Virtual-Currency Flux: Microsoft Points Reportedly Gone While Amazon Launches Coins

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Technology blog The Verge this morning reported Microsoft will abandon the Points system for its Xbox 360 video-game console in favor of a gift-card system, and credit and debit cards. Microsoft reportedly will make the change in time for its new, yet-to-be announced console this holiday season.

From The Verge:

The new gift cards will be offered in a similar way to Apple’s iTunes vouchers, allowing Xbox owners to purchase true currency to be used to download content. We’re told that normal cash transactions, using credit and debit cards, will also be supported. Microsoft currently offers gift cards in its retail stores, but these can only be used for purchases in brick and mortar stores. The new system will work across Microsoft’s various marketplaces, including the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox.

Microsoft’s decision to ditch Points has been a long time coming and was repeatedly rumored to happen the past couple of years. Gamers complain the system forces you to buy more points than one might need. For example, a user with a zero balance who wishes to purchase a TV episode for 240 points must buy the 400-point allotment, which costs $4.99. The currency is available in 400, 800, 1,600, 4,000, and 6,000-point allotments. Some 80 points are equivalent to $1.

Should Microsoft make the move, it comes at a time when virtual currencies are in a bit of flux. Facebook abandoned Credits last year, but Amazon just released Coins this week. Coins already has received many negative reviews on Amazon’s site. One user cited Microsoft Points as a system that confuses consumers and Coins already is doing the same.

Amazon might need to convince consumers the system will not be as confusing and frustrating as dealing with other models such as Microsoft Points.

Click here to read more from The Verge.