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Microsoft Points Are Dead

Xbox Live moves towards real-world currency after many long years.

With a move that’s been a long time coming, Microsoft has officially ditched Microsoft Points and converted its marketplace listings to real-world currency.

Your existing Microsoft Points will automatically convert to equivalent real-world currency, and won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

Microsoft Points made more sense when Xbox Live first launched. Consumers weren’t used to spending money for digital games, and points are an interesting psychological tactic to separate ourselves from the traditional concept of money. As digital consumerism took root, though, it felt like Microsoft Points were about tricking the consumer and forcing them to spend more money. Who hasn’t been just a precious few points away from a purchase, but was forced to buy a whole bucket of points actually do it?

In any case, it’s gone. Good riddance.

More answers about the nitty gritty details regarding this transition are available in Microsoft's FAQ.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
123 Comments
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Edited by Morningstar

Good move.

Edited by TehPickle

Ah it'll probably still have a minimum funding level. I don't imagine that being a dollar short will be any different to a few points.

I'm still happy to see them ditching the space bucks, in any case.

Posted by gregoryc

Microsoft points are dead! Long live the Microsoft dollars?!

Edited by m2cks

I dunno, on one hand it'll be much simpler comparing prices of DLC and games, but on the other I thought the points had a kind of charm to them, like the xbox had it's own personal currency. Overall I guess this is a good thing.a

Posted by Nerolus

Great, just in time to not use my xbox that much anymore.

Posted by Nekroskop

I read that as 'Microsoft are dead'. I'm disappointed.

Oh well. Good thing they got rid of Balmer Bucks.

Posted by BluPotato

About damn time Microsoft. Even Nintendo has you beat in this department, and when Nintendo does online better than you, you know you are doing something wrong.

Posted by ll_Exile_ll

Why are people so quick to celebrate this? The days of buying a 1600 point card for less than $20 are gone, no retailer will sell something that says $20 right on it for less than $20. Also, I have a feeling some regions that were getting much better prices on XBL than on PSN because of the Microsoft point system are going to even out. Using real money may be simpler, but in the long run it will make things more expensive.

Edited by Cybexx

Also the Canadian prices seem to have deflated a bit so that they match the American prices.

Posted by GorillaMoPena

It seems bizarre that they ditched them but the GTA V Microsoft Store preorder bonus is still listed as "1600 Microsoft points"

Posted by Mento

Aw, no more Itchy and Scratchy Dollars? I'm so going to miss having to add 1000 points to my account to buy a 800 point game.

Though to adopt a more respectful tone for a moment, MS must've hired the Wolf (Pulp Fiction, not Alex Navarro) to run their PR. They've been making a lot of common sense strides of late to get back into everyone's good graces, even if it's mostly been damage control.

Moderator
Edited by cloudymusic

Wait..."expire"? Why should my money ever expire?

Edited by chrispti

Good riddance. I'll have to look at my balance today in "real money"

Posted by steevl

I will definitely miss being able to pick up points for much lower prices than they were worth, but oh well. It's not like there's as much to spend them on these days anyway.

The whole thing about them expiring is kind of weird, though.

Edited by thatdutchguy

Made no sense anyway.

Edited by ch3burashka

I never got people who complained about having a hard time making mental calculations to find out what the games cost in "real money", but I guess it's for the best; the disambiguation was dishonest, and probably made specifically to confuse people - I remember from an old Gamespot Rich Gallup got fucked on some DLC because he thought the ratio was 5/4 rather than 4/5, but that's his own dumb mistake.

The only loss here is that, unless they literally sell a $20 dollar card for less than 20 dollars (which seems unlikely), getting deals on points is in the past. That was a fair trade-off for some mental math, in my opinion.

Posted by iAmJohn

About fucking time.

Edited by Vuud

So is it still $10 to change your gamertag?

Edited by cfriend

Bullshit that they expire at all.

Edited by Turkalurch

Yay! \o/

Edited by Sooty

8 years too late

Edited by damswedon

Time to see prices go up.

Edited by Sergotron

Anyone else notice it has plus tax when you go buy something now?

Edited by ShowNun

I don't remember microsoft points ever 'making more sense' than they do now. It's always been that they were a stupid obfuscating way to psychology trick people

Edited by HerbieBug

It's about fucking time. God damn. In Canada, they never allowed purchasing of points in 400 point increments. Always 500 or 1000. It was bullshit.

Posted by MeatSim

I would have been fine with them keeping points if they just renamed them Microsoft space bucks.

Edited by Palaeomerus

MS Points also provided an identical international exchange medium and were hard to tax beyond the initial local sales tax.

The last $40 or so worth of points I spent were from Bing search rewards anyway.

Edited by MeatSim

I would have been fine with them keeping points if they just renamed them Microsoft space bucks.

Edited by Amafi

@tehpickle: I don't see any reason they couldn't just add exactly the funds required to buy the thing you want from whatever payment method it is you're using like PSN does. Unless they just feel like being total dicks.

Posted by Sweetz

Yup good riddance. Now we just need to get even more inexplicable Bioware points to follow. Seriously, despite the existence of Origin, if a person who owns Mass Effect 2 or 3 on PC wants to buy DLC, they have to do so through idiotic Bioware points.

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Edited by blacklab

Your existing Microsoft Points will automatically convert to equivalent real-world currency, and won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

I would love to hear the justification behind 'real-world currency' expiring.

Edited by GnaTSoL

@blacklab said:

Your existing Microsoft Points will automatically convert to equivalent real-world currency, and won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

I would love to hear the justification behind 'real-world currency' expiring.

Get on it scoops.

Edited by patrickklepek

@blacklab said:

Your existing Microsoft Points will automatically convert to equivalent real-world currency, and won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

I would love to hear the justification behind 'real-world currency' expiring.

It's just the converted currency. Don't Microsoft Points expire, too? Anything you purchase going forward won't expire. It might be a technical thing? I'm not sure.

Edited by Cypher

@gnatsol: It's related to tracking of financial data for investors and such. Microsoft needs to end the points at some time so that they can recognize all of the revenue for those points. Because they have not yet given the customer, you, some good (virtual or otherwise; virtual currency doesn't count, as far as I know) in return for the money you've given Microsoft, they cannot include that revenue as a part of their "GAAP" income on the quarterly/annual fiscal reports.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's the case.

Posted by MormonWarrior

They've been dead for me for a while. I guess it's because I'm on the dashboard beta? They still don't handle things like the PlayStation store, which is unfortunate. I like being able to make a cart and check out/download all of it together.

Posted by Civ2boss

@amafi: PSN isn't perfect either. If the thing you're buying is less than $5.00, even if it's $4.99, you have to add $5.00 to your account. Apple, Google, and Amazon does it so well with their stores, I wish everyone would just copy them.

It makes no sense to force everyone to put money into a "wallet" only to right away use said money to buy the thing you want. Imagine going to your local supermarket to buy groceries only to have them tell you to please put some money into a special supermarket "wallet" before you can checkout. I'm sure most people would just not go to that supermarket anymore.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

@tehpickle said:

Ah it'll probably still have a minimum funding level. I don't imagine that being a dollar short will be any different to a few points.

No, doesn't seem that way. Read this.

From the Microsoft Website's FAQ on this topic:

Do I have to use the currency in my Microsoft account as my primary payment method?

No. Although your account is initially set up with the currency in your Microsoft account as your payment method, you can still directly purchase content from your Xbox 360 using any other current form of payment available in your region, including credit cards.

So, if I'm reading that correctly, that means you'll be able to buy something without putting funds into your digital Microsoft "wallet".

Also, this:

Can I split payment between my local currency and a credit card?

Yes, when your local currency balance is not sufficient to pay for the content, you can charge the remainder to your credit card.

So you'll not only be able to pay for things directly, but you can also combine payments.
Glad to see that there's no more bullshit, and you'll just be paying for things normally. Still, it's kind of sad that it took them an ENTIRE GENERATION to get to this point.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@keres said:

Wait..."expire"? Why should my money ever expire?

The converted points will expire.

Anyway, hooray for Microsoft finally switching to actual currency. Any reason why they made their own proprietary point system in the first place (IE why wasn't 1 point ever 1 penny)?

Posted by Chtasm

My Microsoft money is going to expire? WHAT?!

Posted by Hunter5024

I can finally spend that 4 bucks on my account!

Posted by Oscar__Explosion

Why are people so quick to celebrate this? The days of buying a 1600 point card for less than $20 are gone, no retailer will sell something that says $20 right on it for less than $20. Also, I have a feeling some regions that were getting much better prices on XBL than on PSN because of the Microsoft point system are going to even out. Using real money may be simpler, but in the long run it will make things more expensive.

This right here. Finding $20 cards for $15 or lower was never really hard. Plus now there is a tax charge associated with purchases now. Thanks Internet.

Posted by AjayRaz

my heart sank

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Edited by DirkGently

@patrickklepek said:

@blacklab said:

Your existing Microsoft Points will automatically convert to equivalent real-world currency, and won’t expire until June 1, 2015.

I would love to hear the justification behind 'real-world currency' expiring.

It's just the converted currency. Don't Microsoft Points expire, too? Anything you purchase going forward won't expire. It might be a technical thing? I'm not sure.

Points you buy last 'forever' they said. Promotional points were the ones that expire. This conversion to money is a Promotional Gift to people, that is why it expires. This probably makes a big difference when it comes to dealing with their balance sheets because just giving people a few hundred million dollars or whatever the current stored value in MS points is globally might mess up their accounts a bit.

I will also miss MS Points, because as others have said, you could regularly get 10-20% off deals or more when buying them. Which adds up to several extra XBLA games over time.

Posted by rickyyo

@patrickklepek: Do you know why that date in particular? Zune marketplace still uses Microsoft points which is why I am a little upset by this. They haven't created a music platform that properly replaces Zune desktop music software. I assume that by that date they will have an alternative in place that works and can officially say goodbye to points.

Edited by Bollard

How can real money expire? The fuck?

Posted by Shivoa

Regional prices (rather than a single price for a product over all the local stores with currency stuff managed by the exchange rate to purchase the points) and moving these digital wallet balances to expire on June 1, 2015 rather than continuing their previous system of cash purchased points never expiring once added to the system. Sounds like more great PR for the Xbox ecosytem.

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