Last week, Microsoft pleased me by finally announcing that Xbox Live users would be able to migrate their account territories (meaning I could, at last, change my European location to a North American one). However, the manual process, not to mention talk of restrictions, were not so pleasant.
One concern brought up were reports from Xbox customer support that you could only migrate your account if you had moved AFTER Microsoft's decision, meaning folk like me who moved country years ago would be stuck. However, I got a response from a Microsoft spokesperson saying otherwise. It's open to anybody.
What's more, the service is aiming to be streamlined and automated in future, and Microsoft is advising anybody who needs immediate access to their Xbox Live account to wait until the process can be performed more quickly.
"At Microsoft, we understand our customers move from one country to another and we continue to evaluate region migration solutions to help Xbox LIVE members access content from their current country location," said Microsoft. "We have been piloting an account migration process, but it can take several weeks and some content is confined by location due to licensing restrictions and cannot be transferred. We strongly encourage members who do not have an immediate need for account migration to hold tight while we continue to work on an automated tool, or create a new account in the new country location. Due to a technical limitation, child accounts can’t be migrated as part of the pilot region migration process.
"Anybody can apply for account migration, but we're working to automate this function. This is a pilot program that takes time to process each account."
Microsoft added that, contrary to previous statements, you actually can still use your Xbox Live account during the migration process. However, it's still advising consumers to wait for the automated tool to arrive, or wait until the manual migration is over before use -- presumably just to be safe that nothing will be lost or otherwise ruined.
There you have it. You can still apply to get your account updated if you moved before this year, and the means to do so are set to improve. Baby steps, and very late in the game, but it's far better than it was!