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post #1 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Microsoft Points Might Finally be on Their Way Out

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Since Microsoft launched the Xbox Live Marketplace alongside the Xbox 360 in 2005, there's been a nagging issue that's bothered many users: Microsoft Points. According to a report, they might be finally going away this year in favor of a more preferable setup.

Inside Mobile Apps reports a source has indicated Microsoft Points are to be replaced by real-world currencies by the end of the year, which means a new currency system would be put in place not only for Xbox Live, but also the Windows Phone and Zune Marketplaces.

Although Microsoft Points were initially the only way to make purchases on the Xbox Live Marketplace, that changed with the introduction of the Games on Demand service in 2009. The service, which sells digital versions of retail Xbox 360 games, allowed the titles to be purchased for real-world money. Microsoft continued to sell everything else -- XBLA games, avatars, downloadable content, movie rentals -- only in exchange for Microsoft Points. It was a puzzling decision, if also a promising sign that Microsoft was not hell-bent on using points for absolutely everything.

It's doubtful anyone will be sad to see Microsoft Points go. I know I couldn't be happier to get rid of them.

From the user's perspective, there's nothing beneficial about Microsoft Points, and what's problematic is they don't accurately reflect their value. 80 Microsoft Points is equal to $1, meaning a 400-point purchase is the equivalent of $5, 2400 points is $30, and so on. That makes it not only a confusing setup -- even after years of using them, I still have to use an online converter from time to time, and I'm often asked by friends and family what X number of Microsoft Points is equal to -- it's also misleading in that it looks like you're spending less money than you actually are.

It's not as if it's impossible for a points system to work, even if it isn't ideal. While Sony went the preferable route in pricing items in real dollars, Nintendo uses a system based on increments of 100 points for Wii digital purchases. The important detail there is that 100 points is equal to $1, so it's easy to see 800 points and know that's an $8 purchase.

Should this rumor pan out, that particular issue would be taken care of. The other problem with Microsoft Points is you've always had to buy them in a bundle, meaning if you wanted to buy something for 80 points but had none, you had to purchase more than is needed. The company has wisely made exceptions to this, such as allowing the UFC app to sell pay-per-views for real-world money and not points, and the problem was mitigated to some extent by lowering the smallest bundle on Live from 500 points to 400. (The 500-point package was a ridiculous idea as XBLA games are sold in 400-point increments, guaranteeing anyone who purchased one would be stuck with leftover points they may not want.) But for those who purchase points at retail, the cheapest option available continues to be a 1,600-point ($20) card.

Simply replacing Microsoft Points with your local, real-world currency doesn't immediately fix this problem -- Microsoft may decide to continue requiring a bundle of money be added to your virtual wallet before a purchase can be made. It's this problem that leads to money being left over, particularly if items are sold in amounts ending in $.99 when you're forced to add a money bundle ending in $.00. (In other words, if you add $5.00 to your wallet and purchase five things worth $0.99, you're left with five useless cents.) It's a problem Nintendo solved in last month's 3DS firmware update by allowing you to add only the exact amount of money that's needed. If this is something Nintendo has sorted out, there's no reason it should be a problem on Microsoft's system.

As expected, Microsoft isn't commenting on the matter at this time, labeling it rumor and speculation. But I'm hopeful these issues are finally addressed -- in this day and age, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to buy only what you want without having to worry about how to spend some leftover virtual cash you didn't want in the first place.


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post #2 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 04:56 AM
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The current point system is pretty stupid. But most people have gotten used to it, so it's not that big a deal anymore. Hopefully MS WON"T go the XX.99 route and just price things in the XX.00 method (XX.50 for half off). My biigest gripe about MS points is that you can't find any really good deals on them. Totally sucks for a "cheap ass" like me!
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post #3 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 05:09 AM
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Hopefully the offer money cards that I can add to my account, because I loathe to give MS my credit card.
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post #4 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 05:18 AM
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I would be disappointed because this means everything will cost more. You will be paying the cost straight-up instead of buying the equivalent points at a discount (or even free with some promotions).
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 05:45 AM
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Yeah, not sure if this is a good thing.

Points can be purchased on sale (watch the DEALS thread), and I'll bet that will go away. I'm trying my hardest not to give MS my credit card or Paypal ever again!

It's really not that hard to get used to either... 80 = $1, 400 = $5, 800= $10, 1600= $20, 4000= $50. Once that base-of-8 clicks, it's not really that confusing. And I get lost in the metric system!

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post #6 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjonsnow View Post

I would be disappointed because this means everything will cost more. You will be paying the cost straight-up instead of buying the equivalent points at a discount (or even free with some promotions).

Ditto. If they switch it to dollar values, a $20 DLC will always be $20. With points, you can buy them for a cheaper than $20 in sales and deals (meaning the 1600 ($20) DLC can be purchased at a discount)

This also allowed them to price DLC at a point value....not $20 if you're in the USA, $22 in Canada, XX Yen in Japan, XX Pesos in Mexico, etc.
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 06:48 AM
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More transparency is a good thing imo. It could mean more sales since the price is the price, it's not obscured by points.
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 06:57 AM
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Joystiq found a comment from some one in the European branch of Microsoft that said this wasn'ttrue. I hope this rumor turns out to false. Points are easy to figure out, and I am more willing to spend points because I know I got them at a discount.

Switching away from point would mean I would ultimately be paying more for everything I purchased on Xbox Live.
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 07:43 AM
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I personally don't like the point system going away because I can purchase points when they go on sale. So, instead of paying Microsoft $60 for 12 month of Xbox Live, I can purchase one for $36-$40. I also use Bing search to get points which I can redeem for MS points.

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post #10 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 08:29 AM
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I for one love the points because I wait out those $34.99 and $39.99 deals on on 4k cards and stock up when they show up.

Full price is for emergencies only. Without points it will be full price all the time.
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 09:04 AM
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Yeah, I hope the rumor isn't true. Loved getting the $50 cards for $35.

Right now, buy.com is selling 4000 points for $40.
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 09:06 AM
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Count me as another hoping this doesn't happen. It would figure at the height of Live accounts being hacked, they would come up with a significant reason for us to tie our credit cards to our accounts.
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 09:29 AM
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I'm sorry, but if you can't wrap your head around 80 point increments, even after "using them for all this time," then you have much bigger things to worry about than whether MS points go away.

I've always liked points for one reason: the deals. Can people get $19.99 PSN cards for a discount (I actually don't know the answer.) I've been able to pick up so many $50 point cards for $40 or even $35 that I don't want to see them go away.

If MS Money cards would be able to be discounted too, then I won't care either way.
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post #14 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 09:34 AM
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I would be SHOCKED if MS points system goes away. This article seems like a wishful thinking to me.

MS Points solves whole SLEW of problems with multiple currencies and tax issues around the globe for Microsoft. This is not something MS is going to give up volutarily.
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post #15 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 10:29 AM
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I think if it was entirely up to Microsoft, they would keep the points systems because it lends to more impulse purchases. It's been shown in numerous studies. In fact, impulse buying is one of the reasons why credit cards were invented.

Yes, it's easy to convert points to money in your head but it doesn't hit you the same as pulling out your CC. There have been many times I went all the way to the billing page of a purchase order, only to realize I didn't need it, changed my mind and put the card back into my wallet.

But with MS Points, there have been times where I bought it and then thought, man, I just spend $17.50 on a song pack for Dance Central...

Maybe this has to do with the rumors that hackers have figured out the algorithm on how to generate these codes and thus create counterfeit currency.

But I think it's perhaps more likely that since they are trying to tightly integrate the Xbox marketplace, Windows 8 marketplace, and Windows Phone marketplace, that they have to have consistency. Like in the tech demo where they had a customer buy a game for Windows Phone and it was playable on both the phone and the 360.

Also, by going with CC transactions, doesn't this shift the burden of fraud investigation to the credit industry rather than Microsoft?
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post #16 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

Right now, buy.com is selling 4000 points for $40.

$39.99 plus $9.99 shipping is not $40.

EDIT ==> I just blurted that out. I wasn't *trying* to sound like a dick.
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post #17 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Flatus View Post

$39.99 plus $9.99 shipping is not $40.

EDIT ==> I just blurted that out. I wasn't *trying* to sound like a dick.

Yeah, that was a quick search. I just got it from them a few weeks back for $35 plus tax with free shipping and assumed that the free shipping was still in effect.
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post #18 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

Also, by going with CC transactions, doesn't this shift the burden of fraud investigation to the credit industry rather than Microsoft?

Not if they continue to have a wallet like the Playstation does.
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post #19 of 32 Old 01-25-2012, 02:18 PM
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maybe they could implement the best of both worlds.

have the new pay-as-you-go dollar amount.

but have a new banking system with Microsoft points. Microsoft can give incentives that by purchasing points and having stores of points, you can maybe earn interest in the form of points. that would encourage users to bank points and would allow Microsoft earn the interest off unused money. users can still buy discounted points through the various outlets like before.

I think people would gravitate toward that kind of system and it would benefit everyone by including the fringe that want to pay exact dollar amounts.
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post #20 of 32 Old 01-27-2012, 07:35 PM
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I hate the point system and rarely buy anything on line because of it. Time to get rid of it
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post #21 of 32 Old 01-28-2012, 07:50 AM
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The points system itself isn't the problem, it's Microsoft's inconsistency with the points system. Either use it for everything, or use it for nothing.

Instead, we've got Xbox Live for $, and 360 games/DLC for points. Zune Pass is $, but buying songs in Zune is points. Buying games and apps on Windows Phone is $, but DLC in the few WP7 games that support it requires points.

Being able to buy any amount of points you want would be helpful at times too, instead of being stuck with the preset amounts.

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post #22 of 32 Old 01-28-2012, 07:50 AM
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Not a big fan of the point system, although it could be worse. Your left over points could expire. Like mobile phone minutes.

Hopefully I didn't just give some MS bean counter an idea.

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post #23 of 32 Old 01-30-2012, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfmp3 View Post

I hate the point system and rarely buy anything on line because of it. Time to get rid of it


QFT. Anytime i've bought anything on live/psn it has been an impulse buy. I never buy cards, even on sale, because, once again, anything on the marketplace is strictly bought out of impulse. Usually, the points system keeps me from buying anything because I hate the use of them. I hate having to pay $6.50 for a game that costs $5. The left over points are useless.

I know its just a buck fifty, but it just irks me. I bought much more off of psn that doesnt use points systems. That is, until, sony got hacked and i havent dared put a credit card back on their system.
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post #24 of 32 Old 01-30-2012, 05:43 AM
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Total B.S. ...why? Xbox Live Rewards...uses points.
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post #25 of 32 Old 01-30-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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I love, love, love MS points. There's always ways to get them cheap or even FREE.

I don't understand the conversion argument. Who can't do 2nd grade math?
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post #26 of 32 Old 01-30-2012, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyder696969 View Post

I love, love, love MS points. There's always ways to get them cheap or even FREE.

I don't understand the conversion argument. Who can't do 2nd grade math?

Most first graders...
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post #27 of 32 Old 01-30-2012, 04:02 PM
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terrible idea... i love the MS points system.

aside from free points, i ONLY buy 4000 packs, and i never pay more than $35.

for $35 i can get 2 1600 point games and 1 800 point game.... i'd much rather pay the $35 i pay now, than $50 i'll have to pay when/if they do away with ms points.



for the people complaining "i always have xx points left over that are useless" i say take your change jar, and just pour it into the toilet... or have your bank round all transactions up to the nearest dollar... i mean, it's useless afterall.

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post #28 of 32 Old 01-31-2012, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by formulanerd View Post

for the people complaining "i always have xx points left over that are useless" i say take your change jar, and just pour it into the toilet... or have your bank round all transactions up to the nearest dollar... i mean, it's useless afterall.


This.

I don't mind the point system at all. And while there are leftover points with some purchases, it's usually enough to eventually put toward something else. On PSN, I end up with leftovers of $.01 which don't typically add up to much for me since I don't make too many purchases.

As long as I can buy a pre-paid card to load into my account, I'm really not terribly concerned about any of it. I just won't put my credit/debit card on my Live or PSN account, and I hope it'll never be required.
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post #29 of 32 Old 01-31-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdavid570 View Post

This.

As long as I can buy a pre-paid card to load into my account, I'm really not terribly concerned about any of it. I just won't put my credit/debit card on my Live or PSN account, and I hope it'll never be required.

You can make CC purchases on Xbox Live without it storing the info. I think it only stores the info if you use it for membership purposes. I used a CC to "purchase" a free entry into the UFC event and then removed the information immediately and it was completely removed.

My friend also bought 400 Microsoft points via credit card and it never stored anything. He didn't have to remove anything at all.
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post #30 of 32 Old 02-01-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

You can make CC purchases on Xbox Live without it storing the info. I think it only stores the info if you use it for membership purposes. I used a CC to "purchase" a free entry into the UFC event and then removed the information immediately and it was completely removed.

My friend also bought 400 Microsoft points via credit card and it never stored anything. He didn't have to remove anything at all.

Well that's certainly good to know. I still prefer the prepaid card method, but it might just be something I need to get over.
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