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Real money comes to Xbox Live

Latest update converts Microsoft Points to local currency; system had been in place since inception of Xbox Live.


A new Xbox Live update launched today converts Microsoft Points to real-world currency determined by a user's geographic location.

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The next time users initiate a purchase or redeem a Microsoft Points card or code on their console, Microsoft will add to their account an amount of local currency equal or greater than the value of their Microsoft Points.

The currency added to accounts at the time of this transition will expire on June 1, 2015, Microsoft said. Currency purchased and added to an account after the transition will not expire. More information about the change is available through an official FAQ.

The transition was announced during Microsoft's Electronic Entertainment Expo briefing in June. Earlier this month, Microsoft explained the reasoning behind the update.

"This change was a direct result of customer feedback," chief product officer Marc Whitten said at the time. "You told us you want to be able to buy things using money instead of points, and we listened."

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

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