Microsoft Points to be Discontinued?

An Inside Mobile Apps report (via GI Biz) is claiming that Microsoft is set to do away with its Microsoft Points system, instead bringing in real-world currency. Apparently developers with upcoming downloadable games are being briefed about the change.

As it stands you can only buy Microsoft Points in set amounts, meaning there is normally an over-spend when it comes to purchasing Xbox LIVE content.


Personally I would welcome a change like this!



  1. Given Microsoft’s recent attitude towards the blatent hack of their security I won’t be buying anything off their store anymore but this change would be great for those who want to take the risk

    • Valid point, if they can’t keep your points safe then how will anyone trust them with an actual card number

  2. Why didn’t they do this to begin with?

    • Same reason stores offer gift vouchers. You buy the points, the money you spent goes in the bank and collects interest until you actually spend the points.

      The interest on a tenners worth of MS points is tiny, but imagine how many millions of dollars worth of points are left hanging around in peoples accounts.

      Companies make huge amounts in interest from these schemes.

      • Simple business tool well explained.

        One tiny step further, and one I would expect MS to at least consider is a model similar to that used by the likes of Funky Pigeon. The customer credits their account with £20 and gets a free £5 making a credit of £25. Great for the customer (caveat coming…) and great for the business having secured a customer and £20 in their coffers.
        The business will have a significant stockpile of cash from their base of customers to make interest off and the margins that they actually charge on each card (or game) enough to cover the ‘free’ £5 each customer is credited.

      • I’ve never really thought about it like that. I only thought they implemented a points system so people don’t feel like they are spending actual money (which I think is stupid…).

      • I also believe that this was intentially made to be confusing so that people dont actually understand how much things cost. Makes sense as I used to put points on for a game and had no idea how much had actually come out of my bank.

    • Wonder if shifting the burden of card processing fees to retailers had an impact

      • All really good replies, thanks :)

  3. Wow. At last.

    • Yep, surprised the points system lasted this long.

  4. This is good, hopefully it will mean more transparency between XBL and PSN prices, and so it will then be more even as it’s easy to do a direct comparison.

    • Probably not, coz proper Xbox 360 games are sold in proper money and they PSN users still get ripped off. For example, Prototype is £31.99 (last time I checked)and on XBL it’s something like £14.99, so Xbox fanboy devs/publishers will still be able to rip-off PSN users out of spite.

      • You do know realise that devs have no say on the pricing of their games right? I think most publishers use the 1MSP= 1p format thus resulting in higher prices for the PSN version. :(

  5. just bought an xbox on Saturday and my god i reckon its going to take a few hours to find good voucher offers and figure out just how much something is going to cost me so this is a good idea

  6. won’t make much difference to me as i only ever use points cards i buy in stores, so i’m always going to have a few points left over, i think i’ve got like 40 left after buying BG&E.

    it does mean i’ll have a clearer idea of how much stuff costs though, so that’s good.

  7. What are they going to do about all the left over points people have? Will they exchange them to their equivalent currency value?

    Also, my inner cynic can’t help but wonder if this is to try and silently combat the recent hacks.

  8. I hope this is true, having points is just completely useless.

    • I mean pointless

      • [groan] Worst joke of the day, and I’ve read Keith Chegwin’s jokes on Twitter!

      • wasn’t meant to be a joke, stupid.

  9. I hope they will implent a system that much easier to understand as i have no clue to how many MSPs are worth in pounds. O-o

    • 1 MSP = 1.25 U.S. cents = 0.85 U.K. pence*.

      So for the common price points:
      – 400 MSP = $5 = £3.40
      – 800 MSP = $10 = £6.80
      – 1200 MSP = $15 = £10.20

      *At Microsoft’s official exchange rates. I always shop around for my MSPs and don’t normally pay more than about 0.7p per point.

      • So stupidly complicated. I’m so glad I’ve never had to use it.

  10. Great News

    I used to shop around for points cards and then I’m a big enough plank to then work out how many points per pound I was getting to compare against other offers. Now it’ll be so much more transparent.

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