xbox360transfer (8k image)Microsoft has finally got around to releasing the Xbox 360 Licence Migration Tool, a method for people like me to transfer content from old consoles to new.

Y’see, each purchased download – whether that’s an add-on for a retail game, or an Xbox Live Arcade title – is licensed in two ways: on the console, and on the GamerTag. Any user of the console it was orginally purchased via can use the content, as can the owner of the GamerTag through which it was purchased. Which is great if you keep the same console for ever.

When I upgraded to an Elite, however, I ran into a snag. Although the transfer cable shuffled all my downloaded content off the old 20GB drive and onto the new 120GB, it //didn’t// transfer the licences. Although //I// could still play all the downloaded content, Ceri couldn’t. Well, unless I was signed in.

As an example, say Ceri wanted to play Crackdown with the additional content I’ve paid for. She’d turn the Xbox on, sign in, pick up the second controller, sign //me// in, switch back to her desktop, load the game. Somewhat cumbersome, I’m sure you’ll agree – but the only way she can use the content on the new console.

This new tool does away with that, and gathers any titles your GamerTag has bought into one big bundle that then gets authenticated to a single console. Which means //all// my content works with my new console, no messing. There are restrictions – you can only use it once every twelve months, for example – but it’s a lot better than nothing.

The only downside: you have to re-download your content in order to get the new licensing information. As it’s kindly told me I’ve got 530 individual licences, I could be some time…

Oh, and a word of warning: it wouldn’t work properly for me in Firefox 3.0, but it worked fine in Internet Explorer. Cheers, Microsoft. Not.

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