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REPORT: Microsoft Points To Be Discontinued By Year End?

Matt Gardner
Digital Distribution, Microsoft, Microsoft Points, Windows Phone 7, Xbox Live, Zune Marketplace

REPORT: Microsoft Points To Be Discontinued By Year End?

Well this is interesting. According to a new report, Microsoft appear set to discontinue the use of Microsoft Points when it comes to transactions in the virtual marketplaces in a move that will affect the way consumer purchases operate across Xbox LIVE, Zune and Windows Phone.

According to Inside Mobile Apps, who themselves received the information from "a source with knowledge of the company’s decision", all transactions will be based on the region set on the purchasing account, with "real money" used to purchase all content, presumably directly. As the site notes, this would put Microsoft alongside Apple and Google in the way they conduct online transactions.

The report also states that "mobile developers that have publishing agreements with Microsoft are being warned to plan their upcoming downloadable content (DLC) and in-app purchases in accordance with the change" and that existing Points will be converted into region currency once the scheme has been rolled out properly. We'd expect the exchange rate on that to be fairly crap, though, so don't bother hoarding. Especially not with the House Party coming up.

Although just a rumour at this point, it wouldn't be surprising if the move happened. Direct cash prices occupy certain parts of Xbox LIVE, notably Classics titles and direct downloads for full retail games. Furthermore, the Microsoft Points system has come under fire in the past for unnecessarily complicating digital transactions, though it might be said that the fluctuating 'exchange rates' have proven useful for a deals site of our nature.

Thanks, EG.

Add a comment4 comments
Late  Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:49

Hope this doesn't happen. I'm one of those who stocks up when there's a good price (I currently have around 7k points, which could last me 6 months or two years depending on what's decent in the xbla marketplace).
I also think MS would suffer from such a change. At the moment parents might give their kids a points card from time to time, to spend as they see fit. If they switched to a direct purchase system presumably with a payment card linked to each account, (a) they'd miss out on those sales (who's going to give their kids access to their credit card?); and (b) there's more presumably more risk of people being defrauded.
A lot of people have recently seen their accounts compromised and points stolen. Nasty, but so much worse if your credit card's accessed...

DivideByZero  Jan. 24, 2012 at 13:09

I like the points idea. You can geat deals on points... to get deals on reakl money you risk jail time... and I think they have Playstation in prison.

DrTrouserPlank  Jan. 24, 2012 at 13:20

I've got a couple of 2100 points card stockpiled, but if the exchange rate on them will be unfavourable if such a changeover takes place I'd probably be better off selling them now instead of adding them to my account. I'd break even on about £15 per card in any exchange scheme.

Really though, MS ought to exchange unspent points at the rate which they charge for them via the console, and that's significantly more than £15 for 2100 points.

Last edited by DrTrouserPlank, Jan. 24, 2012 at 13:20
Late  Jan. 24, 2012 at 15:58

Really though, MS ought to exchange unspent points at the rate which they charge for them via the console, and that's significantly more than £15 for 2100 points.

I think I paid around £45 for my 7k points (I average around £13-£14 for 2100 points), so if they did exchange at current microsoft online prices I'd get £60 - my money's gone up by a third. Kerching...
Sounds good until you realise everything you want to buy from the marketplace has gone up in price by a third, though - so you're no better or worse off while you use up that credit, and then you're a lot worse off thereafter.
Horrible idea.

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