November 22nd marks the one-year anniversary of the Xbox One’s general availability in 13 regions, and to celebrate Microsoft is giving away a bunch of cool stuff to people who bought the console between the 22nd of November 2013 and the 11th of November 2014. Just not you, South African Xbox One fans.

That’s right, if you bought the console when it launched in South Africa nearly two months ago, you’re not eligible to get free stuff. It’s for launch regions only. The celebration was announced by Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb on his official blog.

It makes sense, in a way – we haven’t had the Xbox One here for a year yet so we can’t really expect to be rewarded with being onboard with Microsoft’s vision for a full 12 months (or 11.6 if you want to be picky). It’s still annoying, especially considering what Microsoft is giving away.

For starters, all eligible Xbox One gamers get the following:

  • A Year One Gamer Picture
  • New Xbox One backgrounds: A special Year One background as well as an exclusive Day One background for those who unlocked the Day One achievement
  • A Year One background image for use on Twitter, your desktop, etc.
  • A free rental of “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” (for a limited time)
  • A free rental of “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods” movie and a sampler pack of “Dragon Ball Z” TV episodes (for a limited time, available in the U.S. and Canada only)

It gets worse. Microsoft is also giving away the following to randomly-selected gamers:

  • Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle
  • Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle
  • One month membership for Xbox One-exclusive EA Access service
  • Tiger Shark cash card for Grand Theft Auto V, worth $200,000 in-game GTA Online dollars
  • Forza gift pack with Forza RallyCross hat, Lamborghini Huracán 1/24 scale replica, and Xbox One Controller (launch team edition) signed by Tanner Foust, host of Top Gear America, Global RallyCross champion and professional stunt driver
  • Forza Horizon 2 Limited Edition Casio G-Shock Men’s Black Multi-Function Digital Sports Watch
  • Grand Theft Auto V gift pack with the Los Santos Sheriff Trucker cap, Michael, Franklin and Trevor Posters, and a Grand Theft Auto V sticker pack
  • Xbox Live Gold 12-month membership digital code
  • Killer Instinct Season 1 Combo Breaker Pack, the retail version of Killer Instinct Xbox One’s first season and includes all eight season one characters: Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, and Spinal. Also includes Fulgore DLC character.
  • Special limited edition Nissan 370Z, featuring a custom Casio livery for Forza Horizon 2
  • Air Vehicle shortcut for Battlefield 4 for immediate access to all available unlocks for helicopters and jets available in the main Battlefield 4 game
  • Arno’s French Rapier for Assassin’s Creed Unity to improve your combat skills
  • 75 Platinum in Warframe
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Costume Pack for Peggle 2
  • Epic Quest Table in Pinball FX2
  • Dance Central Spotlight (full game token)
  • Project Spark Premium – 15 days: Grants 2x gain of Spark XP, credits, and champion XP, as well as the ability to purchase new token-only content for earned in-game credits

And if you happen to qualify and you signed up to receive marketing emails from Xbox One, you’ll get a personalised email telling you what you’ve achieved over the past year (or however long you’ve had the console for). That’s a pretty cool celebration, and it really sucks that SA gamers can’t be part of it.

The only silver lining I can think of is if you imported the console before general South African availability and you have a US or UK Xbox Live account; if that’s you, you may still qualify for the digital goods being given away.

Major Nelson was sure to mention that Microsoft is “just getting started in some markets, [and] we remain committed to all of our incredible fans worldwide and we’re so grateful for your support over the last year”, so perhaps there is hope that on our one-year anniversary we’ll get something similar.

As soon as we know something official (we’ve asked), we’ll let you know.

[Source & Image – Majornelson.com]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.