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Microsoft Points to be discontinued?

Seth Barton
24 Jan 2012
Xbox Live
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Xbox Live currency looks to be scrapped

It looks like the long-derided Microsoft Points system, used primarily for buying content on its Xbox Live service, will be scrapped - according to an insider source talking to www.insidemobileapps.com.

The current points system means you must purchase MS points before buying anything on the service. In the UK this meant you had to purchase a minimum of around £5 of points. The points could then be used to buy add-on packs for games, streaming video rentals and other media content.

The system always seemed unnecessary, why not simply charge people a cash price instead, rather than forcing them to have a a balance of points left over after every transaction that then hung around on the system. All those unspent points must have been good for Microsoft, but it certainly wasn't popular.

One argument in favour was that kids could be given points to spend on the console, without them equating those gifts directly with cash. Though it's a pretty weak argument indeed.

Any change is probably due to Microsoft bringing together all its various online stores into one single destination. Currently the Zune marketplace and in-app purchases on Windows Phone can also be made with points. With Windows Phone growing in strength and Windows 8 likely to be very app-friendly (and further integrated with Xbox Live), it seems that points have outlasted there usefulness as Microsoft looks to get serious about joining its various brands for content sales.

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