I Hate Microsoft Points

I Hate Microsoft Points

I hate Microsoft Points. I always have. And not simply because they’re essentially a cheap scam to confuse you on how much you’re actually paying. It’s because this crappy “currency” doesn’t act like any normal currency in the real world.

Let’s put this in perspective for a moment. In Japan, the going rate for 3500 Microsoft Points is ¥5000 ($63) This price has not changed much since this fiat currency (break out your dictionaries kids!) was initially introduced back in 2005 (they did remove the additional 5 per cent sales tax in 2011). It was ¥5000 then and it’s ¥5000 now. Meanwhile, the price of the Japanese yen has shot up during that time from around ¥115 to the US dollar back in 2005 to the current ¥78 (roughly a 30 per cent increase in cost). Basically, where I used to pay around $44 for 3500 MSPs, I now pay around $64.

It’s not enough that people have to purchase points in blocks that are generally more than the content that is purchased, leaving them with excess wasted points, I’m now paying more for the same game content than my American colleagues, where it used to be relatively equal. It’s like getting price gouged at the petrol pump, but only one country is getting the shaft.

This is why when I heard that they were phasing out Microsoft Points for purchases in Windows 8, I was overjoyed. Perhaps at last things could be bought for real-world prices. But no. Microsoft has confirmed with The Verge that it will be retaining the MSP system for Xbox purchases. So basically the gaming community still gets screwed. Dammit.

Microsoft Points phased out in favour of cash in Windows 8 [The Verge]


    • Actually, I will say one thing that is relevant to this particular article: the fluctuating exchange rate mentioned here actually works in our favour. I buy most of my MS points on an American account and save about 25% . Pretty much the only things I buy with my Australian account are Gold member deals and MA region locked stuff like the Dead Rising 2 prologues.

        • Bit late replying to this, but definitely works for XBLA content. I still do it all the time.

          I don’t think games on demand work because the actual game is region locked even if you can download it (and I haven’t been game to try because of the costs involved). And some adult rated content (like Dead Rising 2 prologues) gets blocked – though you can find out which ones by trying to download the demo first from a US account.

    • Don’t forget that Kotaku US don’t get Kotaku AU articles. Toshi wouldn’t have any idea that Mark wrote a thing, and it’s not in the job description to check.

      • That wasn’t really what I was saying – was more that I anticipated arguments covering more of the same. Though from what I understand, Mark or Elly need to choose to publish articles like this to the AU site, so it was surprising to see another one so similar.

        Why am I replying to these comments? Nobody is ever going to read them!?!

  • I may be totally wrong here and im about to go to a meeting so will just say this without too much research.. doesn’t this article forget to point out that the price of this in the local market (forget about exchange rates) has stayed the same for 7 years and as a result, the value of money has changed so these are actually cheaper today (by way of inflation etc) than it was back then?

    I mean what other product has stayed the same price for 7 years. Consoles get cheaper because the hardware is dated and old and production lifecycle efficiencies etc.. but points retain value and don’t depreciate as you can buy new or future content with them… so if this is the same as 7 years ago, and assuming that your salary has increased in line with CPI, then aren’t you paying less now than 7 years ago?

    These exchange rate arguments get confusing as they assume the world is pegged to the US currency… and as Batguy suggested, if its really a bother, there are ways to exploit this in your favour… informed consumers have the power to take advantage of this scenario actually….

    Its a tricky business. Not saying I like points, but there are a large number of things to consider.

    also now im late for that meeting… 🙂

    • Isn’t that true for every single video game software etc? The RRP hasn’t changed in the past 7 years and so you buy something cheaper today then you did years back.

      In fact games are now approximately 48% cheaper then they were in 1990.

    • The rebuttal to your “actually cheaper today” argument is that the points costs of a standard XBLA game has climbed over that time.

      And meetings, what did they ever achieve? Just tell ’em you were arguing on the Internet and they’lll understand, I promise!

    • That’s a fair point that MSP points don’t depreciate, but it excludes the issue that games on XBLA have appreciated in value. 1200 points seems to be the new standard, and soon it will be 1600 (Microsoft love the 400 point increment for some reason), up from 400 and 800.

      • OK fair enough, I was a late adopter of the console so missed these earlier jumps.. I did see minecraft at 1600 and realise that this was the start of something…

        But at least we can all agree on one thing, the meeting I went to didnt achieve anything… Should have taken Batguys advice.

  • I don’t mind the MSP system tooo much considering its only really used for XBLA, Avatar items and other selected items. Its already clear MS is in the process of replacing it as some Xbox games online are showing $ rather that points as the Games On Demand option, I think over time when the next Xbox hits we will see the options change like on Windows 8 (Using points or cash) but until then its no major issue…

    Any excess points I own now will get used in the Windows store and the rest will go to Xbox content I want.

    Personally I would like a Steam/Apple approach with actual $ figure with the wallet/pre-paid cards etc

  • It’s probably too late in the piece and too heavily established in Xbox to change it until the next hardware is around I’d wager.

  • This is one of the reasons why i’m going to sell my Xbox. Also, Xbox Live shouldn’t cost $60 a year just to access the multiplayer aspect of a video game. No other platform does this, but since it’s Micro$oft they feel entitled to do so because they realize how retarded the American people truly are. I don’t want all the ESPN bullshit, nor do I care about Facebook & Twitter as a dashboard application…. I just want to either watch Netflix or play Online.

    Microsoft, I sincerely hope you fail as a company because you’ve been hogging up the marketshare for far too long.

  • I know not buying the specific amount of points is annoying but it’s still cheaper than compared to PSN. PSN games are $5-$6 more expensive than the US store (which makes no sense) but XBLA is only $2.50-$3. Also points are always on sale so it works out cheaper.

    • How do you get cheaper than free ? Sony gave me 10 free games last week with a redemption code. All big titles. How is xbox beating that?

  • They even tried to get pc users to pay their scam sub fee when live was 1st released on pc. The result was lol. AAA titles sat unsold and millions of dollars lost. Someone should really show microsoft Steam and how it works and then sack their entire gfwl staff. I wonder if they even know why failed so hard with gfwl. The gfwl logo is a DO NOT BUY icon to pc users. Its a shame the console users couldnt get the sub fee removed but its kinda their own fault for being silly enough to pay it in the 1st place. If they stopped paying it would become free within a few weeks just as happened with pc.

  • I like to think that by Xbox charging to play online, it helps weed out the little snot faced kids who only play online to scream yo mamma jokes and curse at anyone who beats them.

    From what I’ve heard, the online Ps3 community is full of those little punks!

  • One of the many reasons I choose to stick with Sony,
    Putting Microsoft specifically aside these point things are used in other places not just XBL, I hate that it exists and it is a massive rip.

    In saying that, just get a PC for gaming and use Steam. Much cheaper than consoles, you can play your old and new games. It is really the most gamer focused true open platform.

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