If you’re a gamer and you love action-fantasy RPGs, then there’s a good chance you’ve already played through Polish video game developer CD Projekt RED‘s monster-slaying adventure The Witcher, and its 2011 sequel The Witcher: Assassin of Kings. It was recently announced that the planned third game in the trilogy, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, would be the first game in the series to be released on the PlayStation 4, and a new gameplay trailer unveiled at E3 this week has confirmed that it will also be available for the Xbox One.

Fans of The Witcher series in its home country of Poland, however, will have to find a different platform on which to play the game. Microsoft has released a list of countries where it will be possible to use the new console at launch – all 21 of them:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Outside of those countries, Xbox Support has confirmed on Twitter that the Xbox One simply won’t work at all. This is because the console is dependent on a connection to Xbox Live and Xbox servers, as the Xbox One must check in online once a day, and all games must be activated online. For a console to work, it would need to be tied to an account in an authorized region, but not only does it seem that gamers are not permitted to use an account for an address outside of their home country, it’s also been suggested that even if an Xbox One user with an account in an authorized region goes travelling and takes their Xbox One with them, it may not work in the new country. To be honest – and we’ve been saying this a lot with regards to the Xbox One launch – it’s all a bit unclear.

The console will not be released in Asia until some time in 2014, and there are no concrete details as to how many of the other 175 countries in the world might eventually get functional Xbox Ones, though Xbox Support promised that Microsoft is “always looking to expand the amount of supported regions.” The reveal has led to much anger and confusion, with Xbox Support effectively having to advise people to hold off on buying an Xbox One.

Game Informer spoke to Marcin Iwinski, the co-founder and CEO of CD Projekt RED, and asked him how he felt about the news, especially given the fact that The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will be the first game in the series to be released across PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

“I was just in a restaurant and saw the list. I was surprised, and I really hope that it isn’t final. I think Polish gamers will speak out loud. From my perspective, it’s a sad situation.”

A sad situation indeed, since after making a deal to distribute The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on Xbox One, Iwinski will have to use another platform if he wants to play his own game. Polish fans who enjoyed playing The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings on their Xbox 360 will have to buy a PS4 or a decent gaming PC if they want to find out what happens next in the story.

We’re trying not to be too negative about the Xbox One, but it’s becoming readily apparent to many console gamers that Microsoft is being crushed by Sony at E3 2013, to the point that Sony’s marketing for the PS4 has deliberately poked fun at the negative press surrounding Xbox One’s policies. Incidentally, since the PS4 does not require a daily internet connection, Sony’s next-gen console will be functional worldwide at launch.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is set for release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2014.

Source: Microsoft, Game Informer