Rumor: Microsoft Killing Microsoft Points, Will Use Real Money Instead

Rumor: Microsoft Killing Microsoft Points, Will Use Real Money Instead

Good news, haters of arbitrary online currencies! The end for Microsoft’s confusing “Points” system may be near, if a report on Inside Mobile Apps is to be believed.

The mobile site claims that Microsoft’s Points will be “phased out” by the end of 2012, with transactions to be listed in a user’s local currency instead.

The move wouldn’t just impact Xbox Live, it would affect the Zune Marketplace and Windows Phone users as well.

One has to wonder, given the timing of the (potential and unconfirmed) move, whether the spate of Xbox Live account break-ins is behind the change.

We’ve contacted Microsoft for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Exclusive: Microsoft to discontinue its virtual currency system Microsoft Points [Inside Mobile Apps]


  • About blood time!… Hopefully you can still buy valued cards to prevent the requirement of a CC being attached to your account.

    • well seeing that Sony are doing exactly this, I don’t see why Microsoft wouldn’t adopt this method as it’s already there in the form of MSP.

  • Very happy if this goes ahead. However I am a little worried by Arcade games that are 800 points on both the US and AU marketplace suddenly becoming something like $12 US and $16 AU, as happens with most games.

    • That’s basically the same situation now, though, isn’t it? They cost the same number of points, but doesn’t it cost different amounts of money to actually buy those points in different regions?

      • Actually yes very much so. Never really paid that much attention. Eh either way as bigkid said below “less confusion”

      • Yep. This would have no effect on regional price differences. But at least it would allow you to purchase just what you want, without always having pointless change in your account.

    • Well that’s really annoying, because I would buy my microsoft points online at the same price Americans pay, therefore getting the same amount of points at the actual value, not the inflated value, so this is really going to be a pain for me.

  • As long as the prices are consistant and not marked up this is entirely good news. I’m riled up when you spend credit and left with just enough that you can’t buy anything. This’ll be a welcome change.

    • I really don’t understand why people have a problem with this. Are you ever going to buy anything in the future? If so, does it really matter to you whether you spend a couple more dollars now or later? It’s just getting worked up over nothing 😛 But that’s another argument…

      If MS switch to real currency, I imagine it will still have this same problem – see the Nintendo store only selling batches of credit, and the wallet system for smaller transactions on the PSN.

      • I have a problem with it because it forces me to give them cash, up-front, interest free, for a purchase I haven’t decided to make yet.

        And the worst part is, they do it because it makes it really hard to work out how much your actually spending. How dodgy is that?

        • DIfferent issues there – points were designed to divorce the purchase from real dollars. I think bulk purchases are designed to reduce transaction fees for the provider.

          • It is also to make it so in the event of a refund the points are refunded not the dollars. Riot did this to a friend of mine on LOL

          • Who’s talking about bulk purchases? MS offers that option, but they also sell in point amounts that are less than anything on the live arcade.

            Make no mistake, this is a psychological trick to make people feel like their not spending real money. They got the idea from casino’s believe it or not.

      • Doesn’t keep me up at night or any thing, but whenever I see the left over amounts it mildly annoys me. Reason enough to change it. 😛 Plus the fact that it’s most likely intentional, a means to keep you buying credit. Not the end of the world, but since they’re implementing changes nows the perfect time to fix it.

  • So I guess then that this will end up looking like the Nintendo DS Shop – where things looked more affordable when in points form as opposed to the dollar amount? (Note I haven’t purchased anything from the Nintendo store since they made the switch).

    Although, in some ways the transparency is nice, despite the difference we’ll see in pricing.

    • Ah that’s a fair comment.

      I’ve only ever bought 1 lot of MS points (for Monday Night Combat), so this has no bearing on me, but many of my DLC-loving friends love grabbing their MS cards when they’re on sale, or from various online outlets.

      I guess that idea is shot to pieces now.

      • Think of the way iTunes have handled it, if MS can do the same as them (Without apple suing them) then im all for it. I dont like the idea of having my CC details online so as long as there are prepiad card avalible then fine.

      • If you look at iTunes cards which are real currency, they go on sale all the time (Kmart are doing 2 x $20 cards for $30). So you should still be able to get discounts.

  • I’m guessing stores will give us fair values now, unlike Eb Games selling 3000 point cards for $60 when there actual value is $50

  • I’d say this is a move towards a future update for Free to Play titles to allow for the purchase of in-game items with real-world money.

  • Umm interesting, the whole reason its there is to desensitize consumers from thinking they are actually spending more money, in the offset of getting them to spend more money. They also had on larger numbers to the actual number to add further that you are getting more when you really buying 15 dollars credit.

    • I think the major player behind this as well is the Zune and soon to be W8 store… Seems the only real reason why they bring a $$ value in… Allows a better comparison against others services…

  • Well that has a high chance to screw users who have moved countries over.

    As I live in AU but am stuck with having an NZ Live account. With points both AU & NZ are the same region, so I can easily buy cards here and use on a NZ account. If they go to the currency of the user account, I’ll be stuck having an account in NZD. So what will happen then in the purchase of future credit in AUD?

    • Believe it or not, its borderline impossible to migrate a live account overseas as it is. I lost all my points because my hotmail account was based in the US, and I changed it to an Australian one. They promised me a refund, but I never got it.

  • So, does this mean Australians are going to stop getting ripped off with prices? I certainly hope so.

    At the moment we pay around 30% more for MS points even though our dollar is stronger.

  • I dont like this because what about those who dont like to use pay pal or credit card on their xbox account. Will this mean no longer buying ms points at retailers?

  • Maybe this has to do with Free to Play titles coming to Xbox 360 in the future who are funded by micro-transactions?

  • Yeah, I didn’t want MS to have my CC again after the palaver trying to cancel my Live account (as had bought a 12 month one cheaper). Where’s the best place to buy points from? I need 4,000 for COD Elite.

  • Do anyone think this will happen for xbox live gold membership as well as for the microsoft points?

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