When our 360 went south Paula and I decided that the best course of action was to buy a replacement box instead of waiting for a really long, expensive repair (since it’s an American box it has to be shipped to the US for resurrection). Since we use our Xbox to watch TV we also didn’t want to wait the couple months it would likely take.
The idea of a new box was all good and well… but I also have a library of games I like to play (including a copy of Lego Star Wars II we just bought but never got a chance to play). Gears of War I can buy in the company store for €20… but Lego Star Wars and Ghost Recon were going to run me €60 each. Crap.
After setting up the replace box I wondered: what happens if I stick the US (NTSC) game disc into my European (PAL) Xbox?
As luck would have it, I was pleasantly surprised. Like DVDs, video games often have region encoding which prevents a game disc purchased in, for example, Paris from working on a console purchased in Poughkeepsie. In the case of the Xbox 360, however, the region lock-out isn’t a certainty. Fortunately for me (and many other gamers) Microsoft adopted the policy of letting publishers decide if their game discs would be region-free.
Not all Xbox 360 titles will work in all regions… but luckily for me my two current faves, GOW and GRAW2, do. No need to run out and buy replacement copies. In my quest for an answer as to why my discs worked in my new console I came across a fairly detailed list of region compatibility on Play-Asia.com. It takes the guesswork out of any future purchases (especially cool since buying games in the US is much cheaper with the strength of the Euro).