Microsoft axing Points - Report

Xbox maker reportedly killing off Microsoft Points in favor of gift card system and normal cash transactions based on real-world currency.

It has been a long time coming, but Microsoft is reportedly ready to officially kill off its Points system of virtual currency, primarily used through the Xbox platform.

Sources have told The Verge that Microsoft will replace Points with a gift card system similar to Apple's iTunes codes, allowing shoppers to use real-world currency to purchase virtual content.

In addition, the sources said cash transactions through credit and debit cards will be supported. This new virtual currency system will be compatible across Microsoft's online marketplaces, including Xbox, the Windows Store, and the Windows Phone Store.

The new system will reportedly be officially announced as soon as the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo early next month and introduced later in the year ahead of the arrival of Microsoft's next Xbox.

A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, "We don't comment on rumors or speculation."

The first report of Microsoft axing Points came in January 2012, when a source said the company was planning to phase out its Points system by the end of the year in favor of real-world currency.

Microsoft Points have been in place since the inception of Xbox Live and have not been without criticism. Rather than using real-world currency, Microsoft has adopted its own system, where 400 Microsoft Points is equivalent to $5. Further, Microsoft sells Point packs only in multiples of 400, often leaving gamers with excess points after purchasing content that they want.

This last point led to a 2010 class-action lawsuit, where Microsoft was accused of defrauding the class by "collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

424 comments
0rionTh3Hun7er
0rionTh3Hun7er

I would rather have extra points instead of one freakin penny.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I can't believe they're doing this to pander to complaints from people, but it's good that they're doing it no matter the reason. I never liked what I heard about it. That virtual currrency system they created seemed like it only served to make the value of services more abstract by not letting people pay real cash for it. "No, you have to transform into our own little currency which just happens to obscure the real price of things". An excellent technique of getting more money out of people, but not very admirable.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Better find something to do with the few points I have left.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

Typical! I just got a 1200 MS point card too!

Legojake94
Legojake94

aww man. no more free microsoft from using bing :c

Agentminty47
Agentminty47

Some valid comments, some of witch I agree with but let me play devil's advocate for a moment. Un-used ms points do not become worthless after you have bought marketplace content because as we all know it can go towards something else. And at the very least be used at a later date for when you don't have the money to buy DLC for a game you buy in the future. But as I said at the start I agree with some if not all of the comments about ms points.

Should ms points ditched in favor of real world money?. You bet your arse they should. 

gard3
gard3

Microsoft is great at coming up with good solutions years after they've been asked to come up with that solution. My next one for them is "Quit pretending we want Bing."

ZOD777
ZOD777

The fact that you cannot just flat out buy something without first purchasing points is just stupid.  They intentionally did this to create an illusion about what the points are worth, not unlike casinos using chips at table games.  Sure the user is probably aware of how many dollars they spend on initial point packages, but sooner or later (unless you are vigilant about breaking down the exact points per dollar) most users are going to lose sight of what they are really worth when depleting a pool of points.  Casinos use chips (for several reasons) because players are more likely to part with chips than the same amount of money  even though the chips are clearly marked with values.  It is much easier to toss 4 red chips worth 5 dollars each into the betting ring than it is to part with a 20 dollar bill.  Somehow the mind is tricked into believing that the chips are somehow not worth as much as they really are.  Microsoft did something similar with MS points, but they one upped that trick by making the point values much different than dollar values.  Sneaky? Yes. Illegal? No.  But the part that is somewhat questionable is charging 5 dollars for 400 points, and most things in the MS store end in 99 cents.  This floating penny gets unspent, which forces users to buy more points in order to give that floating penny value again, otherwise kiss it goodbye.  Yuck.  Good riddance to MS points. 

mxpower
mxpower

Now they need to let you use netflix for free. I dont care about online gaming but its kinda lame to have to pay twice to use netflix or any of the other apps. 

franzito
franzito

Points are worthless. Period.

BloodFatality
BloodFatality

I'm Jumping the console ship in favor of PC gaming. 

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

sweet....points can be pretty crappy....you always pay for more than  you can use 

TooCoolForYou
TooCoolForYou

Now if only Microsoft would just get rid of Xbox Live Gold and do what Sony is doing with the free the play internet service then I would be impressed.

EggEmperor
EggEmperor

It's funny how the cheapest Microsoft Points can be found in Japan. Just glad there won't be any currency advantage i.e. US$20 will bag you more MSP in one country than in another.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

Huzzah, one less ramjob to customers, who were forced to buy more points than they needed for just about every transaction.

blackace
blackace

Glad they are finally getting rid of that. They should have done this a long time ago.

Carreau13
Carreau13

Yea, that's only a few years too late. Valve has been rocking this to great success and profit for quite some time.

Morgueson
Morgueson

Sure, Sony uses real dollar... since when did they became profitable?

pound-u
pound-u

Good. The points system is absolutely stupid, especially if you live outside of the US. Here in Canada, it costs $20 for 1400 points, while $20 is 1600 points in the US.

hmdcrazy
hmdcrazy

MICROSOFT=points

SONY=$$$$

MICROSOFT Is now getting $$$ 

SONY= Laughing their ass off 

wyan_
wyan_

Good! -because even though I know 1200 points isn't $1200 my sub-conscious keeps telling me that's too expensive. I like that Sony uses real dollars and have made more impulse buys on PSN because of that.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

It better be true, otherwise I'd be pissed off.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Best news I've heard about Microsoft since Windows 7. It was always a stupid idea.

Kosake
Kosake

About damned time.  MS points have always been a flawed idea that leaves buyers confused and ambivalent about their purchase.  PS3 uses real dollar amounts, Wii uses a simple 100 pts = $1.00 system, and here's MS using some backwards system with a $1.00 = 80 pts system.

kbaily
kbaily

MS's points were stupid and didn't make any sense.  Sony was nice enough to use actual money and even Nintendo points you could figure out 100pts=$1. 

weetbix23
weetbix23

A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, "We don't comment on rumors or speculation."

I wonder if they just throw that in there whenever a new rumor comes up, without even asking them about the issue? I've read that statement so many times

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Should have been that way from the get-go.

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

No no no nooooooooooooo 

i loved the point system, also i could buy from any site the points i need cause it was either european or US and it's not like the dogshit PSN money card 

that i have to suffer sony's lack of brains when it comes to currerncy conversions 

hell a new game on their store costs 60$ so on UK it cost 50 fucking pounds 

and in my coin it cost 400 fucking ILS 

WTH sony?! 

that's why i prefered the points, it's global and you doesn't have to suffer false Conversion 

so it's really sad watching microsoft drop their point system...

HaK-ForgoTT3n
HaK-ForgoTT3n

@mxpower You don't care about online gaming yet you pay for gold just for net fix? You're an idiot. Use the PS3 numb nuts.

theslimdavylp
theslimdavylp

@mxpower It should be free on Xbox if you have a Netflix account... why are you paying twice?

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@BloodFatality Me too! After GTA V is done and dusted that is!

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

@hmdcrazy 

One of the biggest fails I've read on Gamespot in a while. Thank you, hmdcrazy.

blackace
blackace

@hmdcrazy Sony is still trying to figure out how to get out of a $8 billion dept that the PS3 put them in. Making a $356 million profit this past quarter didn't get them out of the RED, that's for sure. 

kleinster123
kleinster123

@hmdcrazy wtf? that made little to no sense, did you even think before you wrote this?

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

@wyan_ 

I know- you never really have a clear idea of how much you are spending. It makes it hard to weigh up whether you are getting value for your money.

But I reckon that this encourages impulse buys on the xbox because 'points' don't have a clear value. 

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@kbaily It was always just a way to trick people into forgetting about the fact that they were spending actual money.

y3ivan
y3ivan

@thequickshooter Some example, PSN US charging $10 while PSN UK charging  £8

So buying from PSN store cost more than US store by exchange rate.


This does not applied only thru SOE, but i have seen it been used in most of microtransations system

y3ivan
y3ivan

@thequickshooter i like the point system too, especially for non-US currencies. Its much easier to calculated the actual value, then having to convert different currency just to now the actual rate.

ACMC85
ACMC85

@thequickshooter So you rather use a virtual currency conversion system? Either way, you were converting currency.

mxpower
mxpower

@theslimdavylp @mxpower 

Well maybe you know something I don't but when I try to get on netflix it says I need a gold membership with XBL. I'm looking at it right now. I have a ps3 and blu ray players with netflix but it's the idea they want extra for something everyone else has free. 

TooCoolForYou
TooCoolForYou

@ZexionLuv @TooCoolForYou I've heard. But a man can dream, can he? lol. That's why I'm looking forward to Playstation 4 a lot more next gen. And this is coming from a guy who currently plays Xbox 360 more.

hmdcrazy
hmdcrazy

@kleinster123 @hmdcrazy OK What I was trying to say is that Sony is Laughing their ass off because NOW Microsoft is changing to money cards when Sony have had it for ever. Get it?

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

@y3ivan @thequickshooter yeah, everytime i bought a PAL game 

i have to pay through pounds since playstation DLC is region locked 

so that's why i'm still in favor of the add filled xbox over the playstation 

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

@ACMC85 @thequickshooter dude a dolar is 3.6 ILS 

so take 60 and covert it=216 ILS 

and sony charges 400 because they cannot convert right 

so that's why i loved points 800 points is 800 points in any reign 

and the price still the same 

in any reign 

kagento
kagento

@TT_audi_34 @TooCoolForYou @ZexionLuv Bethesda's issues with PS3 were caused by poor ports mainly due to the system architecture and their engine problems. As PS4's architecture is more "normal" this time around it shouldn't be a problem for next gen.

TT_audi_34
TT_audi_34

@TooCoolForYou @ZexionLuv Same here. Xbox 360 user but am looking towards PS4. Only thing that is stopping me is Bethesda because their games play better on Xbox and have DLC exclusivity or sumthin'. Hopefully that changes in the next gen.