Tired of having to convert your money into Microsoft Points every time you buy something off of XBLA? Sick of always having 40 or 80 points left over after buying a sale item, and having absolutely nothing worthwhile to use them on? Well, these annoyances may be a thing of the past, as Microsoft is rumored to be phasing out their version of Itchy and Scratchy Dollars in favor of simply allowing users to pay for downloads directly.
According to the rumor, Microsoft is phasing out the use of Microsoft Points in favor of real currency in order to create parity between the Windows Mobile app store, the Zune marketplace, and Xbox Live. Mobile app developers have allegedly already been told to plan their future pricing strategies around real money MSRP’s instead of points, and Microsoft is supposedly going to phase out the old points system before the end of the year.
Now, obviously Microsoft is denying all this at this point, but the change would make sense: the whole points system makes XBLA seem anachronistic when compared to the more streamlined check-outs available on Steam and PSN since you don’t have to convert your money into points, and I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve had to buy $10 worth of Microsoft Points (800 MSP) in order to buy a game that was on sale for 500 or 600 MSP. I think Xbox Live would benefit as a whole if Microsoft got rid of their pointless nickel-and-dime-ing MS Points scheme and simply let users make purchases with real money like, y’know, every single other website in the universe.*
(*except for the Wii online shop, but seriously, who uses that anymore? I think even Nintendo forgot that it exists.)