NEWS - Monday, December 12, 2005

Microsoft Points are Dangerous

Like Xbox Live Arcade, the Xbox Live Marketplace is another underappreciated aspect of the Xbox 360 experience. Using a form of currency dubbed “Microsoft Points,” gamers can buy Arcade games, gamer icons, console themes and other digital bric-a-brac to customize their gaming experience. Microsoft Points can be purchased at a rate of 80 per $1 USD. Points are cool for a few reasons. Mostly, it’s clear that they’ve been very carefully thought out. The exchange rate itself appears to have been carefully chosen so that points don’t line up against most of the major world currencies in a simple ratio. A US Dollar buys 80. A Yen buys .67. A pound buys 120. A Euro buys about 67, and so on. That’s important because it distances the gamer from the financial impact of the purchase. If the conversion to dollars is simple, every transaction will be evaluated in real dollar terms. If the conversion requires math, most people will choose not to perform the conversion and will presumably spend more freely. Second, the structure of Marketplace minimizes credit card transaction fees that Microsoft needs to pay. They’re not passing those savings on to us, but the more gamer spend that we keep out of the pockets of middlemen—credit card companies included in that category—the more money goes into the pockets of the content creators. That’s good for the games industry, because it means existing developers will make more money. More money flowing to developers should also increase the number of firms developing games, which will in turn increase the variety and creativity of games that make their way onto our gaming devices. Sweet. Third, MS Points are going to be used across all Microsoft products. You may be able to purchase a premium Hotmail subscription with points in the future. You might also be able to use points to purchase clipart for MS Word. Given Microsoft’s intent to make points ubiquitous, we could see some nifty benefits for gaming come out of it. How about a winner-takes-all Perfect Dark Zero tournament with an entry fee and prizes collected and paid in points? Microsoft has also said that they may allow points to be redeemed for Xbox 360 accessories. We’ll see some interesting new things as a result of points. Fourth, MS Points make transactions uber-easy on the Xbox 360. After the initial annoyance of setting up the 360, points allow subsequent transactions to happen in seconds. To buy a full version of a demo game that you’ve already downloaded to your Xbox 360 hard drive takes about five seconds. It’s the fastest commerce experience anywhere online with the exception of’s 1-Click feature. And that’s why they’re dangerous. The marketplace user interface makes spending so much easier than any other shopping experience most of us have ever experienced that it’s quite possible to deplete your MSP balance before you’ve really even considered what you’re doing. It’s also just as easy to replenish your points balance with your credit card, which the Xbox 360 remembers for you. That’s how shopping should be. Now if only the geniuses at Microsoft could figure out a way to keep those pesky credit card bills from showing up.


Site Statistics

Registered Members: 44,597
Forum Posts: 725,798
Xbox One Titles: 1,252
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,085
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 585
Original Xbox Titles: 987
Staff Reviews: 1,702
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 14,426
Screenshots: 31,238
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News

See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

Xbox One X Black Panther
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 119 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada May 2018 schedule
Post by Kiesey
3 Replies, 217 Views

Is anything happening in XBox One land?
Post by DJ tx
7 Replies, 466 Views

Xbox One S Jojeux Anniversaire
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 305 Views

Xbox One X Steelbook
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 346 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada April 2018 Schedule
Post by Kiesey
4 Replies, 606 Views

Xbox One X World of tanks
Post by oryanphine
2 Replies, 789 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada - March 2018 Schedule
Post by Kiesey
7 Replies, 974 Views

Any info on Biomutant release?
Post by DJ tx
4 Replies, 887 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada - February Playdates Schedule
Post by Kiesey
8 Replies, 1156 Views

Xbox Prototype Communicator
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 1416 Views

Xbox One S Dragon Ball Fighterz
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 942 Views

Xbox One S Theme Hockey
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 815 Views

New Fable is coming!
Post by Shadow20002
2 Replies, 1115 Views

RPG Recommendation?
Post by DJ tx
8 Replies, 1186 Views

© 2000-2018 - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics