Microsoft phasing out virtual currency system?

Specialist mobile site reports that publisher is looking to end its proprietary Microsoft points currency system in favor of real-world money.

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Source: A report on specialist mobile site InsideMobileApps.com, quoting "a source with knowledge of the company's decision."

What we heard: Since the inception of Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, Microsoft has relied on its custom Microsoft points currency system to be the primary choice for all its online transactions. However, the system hasn't been without its criticisms, with a lawsuit over Microsoft's unused digital currency surfacing just last year.

According to the report, the Microsoft points currency will be phased out over the next few months and completely gone by the end of 2012. In its place, the software and hardware giant will allegedly begin to use real-world currencies around the globe.

The report states the move won't just be restricted to Xbox Live Arcade, with both the Zune and Windows Phone Marketplaces also making the migration over to real-world dollars.

Is it almost time to say goodbye to Microsoft points?
Is it almost time to say goodbye to Microsoft points?

According to the story, Microsoft has already started informing mobile developers of the impending changes to its currency system and warned them to take it into consideration for future products.

The official story: A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot AU: "Microsoft doesn't comment on rumors and speculation."

GameSpot AU also contacted a prolific game development studio with numerous games on Microsoft platforms--whose identity has been kept off the record--who reported that it has not heard any reports regarding a change to Microsoft's currency system.

Bogus or not bogus: With the push for companies to develop universal platforms, it would make sense for Microsoft to want to unify its currency system under one umbrella.

If true, the change could be designed to appease mobile users, putting the Windows Phone Marketplace on par with trading practices that both the Apple App Store and Android's Marketplace abide by. Currently, users of Microsoft's mobile platform can use both Microsoft points and real-world money to purchase music and videos but not applications.

Without a doubt, this change would make buying content on Microsoft marketplaces easier to compare and understand.

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