Microsoft to encourage multi-region Xbox games

MS promise three times the power of PlayStation2

Forthcoming games for Microsoft's Xbox console will have regional codes, but the software giant will urge software publishers to make them work in all territories.

In an interview with ZDNet's GameSpot Wednesday, Xbox general manager J Allard revealed there will be three region codes for Xbox games -- one for Europe, one for Japan and one for North America. Although a publisher would be able to restrict a game so that it only worked in one region, Microsoft will be encouraging game developers to let their releases run in all three territories.

Games consoles have historically been regionally encoded, much to the anger of gamers. While manufacturers claim the regional codes are necessary to prevent piracy, critics argue they are largely there to ensure maximum profits for each region machines are sold in.

In his interview Allard says the possibility that a software company would write a game for the Japanese market, and not release US or European versions is not something Microsoft wants to see. "We would urge them, but not require them, to allow it to run in Europe and the US."

Allard also revealed that the Xbox's Nvidia graphics card, known as the NV2A, would draw some features from the high-end Nvidia NV30 card. He claimed that this would help to make the Xbox "three times more powerful" than Sony's PlayStation2.

In the interview, Allard also talked about developments in the Xbox controllers, and the possibility of adding a voice input device to the console.

To read the whole interview, click here.

For complete gaming news, see GameSpot UK.

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