Microsoft Points A Thing Of The Past?

The Xbox Live Community has shown their love for the ability to purchase on demand games with actual currency rather than Microsoft points and our favorite Xbox group product manager, Aaron Greenberg, has noticed. Mr. Greenberg recently gave G4TV a little background on the point system, the complexities of operating worldwide, and what could come next:

“We did it with Games On Demand and the response has been really good. I think people like to see the dollar amount. We never intended to ever mislead people. I think we want to be transparent about it, and so it is something that we’re looking at. How can we be more transparent and let people see it in actual dollars? The fact is that you’ve got to think that we have one service that we’re offering around the world. The nice thing about points is that no matter if you’re on the yen or the euro or the dollar — something that’s 200 points is 200 points everywhere around the world.”

“There’s more technical complexities to being able to put local prices in,” he continued. “You have to do that for every product in every country and you then have to deal with currency fluctuations. So there’s some challenges to that, but we absolutely did it with the Games On Demand, response has been good and absolutely it’s something we’re looking at doing.”

While having a conversation with a local advertising expert (my husband, Chad) we discussed what this means.

I think the point of the story is that it was a logistical issue when selling content across continents, and for Xbox, the easy solution was the point system but the consumer saw it differently.

As a good company should, Microsoft is listening to its consumers, testing marketing options, and adjusting, but in the end, the benefit to the consumer is that purchases could go to cash as opposed to points.  Who wants those left over 20 MS points anyways?

So there you have it, while is too early to speculate on when, where, or how, it’s still intriguing to keep our eyes open and see what may transpire in the near future.

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  • “Looking into doing” and actually doing something are two different things. MS has been “looking into doing” on fixing the 100 friends list limit since the first year of the Xbox 360 and we are still stuck with it. I would be happy to see a switch but I don’t see it this generation.

  • I absolutely agree! When Dirty Sissies was around I had to cut back my gamer friends a few times to make way for new ones, very inconvenient. But if PSN can allow its user to pay with cash then there has to be a way for XBL also. They just need to get it in gear.

  • REGUL80R

    i find the point system very annoying. Seeing as a new arcade game usually goes for 800 MSP and if I have a balance of less than 300 im suckered into buying 1000 for $12.50 and then with my remaining balance still dont have enough for another product besides that sweet ass assassins creed hoodie for my avatar.

    • Darkscience

      It’s been obvious to me from the start that the sole purpose of microsoft using MS points instead of actual currency is to sucker consumers into spend more cash then they plan on spending since MS point bundles always seem to exceed the exact amount of points needed for a purchase.They want to force you into buying 2000 points when you only need 1600.It’s a slick way of milking consumers for extra cash.

  • Moving away from a points system to a pure money system (a la PSN) is a complicated affair. Even if MS was to roll out a “real money for services” program, a legacy system for Microsoft Points would have to remain due to points being floated around out there due to cards, promotions, and other things.

    What REALLY should happen is a standardization of costs for certain goods… but that won’t happen either.