Microsoft may phase out its virtual currency system (ex. Microsoft Points) by the end of the year. Inside Mobile Apps reports that XBox creators will discontinue Microsoft Points in favor of real money based on the local region of XBL (XBox Live) accounts. It may be surprising for some, but Microsoft has already introduced cash purchases for its full downloadable Xbox 360 games as well as XBL Arcade games. No more MS Points.
Typically, there were four different packages you could buy to purchase Microsoft Points. Points that allow customers to purchase game add-ons, themes, avatar pieces and more. The points can also be used in the Zune Marketplace to purchase music and videos. Microsoft has long been criticized for its approach to the points system. Since the launch of XBL, most criticism did not come from calculating conversion rates between MS points and cash. Instead, it was users having to purchase points in increments which would always leave a remaining number of points that may fall short of a cheap download. 80 Microsoft Points converts to one dollar in the US, and users are often left with remaining points to purchase from four different packages. XBL users end up with more than they actually need.
Windows Phone accepts Microsoft Points for Xbox Live avatar items, but game purchases and applications use US currency. Despite the drawbacks of virtual MS Points, it makes sense for Microsoft to phase the system out, although we cannot verify the report.
Even if the report were to be true and Microsoft were to phase it out tomorrow, questions remain. Will it get transferred to cash credit or will you lose it once the points are phased out? To note, all packages to buy MS Points are not discounted when buying 4000 MS Points. 80 MS Points will still convert to one dollar.
LTG received a statement from the company saying it “doesn’t comment on rumours or speculation.”