Xbox Marketplace

I bought xbox slim few months ago here in Qatar but spending less time on it because feel boring. Tried to buy several games, looked fun at first but then again…bored. I just sometimes use its kinect to had some exercise from Your Shape. Thought my first child, jasmine, was ready to play together but guess she found xbox not that interesting, and she shy to play kinect games like advantures.

Lately, I found sonic arcade games in iPhone, jasmine love it. She play it everyday. That remind me about xbox. I haven’t try to crack my xbox (and not seriously plan to do it) because there’s more from xbox than only playing game, that’s why I choose it over console like wii or playstation, and it need un-cracked xbox. Usually I look for the game from virgins here in doha, but available games there are very limited and I don’t find it interesting. I tried to look for sonic because it feel fun to play on iPhone but found nowhere in virgins.

Xbox has marketplace, unfortunately it is limited based on regions. Even cool features like netflix also limited to some countries only. I had gold membership given as free from xbox during 1st month, it is expired. But from marketplace I can find sonic games. Even we can download the trial. But to download full game, several stuff need to be done. Officially we need to setup account, put billing info, setup billing payments. I don’t really understand at first, all I think was upgrade my expired account to gold will give me access to download full version. Since I can’t find the game here in doha, the only way to retrieve it via internet. Tried to change the billing info but failed since the account was setup for UK, so need correct address information like zipcode.

Also, to setup paypal account, it only enabled for account in specific region. I go to virgins in order to buy 2 stuff, first is prepaid card for 12 months gold membership, and the prepaid card for 2100 microsoft points. My plan was, extend the xbox live account to be gold, and use the points to download games from marketplace. Sonic unleashed was 1600 points so I guess it was enough with my 2100 points.

Setup through console was miserable. And I still have to put billing info even I already have prepaid card for 12 months membership. The sales guy in virgin said all I need for my purpose just redeem code from 12 months membership card and everything will be setup. My account will be automatically setup for UK. Well, that’s not so true.

So I go to laptop and fill ‘fake’ address directly from xbox live account. Fake here means I need to put UK address since my account was for United Kingdom. Not difficult, hotel in UK was everywhere from internet, choose one address and all fix. Next add microsoft points, it was easy. But, when trying to download sonic, it always failed. I tried to download from laptop (xbox live account) by choosing to download either using paypal (yes, after confirm the billing address I can insert paypal info) or microsoft points. Then tried to download directly from xbox console also failed, but it’s show the reason: My IP (location) is not allowed to access UK market place. Damn.

Googling sent me to this page. From the page I learnt not only xbox marketplace can be easily spoof using VPN, but also I don’t need microsoft points or xbox live gold membership to buy games from marketplace. Just setup any fake account (again, fake mean using fake address in some region like japan or US), then put paypal. Through paypal we can buy games, or even become gold membership.

Instead of following all the procedure from above forum, I tested from my laptop to order a game and ask it to send over my xbox console. But, i didn’t setup console connection through VPN as is on above procedure. I just use free VPN service for UK (UK IP address), connect through laptop, log in to my xbox live, order / buy an indie game (cheap and small size) from marketplace which was approved since my IP was coming from UK. I wasn’t expect the game would come directly into my queue in xbox console since the console itself still connected to my home broadband connection, which mean the IP / location is recorded in Qatar. But to my surprise, the game is downloaded automatically there.

Currently I already ordered sonic unleashed using the same way (5.9 GB) and waiting for download process. I don’t know if this possibilities because of my gold membership, but if it is not then anyone can setup account for some region (or japan region as it is the most exclusive one) and download it using above method. And this is to also say that xbox marketplace only perform checking of source IP when order is about to be placed, after order is placed it will give the software to anywhere console is located. Soon as xbox console connected to xbox live the download will automatically begin. So we don’t have to setup bridge connection for the console itself. Now, I am not only depend on game availability here in Doha, but can download any game I like :).

Next…how to use feature like netflix while originally not allowed to be accessed from here, anyone? :p

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