Ever since the Xbox Live service launched for the Xbox 360 in 2005, Microsoft Points have been a bothersome issue that many users have been complaining about. Nevertheless, this may be solved soon as various reports are stating that the woefully inadequate Microsoft Points currency system is going to be replaced by real-world money.
Making online transactions on the Xbox 360 is not exactly complex, but the system used to do so is. Microsoft apparently knows this and will soon try to replace it for a more convenient method as according to the report, by the end of 2012, Microsoft Points won’t exist anymore. It’s worth pointing out that this will also apply to Windows Phone and Zune marketplaces as those services also use the cumbersome currency system.
Additionally, it should be taken into account that the service is currently quite complete as it offers XBLA titles, downloadable content, avatars, movies and digital versions of games. Getting rid of this system in favor of real-world money is perfect for those users who use the service a lot, mainly because points don’t reflect the value in a clear way. For example, 80 Microsoft Points equal $1,400 points equal $5 and so on, but this is extremely confusing because the user needs to constantly make a conversion whenever he or she needs to make a purchase on the service to see how much they are really spending.
At the same time, Microsoft needs to look at its competitors, Sony’s service prices its items on real dollars making transaction not only easy, but also quite transparent because you know what you are getting, for how much and how much money you have left to keep buying more content. Nintendo on the other hand, does use points for digital transactions but those points have user-friendly conversions so 100 points are $1 and 1000 points are $10.
In addition, if a particular user wants to buy something on Microsoft’s service that is 60 Microsoft Points and he or she has no points, they are forced to buy a card of 1600 Points (the cheapest option) so they can make that purchase, something that is definitely inadequate. Point Packs with different amount of points are currently sold at different retailers (Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Sears and other American retailers) but even so, many of the people who buy these packs don’t know what they are actually getting.
Microsoft hasn’t made any official announcements regarding this yet, but this rumor makes a lot of sense considering that most users have complained about the inconvenience of using Microsoft Points for a long while. Apart from Microsoft itself, this change would also be very beneficial to all the companies that sell their games on the Xbox Live service and of course, the users who buy them.