Microsoft has now made it possible for the users of its Xbox 360 console to make payments for their digital video game and peripheral downloads with their PayPal accounts in a move which adds both convenience to its customers and an additional security layer to its gaming systems. Microsoft’s addition of PayPal services to the Xbox marketplace has raised speculations as to whether Sony will be next to follow suit after the debacle it has seen during the last month when their PlayStation Network was attacked and personal information of 77 million of its account holders was stolen. This also led Sony to take down the network for a whole month. There was also an additional threat posed by the attack as Sony warned that credit card information might have been a part of the stolen data.
The integration of PayPal will not be a foolproof solution against another such attack, but what it does is add another barrier between the attacker and the sensitive info of the customers. Neither Microsoft nor PayPal gave any hint during the announcement that the integration had anything to do with the Sony problem. There was no comment from Sony regarding them considering a possible alternative payment solution either.
It has lately become very common for internet merchants to offer a variety of payment methods to their customers. Gaming companies, in particular, have been aggressive in doing this. An example is Facebook where a player has the option to charge virtual goods to their cell phone bills and also PayPal among other methods. According to Microsoft, the Xbox 360 owners all over the world will now be able to use their PayPal accounts for buying Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions, Microsoft Points and Games on Demand. The integration started being initiated yesterday and will be available world over in a few weeks.