paid by a credit card it does not matter. – Ramhound Apr 15 '14 at 13:18
  • No, the One's restriction will not influence services themselves. Their availability varies by country though. Everything else should be just fine and dependent on the services' own restrictions which apply, One or not! – Eric Apr 16 '14 at 7:08
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I accepted the other answer but decided to just plunk down my own experience as well.

Situation

  • I live in Norway
  • Xbox not released in Norway
  • Closest released country seems to be the UK

What I did

  • I bought an Xbox One from Elkjøp, though not through their online store but actually visiting a store. The unit cost 3990 NOK, with Kinect, which is apparently between the two official prices come September 5th (3790 without Kinect and 4590 with Kinect). 3990 NOK translates to about $635 with todays currency ratio.
  • I registered my Xbox on my home address, except I chose to live in the UK, in a central london Zip code
  • I registered my Norwegian VISA and MasterCard as payment options

What works

  • Purchases of digital games, dlc's, premium passes, season passes, etc. all seems to work, using my own Norwegian credit cards
    • This means that the registered address is actually not sent for verification, since according to the Xbox, I live on a Norwegian address (my correct one), but in the UK, central London (which is obviously incorrect)
  • Netflix works, I have access to the same content (apparently) as I have on my iPad and on my PC
  • I can play with any of my friends through the games I've bought (but of course, they're in the same situation so if there really was something here this would of course not prove that it would work after September, but I doubt this will change)
  • It brought over all my gamerscore and achievements from my 360, my friends list, gamertag, everything related to the profile (except I had to create a new gamer picture since Xbox One has a much higher resolution one)
  • Battlefield 4 copied over my soldier (though the Xbox One soldier and 360 soldier are now different soldiers, I just got the option of copying it from the 360 when I first started it)
  • I can watch TV through my Xbox (see more about this under What doesn't work)
  • It can control my TV decoder (Canal Digital HD PVR) through HDMI
  • It can control my stereo set (ancient non-digital set using IR codes)
  • It can control my TV (40" Sony KDL40W3000) through HDMI

What doesn't work

  • I can not purchase/listen to music through the built-in Music service, complains about restrictions/country
  • Same with movies
  • The TV part of the Xbox One doesn't have the TV guide set up, as such I cannot ask the Xbox to go to a particular channel (and see more about this below in a separate section)
  • The apps section in the Xbox One contains a multitude of apps related to UK services, like video-on-demand services and the likes, I have not tested more than a couple but none of them worked so I extrapolate this to all of them
  • PayPal doesn't seem to work. Whether this actually verifies my address or not I don't know but getting PayPal working as a payment option seems to be a no-go for now, it just gives me a cryptic error message about the payment not going through. The PayPal account is linked to the same two credit cards I've registered with the Xbox, and PayPal works for me through online purchases (have used it since then), so this seems to be something linked to how it was used from the Xbox.

About TV

The Xbox cannot be asked to go to a particular channel, like "Xbox Go To TV2", and before it wants to control my TV decoder by jumping to a different channel, through the Xbox, it wants to set up the TV guide which I'm unable to do.

However, if I use the Xbox One Glass app for my iPad, I can switch to a "TV Remote" screen on it, and there I can switch channels, start up the TV guide built into the decoder, etc.

  • Thanks for such a detailed followup. I am from India and Xbox one just launched here although at exhorbitant prices and I got a much better deal through eBay and I latched onto it. But I just got to know Xbox one is only honoring warranties of the units bought in India through official channels and not the imported ones. Am I stuck here? Or microsoft will gladly honor my warranty if and when need arises? Any ideas? Or experiences? Thanks for your time. – Mohit Oct 16 '14 at 20:42

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