Many of our readers might be blissfully unaware of a problem that has been affecting many younger users of the Xbox Live Marketplace (one of the benefits of having a user base with an average age over 25). Since a recent update users under 18 years old have been unable to download content, both paid and free, from the Marketplace, they are still able to purchase points but not even unrestricted material can be received if the account shows the user is underage.

Microsoft have an official statement regarding this issue and are offering a the solution of a refund of any Microsoft Points that they might have purchased that they are now unable to utilise. Full statement after the break.

Microsoft is a responsible company and believes in working together with families to use media in ways that are fun, safe and healthy.  The company is very mindful of expectations about providing access to appropriate content on its Xbox LIVE marketplace.

By default, under 18s are not given access to Xbox LIVE or the ability to download paid content from Xbox LIVE until an adult has consented.

A recent update to Xbox LIVE has now restricted downloads of content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace for the under 18s even where an adult had previously consented. We regret any inconvenience that this update has created and we are working on developing a solution.  This is not a simple matter and we are unable to confirm when that may be, but we will communicate developments with our young gamers.

All New Zealand content is still accessible via an adult account on any console, so parents can still download appropriate content for younger gamers to use on the same console, and for their own use. The update has had no impact on them chatting with friends online and young gamers can still enjoy the popular online multiplayer gameplay features.

Until we can restore downloads of appropriate content for under 18s, we are also working on removing the ability for people under the age of 18 to add points that can’t currently be spent.

We encourage anyone affected by this issue to contact us via our customer call centre for a refund on their Microsoft points purchased. The details are or on 0508 555 592.

Xbox wants New Zealanders to be assured that we take a responsible view on access to appropriate content and Xbox 360 has family setting that enable parents to manage the gaming experience in their home.

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