Your Xbox One is Now a Region-Free Xbox 360 Too

Your Xbox One is Now a Region-Free Xbox 360 Too

Alan Pettit

Hello achievement friends! I have some good news for you. With the recent "New Xbox One Experience" and "Backward Compatibility" updates that launched on Thursday, something extra magical has happened: Xbox One has now become a region-free Xbox 360 for the applicable backcompat titles. This means that if a game on the backcompat program has more than one achievement list due to a regional "stack," you can now import the other version(s) and use them on your Xbox One without issue. Previously, you'd be required to purchase an entirely new console that matched the game's region (NTSC, PAL, or NTSC-J) to play games outside of your home region. No longer! What's more: you only have to buy any DLC once. If you own the Borderlands DLC on your home account, it will work with any version of the game.

Currently there are five games of the initial 104 that have "stackable" achievement lists. You can play Japanese versions of Borderlands, Gears of War 2, and Just Cause 2, the German version of Rainbow Six Vegas 2, and the European version of Wolfenstein 3D. As more games are added to the backcompat program, likely more stackable versions will be playable as well.

For a complete list of "Stackable" games for achievements, go here. I have updated our backcompat FAQ on the forums here with this new information.

[image courtesy of forum member SetoChaos]

  • LIT
  • I still haven't been prompted for the new dashboard update lol
  • Now we just have to get the myriad of Japanese dating sims and visual novels with 1000 GS on the backwards compatibility list...
  • Does this mean we can play the full uncensored, american version of South Park: The Stick of Truth on any Xbox One console outside the USA?
  • @4: Should work fine! I don't think anyone has tested that since it doesn't have a second achievement list, but it's the same theory.
  • So how do I take advantage of this? Do I need to get a foreign disc or is there a way I can access different regions games via the store on the console, or do i use I'm pretty keen to 1000 just cause 2 again
  • @6 foreign disc solaris japan has that game for like $20 used
  • @6: You've got to import discs from overseas. There are plenty of eBay sellers from Japan that have good prices. Naturally the shipping takes a bit longer, but I've generally had a lot of luck getting things in a timely manner. There is also Play-Asia.
  • How would I be able to get the European version of Wolfenstein 3D?
  • @9 that game was delisted but re released. Now all regions have the EU version.
  • Nice! Now let's hope they make a load of those US/Japanese versions/exclusives backwards compatible so we can play them over here in the UK!
  • @8 don't forget about solaris japan. I get games from them in like 3 days lol
  • Please make the UK Rambo BC. I know it's a crap game but it's Rambo...This is awesome news. I'm sure someone or many someones, like usual, will find a way to bitch about this.
  • I want to get the Japanese(?) Version of Oblivion. Love that game enough to stack it. BioShock has several versions too. Achievement hunting has suddenly become interesting should these stackable games become available
  • @14 bioshock will be BC next month or very soon since the xbox site says coming soon. I just ordered 1 & 2 JP
  • @12 I can't believe I didn't know about Solaris Japan! I've been importing for quite awhile now and just sticking to eBay. It's been working out pretty well but the shipping sucked. Thanks for the tip, it looks like a great resource!
  • Hey I have a sexy question. Lets say you buy the German version of Dead Space 2. Would the shorter achievement list appear or would the UK/US version appear due to the DLC now being region free?
  • Good evening Can i now play on xbox 360 pal Onechanbara z kagura ntsc-j? Or can i play this on xbox one pal? Thanks
  • #2, It sometimes doesn't tell you to update. It seems to have stopped doing it on mine. To update the console go to Settings - System and in the left column at the bottom it should have an option for 'update console now'.
  • So basically I've got to cross my fingers for Deadliest Catch games and Jurassic Park to get on the BC list! nae worries then :D
  • @17: First Dead Space 2 would need to be backward compatible. After that, the German version would use the German list. The DLC achievements would not be on it. @18: No, this is only for the games currently backward compatible. If that game does get added to BC, it will only work on a PAL Xbox One system (not a PAL Xbox 360).
  • @21, umm a "pal xbox one"???? the system is region free.
  • @22: Oops, yeah I didn't mean to type that. I think I typed it because he did. :)
  • I've been asking this question for months so I'm glad I got the answer I wanted. I'll be picking up an Xbox One after reading this.
  • this is good news
  • Hey lads! Right so, I own an Xbox One, which we all know is region-free. So can I buy any current[as in buy from any region] Backwards Compatible game? Now I mean from the 104 games on the list at this moment. Cheers for any advice/help. :)
  • I'm from the Uk using the same South Park dis yet somehow certain things like the 'Mom and Dad' mature scene has been blacked out for some reason. I just dont understand how it's more censored than when i played on the 360!
  • Yay! I made this suggestion a long time ago and great news because now my cheap ass won't have to buy yet another Japanese 360 after the first 2 shit the bed. Do Japanese have the same list? I've had a bunch of games like No More Heroes sitting on my shelf untouched for over a year
  • Lol, I made it into a news article XD. Now hopefully more people will get Gears 2 Japan so I can finally finish off Horde.
  • Please make Telltale Games Jurassic Park backwards compatible. Or port it to Xbox One. I wanna play it.
  • This is going to be hilarious when in a couple months, everyone who jumped on eBay to buy a bunch of silly Japanese dating sims, can't play them cause M$ patched it so it's not region free any more.
  • @32 only games that have been added to the BC list will work with this, so if the "silly Japanese dating sims" never get added to the list, there'd be no point in people buying them.
  • @33 I would like to see all those Shmups added to the list though, so that when I play them I don't need to use my Japanese 360.
  • Too bad it still wouldn't mean I could play the only Japan exclusive I actually want to, Monster Hunter Frontier.
  • Doubt they'll bring Japan exclusives to the bc list but here's hoping.
  • Is My Horse and Me 2 on the backwards compatibility list?
  • @5 how did you find out about the dlc?
  • I hope this goes beyond Japanese versions of the games on the list so we can play full Japanese games that never released here. I've wanted to play Phantom Breaker and most region-locked shmups for awhile.
  • Stick of Truth here I come
  • Neat!
  • @35 Real talk, they NEED to bring Monster Hunter to console in Notth America
  • > If you own the Borderlands DLC on your home account, it will work with any version of the game In the case of Borderlands, it is even better than that - installing the base JP game disc automatically unlocks the DLC. I don't own the DLC on any account (have the UK GotY version), booted the JP version on the One and got the "You have just installed X DLC pack" for all the main DLC packs.
  • Xbox One runs the emulator of 360 too slow. Playing Gears 3, there were alot of frame skips and stutters making it unbearable to play with. Alot of others are experiencing this. This needs to be addressed and fixed as soon as possible PLEASE!
  • Fingers crossed they add Arkham Asylum, the Japanese version is the only one I don't have :)
  • Really hoping that they add Saints Row The Third now. I had a relative living in Germany who picked up the German stack for me (~$8 USD), but it didn't work on my NTSC 360.
  • i hope they add Japanese only games to 360 compatiblity list then i'll defently throw my money at an XBOX one
  • @37 - Did you even read the BC list?
  • @#2 didn't notify me either just go into settings and you can update from there
  • This is great news but how the hell does anyone have the time to play games like oblivion again when there is so many new games rolling out these days? I was lucky to find the time to max out gear of war 2 once let alone try it :P
  • how long til Microsoft patch this
  • Aww man, looks like I have to go back and get all the achievements for the Bioshocks again... (Hell yeah!)
  • @51 I hope not. I don't think that is the intention, they surely knew the 360 wasn't region free and such. I think and really hope that this is a conscious decision that they made, to go back now would be a mistake.
  • @50 I just love Oblivion. I would happily play it again. I could rush through it including dlc in about 20-25 hours, but that's no fun. I can't afford to buy new games all the time. So picking up a cheap Japanese copy is fine with me.
  • This is all well and good, but if the games arent on the BC, then its worth shit. I always wanted to give Jurassic Park a whirl, but doubt it will even be added. Same with Rambo.
  • Lets say you had an NTSC-J Xbox 360 and an Xbox One and you had two copies of Borderlands JP. What would happen if you tried playing on both consoles at the same time? It could be any game but I used Borderlands JP because that was the first one that came to mind.
  • @55. If you're UK, Rambo WAS on Disc here. (Or if you're PAL region it'll still work)
  • Japanese Monster Hunter here I come!
  • I know it's a long shot.. Hoping the Burger King games get added (doubtful) as a friend from across the pond sent them to me and have never been able to play them.
  • i hope i can play onechanbara us only release in europe
  • @56 The One and 360, should be able to play BC compat games together.Basically, its duplicating the console you're playing on.The 360 has to use native media though.The One is region free so it wont matter.As long as the games are added to the program, you can play them on the One. If you're asking if they can do co-op, yes they can.I plan on doing it with mine.
  • @58 even if monster hunter did get BC you still can't play its online is region locked to Japanese IP addresses.
  • @35&42 you need to live in japan or have a very, very good vpn, otherwise it will not matter if you can run it on your xbox.
  • Question: If I bought the Japanese version of Borderlands, would I be able to adjust anything as far as subtitles and/or spoken language? I loved that game and would be interested in double dipping. I missed out on Fallout 3 when it was on GFWL, sad for me.
  • @64 You can still play Fallout 3 PC.
  • @55 you really arent missing much with either game you mentioned lol. After reading the comments on this article i really am surprised not more people know about the region based stuff and how to get them etc. I dont know whether this will able people to get the Korean versions of Bioshock 1 & 2? i hope not i paid loads for them! haha
  • @64 Borderlands JP is all English.
  • @64 & 67: Gears 2 is aswell and the German Rainbow Six 2 is also. Unsure about JC2 as i have never played that one. If more stacks come out i think most EA titles are japanese language and writing like Army of Two & The 40th Day, Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. Brink, Mafia 2, Dead Island games, FEAR 2, Oblivion, Alone in the Dark are all jap. I think one of the Bioshocks is jap language but english text or the other way around. Sleeping Dogs is Jap text but english language. 50 Cent, Duke Nukem & Unreal Tournament are all in english. Not sure about Kane & Lynch, Batman Arkham Asylum, Stranglehold, Both Metro games and The Witcher 2 as i havent put them in. With German versions i think they are all in english apart from Wanted Weapons of Fate, Conan and Scene it! lol I doubt many of these games will be on backwards compatibility but i hope this clears some of the stuff up.
  • @ 68 I'm just speaking for what I currently own but Borderlands JP is all English, Bioshock GER is all English, Bioshock JP is English dialogue but the text is Japanese, and Mass Effect 2 JP is all English. I'm pretty sure Bioshock KOR is all Korean, but good luck finding that for a decent price. I really want to get my hands on it but not for $100+ If you have the luxory of choice, I'd suggest to do Bioshock JP after US and GER. At that point you pretty much know what all of the plasmids and tonics are, text descriptions, etc. Totally playable though. I assume Bioshock 2 JP is the same way. I've heard that Alone in the Dark is 100% Japanese. I can live without that one.
  • @69: Mass Effect 2 all English?! Damn I might actually get on that now. I was told it was all Jap after buying it which stopped me playing it. I have both Korean Bioshocks and they are both in English. Paid $60 for Bio 1 and $70 for Bio 2 a couple of years back but they don't sell on as much as people don't want to play ridiculous prices which is fair enough. Oh Singularity is all Jap aswell. Turning Point DE/FR Ver is all in German aswell from what I remember. Mafia 2 RUS VER is all in Russian but you can get the game dialogue to change to English if you switch regions to Poland or Russia. I have been meaning to do Bioshock 1 Jap and Korean back to back but they just keep releasing new games all the time lol. Very true about Alone in the Dark lol I can get over not playing that aswell!
  • I want to make sure that I fully understand the stackable term here in this context... For example, if I play the Japanese version of Gears of War 2 and it will earn me achievements for the Japanese version only. It will not unlock achievements for the other region versions of the game? I am thinking that stackable means that playing through a different version (non-U.S.) will not unlock all versions and achievements. I am thinking stackable is similar to difficult stacking and locking unlocking lower tiered difficulties for playing / completing game on higher difficulty. Thanks!
  • @71: Stackable basically means that there is the game that plays and looks the exact same but it will have a different achievement list due to region. There is games like Sleeping Dogs which has 3 different versions (German, UK/US & Japan) which have the exact same achievement list but something may have changed in game which you may need to do different I.E in SD you can't run over civilians on the German and Jap stacks for challenge requirements. Gears 2 has a different achievement list as it has levelling up achievements (every 5 levels) and a very long achievement for completing all 50 waves of horde on each map. I believe they took the execution achievements out as you can't dismember fully an enemy. All in all the seperate achievement lists are too do with the way the game has been censored by the country it has come out in and you may not even notice any difference within the game.
  • Is there a list of Japanese visual novels that are backwards compatible? I would love to play one.
  • I think it's very unlikely that games not released in all regions will ever be back compatible. So in the end this is only useful for a few best sellers that had separate achievement lists.
  • @64 Borderlands, tried and tested (currently playing now until Christmas and will become a point of contact for 'And they'll tell two friends' achievement if I over get it!
  • Does this mean Mass Effect 2 JP will now be completable?
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