It’s About Time: Microsoft to Eliminate Frustrating Xbox Live “Points” System

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Xbox gamers, rejoice: Microsoft is finally killing off its unpopular “Points” system for Xbox Live. It appears Microsoft will now use a much more coherent system for selling digital goods online. You know, like one based on real money.

Microsoft has been using its Points system ever since Xbox Live launched a decade ago. If you wanted to purchase something through Live, such as downloadable game content, a movie or a TV show episode, you had to pay using these Points. Xbox Live users could buy points for a set fee.

Microsoft only sold points in packs of 400, which equaled $5. This meant gamers often had extra points sitting around. This was seen as a way for Microsoft to skim a few extra bucks. Frustrated gamers eventually filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft in 2010.

Overall, Microsoft Points was a confusing system designed to mask how much users were actually spending online. The idea seems to have been that people would spend more money if they didn’t actually understand how much money they were spending.

By comparison, Sony uses real dollars and cents on its own PlayStation Network. Not only is it a more straightforward idea, but it leaves a gamer feeling like Sony actually respects their intelligence.

Microsoft hasn’t commented on the matter but sources told tech blog The Verge that the Redmond, Washington-based firm plans to eliminate the Points system sometime this year.

It’s expected Microsoft will reveal its plans at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3), which takes place in June.

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