Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 6 – paying for content

This is the sixth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

Right,

Almost forgot a very important piece of the puzzle before I took a small break to actually enjoy my Xbox One, so I’ll make a short quick post about it here. Modifications might be done later, so feel free to check back every now and then. ;-)

To begin with, one thing needs clarification .. again.

You have three options for paying for Xbox Live content when connected using Xbox One. Please note that I am recommending the #1 option – option #2 is a bit expensive, and option #3 requires you to modify your account details which MIGHT have a negative impact in September when Xbox One gets officially released.

1) Purchasing gaming cards online, for delivery to your mailbox.

I actually use the official Microsoft Store for my gift card supplies, and have been using them for years to cover all my Xbox 360 needs, and as it turns out, I’ll keep using them for my Xbox One needs too!

They have cash cards for US and UK region for the stores ($5 up to $100), and have a quick delivery system. We’re talking minutes with digital delivery.

2) Get a credit card + post address in the region you picked.

Since I consume alot of american services (like Hulu Plus), I do have access to american payment methods and addresses, and as you might already know, Americans are using credit cards for everything from age verification to proving you are a citizen – and being located outside the USA and not being an american citizen, these cards can be quite hard to get hold of.

I get my cards from BuyFromPowerSeller.com – a bit slow delivery of over 48 hours the first time I used them, but the cards will always arrive in your e-mail box. It did cost me about $44 for a $25 prepaid credit card, but since you are a confirmed US user after this, it’s worth it.

And yes, the card says “for Hulu plus”, but it’s a Visa card. It’s not in any way restricted or limited to using it with Hulu.

Once the credit card details has been delivered to your mailbox, you will recieve instructions on how to register with the Huli site. Pay attention to what they suggest that you do in regards to picking your physical address. There are tax reasons to follow them point to point, some states don’t have VAT on certain digital services which means your cash might last longer.

 3) Change your zip code and city to an american address, and hook up your paypal account.

You need to add the paypal account via the american Xbox account page, not the native one for your country. Try http://www.xbox.com/en-US/ to get landed on the right location.

Enjoy!

Logitech Harmony works as a remote with Xbox One

If you are using your Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender in combination with Hulu Plus, Netflix and Xbox Video – you most likely already own one of the Logitech Harmony units. I do atleast. They are more than just quite handy, since they are able to communicate with all your entertainment devices at once – volume controlled on the reciever, channel changing for the Xbox 360 Media Center Extender and the same for navigating in the interface.

Now you got an Xbox One, and you have been using the gaming controller for navigation up to this point, right?

Good news for you!

Your Logitech remote control is fully compatible with your Xbox One. This was actually announced by Logitech on the Xbox One launch day, but if you are living outside of the offiicaly released regions for Xbox One, I really doubt that you found the news available at any of your usual national sources.

It’s ofcourse functional with OneGuide, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and ofcourse Xbox Video. No need to use your actual gaming controller for your media entertainment, which is perfect if you are more than one person living under the same roof. :-)

Adding it as a device on your Logitech device is just as easy as when you originally configured it. Just browse to setup.myharmony.com, login with your account and add a device. Manufacturer is ofcourse Microsoft, and Xbox One is the model number.

Don’t forget to sync the new configuration to your remote control – once that is done, you’re all set!

Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 5 – Using your 360 headset with Xbox One

This is the fifth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

So,

Console has been ordered, hopefully with either a bundled game or one or more games separately.

Excited?

I KNOW! Me too, I still am! :-)

One thing that occured to me however was that I read somewhere that I was not going to be able to use my Xbox 360 headset, a Turtle Beach PX5, with Xbox One due to a different chat connector. (Fear not, not quite true, keep reading)

Now, ofcourse, your regular audio connection will still work – unless you require RCA output from your Xbox, like Turtle Beach X31. Xbox One only has HDMI out to the TV or reciever, and a separate SPDIF/toslink. If you require RCA for your stereo headset, you need to either run it via your TV, or buy a “SPDIF/toslink to RCA converter”. I would import one from China, usually way cheaper than any local stores.

Now, downside. Xbox One does not support Dolby Surround at this point. It only supports DTS and Stereo audio. This only means that even I with my PX5 headset will be able to experience audio in stereo until Microsoft releases Dolby – and according to rumours floating around, this has been added to the next firmware release which hopefully isn’t that far away. Not at all concerned about that.

Xbox One supports all headsets supporting SPDIF/toslink, and stereo headsets connecting with RCA can be hooked up via the TV. Just hook your headset up, and keep on playing as you’re used to.

The only downside with using your Xbox 360 headset was that chat wasn’t going to work, right?

WRONG!

Almost anyway. It won’t fit natively straight out of the box, but a friend and fellow SaNaClan member ofcourse found the solution  – because seriously, who really wants to game with regular speakers or even TV sound once you have gotten used to a headset?

You need an adapter. Unfortunally, Microsoft doesn’t sell any officially, and I really doubt they will. Now, the adapter is quite easy to make, even if I wouldn’t go close to a soldering iron these days.

See further down the post for some build instructions and photos – you need a 2,5mm female connector from your electronics store, and decent soldering equipment before proceeding.

If you don’t feel comfortable cutting wires and soldering, you can contact my friend Mattias ‘@xepT81‘ preferably via e-mail and ask him to either rebuild the chat headset that comes with the Xbox One, or buy a separate adapter from him. The latter will ofcourse be more expensive – a chat headset costs ~32 EUR new (without shipping or the mods), but if you want to keep all original equipment to your Xbox One – the latter is absolutely the way to go.

Anyway, you wanted instructions!

1

Cut the cord, be sure to save a some, you have to have room for the plastic cover between the connector and the dongle while you solder. 4-5 inches (10-15 cm)

2

Carefully cut two tracks in the cable, you just need to cut through halfway. Cut about 1/3 in from the edges. The tracks are there to get the wires out and should be about 0.5-1 inches (1-2 cm).

 

3

Locate the blue wire, you’ll get it in one of the tracks you just made. Pull down the wire following the track and repeat for the white / bare wire. Untiwst these and thoroughly separating all strands. Cut off the black wire and the unnecessary isolation that might remain from the cord.

 

4

Use a lighter to individually burn off the insulation for the blue and white wire. Save some insulation at the bottom against the cable so the strands doesnt make contact to the bare wire.  

5

1 – White wire – mic (translates to the tip of a 2.5mm male jack)
2 – Blue wire – speaker ( translates to the middle / ring of a 2.5mm male jack)
3 – Bare wire – ground (translates to the bottom/sleeve of a 2.5mm male jack)

Thoroughly solder though all three wires in the connector. If you like, you can first apply some tin solder on the contacts three points. Solder the wires using this schematics:

schematics

Remember to read the schematics for your connector, white and blue may need to switch places depending on what supplier of connector you use. But the result should always be as shown below:

connector

6

Clamp the cord into the connector so none the wires come off during heavy-handed use of cord and controller.

 The result – just plug your headsets chat adapter into the 2,5mm female connector, and you’re done. Don’t forget to turn up your headset volume to the max, and use the adapter digital volume controls instead.

7

 

Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 4 – ordering the console

This is the fourth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

Now, are you still interested? I was, so I went forward with this purchase.

Since I’m a COD fan (amongst other things), I stumbled across the Xbox One + COD Ghosts bundle, available for 529 EUR + shipping. This translates to roughly 570 EUR, or ~5400 SEK, including shipping to Sweden. Not too shabby at all, since the estimated price for a spanking new Xbox One once it gets released here, without any games, is 4995 SEK + shipping (~523 EUR).

This is where I got it from : http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00EPFW63K/

Amazon France. I’ve always liked Amazon, and if you ever purchased anything from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de – then you are already set with your account. Sign in with your email that you have registered with before  proceeding – and if you haven’t shopped from Amazon before, do yourself a favour and register on the UK site instead. French doesn’t always make sense… atleast not to me. :-)

Register with amazon.co.uk here!

Just make sure that the Xbox One you are going to purchase is sold by Amazon EU, and has a reasonable price tag, and not by anyone else. Amazon is like a trading site, where third party sellers can sell their products aswell, next to Amazon selling them on their own. Their site will always pick the lowest price, but just double check just in case. (If you use Chrome, the site will automatically translate to English or your native language. If you don’t use Chrome, I hope you know french or have a tab with Google Translate ready.)

At this point, you would have ordered, and paid, for the Xbox One. Either the Ghosts edition I linked to, or any other Xbox One edition that is available at the time of your purchase. If you selected flash delivery, it’ll be delivered by UPS – you can find the tracking number on the order page once it has been shipped, and use that to track it on UPS.COM.

I ordered mine just during the most hectic christmas days, which ofcourse made my delivery delayed for a week. Not what I really wanted, but it eventually arrived!

Part 5 will covering recieving, unboxing and powering it on for the first time. That part is not yet finished, and will not be until early January. Sorry. :-)

 

Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 3 – xbox one smartglass

This is the fifth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

You might also be interested in using the Xbox One Smartglass app with your imported Xbox One. That is unfortunally not available for download in any unsupported countries at this point, but there are ways around it.

iOS: If you got an iOS device that is not jailbreaked, you need to jump through a crapload of hoops to be able to get it. This is how to do it in iTunes, short version;

1) Sign out of your iTunes account. Scroll to the bottom of the store.

2) You will see a small image of a flag representing your country. You can click on that to change it to the UK.

3) Search for Xbox One Smartglass, or any other free App you’d like to download from the UK store, and click to “purchase”.

4) You will be asked to create a new account and provide a credit card number.

5) Make a new account with a fake address. The easiest thing to do is look up any well known fast food place and use their address and phone number. When asked for a payment method, simply select “None.”

Now you can download and install the Xbox One Smartglass app on your iPhone from the Apple appstore. Don’t forget to sign out of the appstore in iTunes, and sign in with your regular account instead once everything has been completed.

Windows 8/8.1: You can follow the instructions in my previous blog post on this subject, just use Xbox One Smartglass instead of Hulu Plus as I did my example. :-) (PS! If you get the GERMAN or FRENCH version of the Xbox One Smartglass installed – don’t worry. Smartglass should be reconfigured to use the same locale as on the Xbox once you have connected.)

Android: UPDATED 2014-07-09 Now, Android users have a better starting point, just download the latest APK from here – use your phone and download it directly to the phone to avoid the hazzle of copying files. Works just great as you can see from the following screenshot. If the smartglass app prompts you for an upgrade upon startup, a new version of the Smartglass app has been released. Send me a message at blog@engren.se and I’ll try to find the latest one and link here.

 


 

2013-12-25 09.52.39

I have asked the Xbox EMEA Social Marketing Manager, Graeme ‘AceyBongos’ Boyd (who btw is a must-follow on Twitter if you’re living in the EU region!), on twitter why it is region blocked, but as he’s not really involved in the details of these things, his response was what as I suspected – that they only opened up the app for the regions where it’s officially released.

I did however ask him if it was possible to change this policy, but again – not his call, but I hope he can lift the question inwards the organisation. I really don’t want anyone getting infected by any trojan or backdoor in an attempt to use the Xbox One smartglass in their (unsupported) region.

My point of view is that the app cannot do any damage outside the officially supported countries, and having it region blocked only makes impatient customers importing Xboxes jump through unnecessary hoops to get the best possible experience – and again, risk infection by trojans or backdoors.

 

Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 2 – xbox live, regions and the store

This is the second part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

Hi guys,

This is part 2 – Xbox Live, regions and the store.

As I believe most of you already know, Xbox Live is split up to different regions, which is basically countries. What is available in the US, might not be available in Canada, UK, Germany or France. One of the things this means is that if you, like me, live in an unsupported country, there are no localized applications. There might not even be many “globally available” applications if the creator of the app wanted it region restricted.

Games are not region blocked in that aspect. You can purchase a disk from the US, and play it in Sweden. You can also purchase a game on Xbox Live, and play it, but with the region based stores that was introduced with the Xbox One, this has some negative aspects for your funding if you’re not planning ahead.

Now, these negative aspects of importing an Xbox One can in great detail be found at the following FAQ link with Microsoft – and I have a summary in the next paragraph.

http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/system/locale-faq 

It’s actually not really complicated or the end of the world. To sum things up, don’t put excessive amounts of money in your account until your region/locale is supported, and be prepared to loose download access to games “purchased/claimed” on the other region store. Stuff you downloaded will still work as expected – there are no playback restrictions on content – but you will NOT be able to download them again after the region change UNLESS you change back to the region that you used when you purchased the content.

Account balances are not converted from one currency to another. You must spend the value in the currency in which it was purchased in, before “moving” to a new region, because the balance you have in one currency will not work in another marketplace. If you change region, your previous “wallet” with the Xbox Live store is rendered void and disappears. (Rumour has it that it would still be available when you change back to the region, but this is still unconfirmed!)

If you have questions about what I have covered in this artlce, please comment!

Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 1 – misc, power and warranty

This is the fifth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

This is part 1 – power and warranty and other misc issues.

Yes, it’s true. I couldn’t wait any longer, and imported one piece of Xbox One from Amazon in France.

WHY!? THE XBOX ONE IS NOT RELEASED OR SUPPORTED IN YOUR COUNTRY! IT WILL NOT WORK!

There are so many lies and tons of misinformation floating around in regards to what this actually means! Xbox Live and gaming works just as expected. I have, obviously, Xbox Live Gold on my account, and that account is used on both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. No issues at all with this, but we’ll get back on that topic a bit later in my “import to playing” story here.

There are however some quirks that one needs to be aware about before buying online content for their Xbox – or even bundled released with DLC codes (like I purchased). If all you get is physical media up to the point where your country becomes supported, then you have no real issues.

 


 

Now, a few more misconceptions that needs to be killed.

1) Ordering any product from one EU country, for delivery to another EU country, voids warranty, I read that somewhere!

Oh, this is so false. Warranty is never void because of this.

Wherever you buy goods in the EU, you have two years to request repairs or replacement if they turn out to be faulty or not as advertised. If a product cannot be repaired or replaced within a reasonable time or without inconvenience, you may request a refund or price reduction.

The two-year guarantee period starts as soon as your goods are delivered, and you must inform the seller of the fault within two months of discovering it.

The seller is always liable, and in some EU countries you also have the right to request a remedy from the producer.

Source: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/shopping/shopping-abroad/guarantees/index_en.htm

2) You need to pay a large customs fee, and your own VAT on top of the senders VAT, when importing goods! It gets really expensive!

No. Only when you order it from OUTSIDE the EU. Since Sweden is a member of the EU, we pay VAT in the sellers country – not in Sweden. This is one of the reasons why importing things from the UK, as an example, is often cheaper *including shipping* than most stores in Sweden *excluding* shipping.

3) Every country has their own power standard, UK things doesn’t work in Sweden, neither does French stuff!

Well, obviously incorrect, I say, and pat my powered on Xbox One. All of Europe has the same power standard, and all of US has the same power standard (but different from EU). What differs within EU is the actual plug at the end of the cord.

The UK has a different plug than Sweden, which is easily solved with either a new cord as with the Xbox One, or a “plug converter” for other equipment.

The french plug looks a little bit different too, but works just fine. If this makes you worried in any way (which it shouldn’t), just go to your local computer hardware store and ask for a power cable for a stationary computer. That’s basically what you need. Just bring the old cable with you for reference in case they don’t understand, and so the store can recycle it accordingly.