Inside Mobile Apps, a site dedicated to the ever expanding mobile space, has reported that a “source with knowledge of [Microsoft’s] decision” has confirmed that Microsoft intend to scrap their Microsoft Points digital currency in favour of…y’know…actual currency.
Microsoft Points are currently used to purchase games, music, videos and hilariously overpriced virtual clothes on Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Zune Marketplace.
Instead users can expect to pay for their digital goods directly using their local currency. Reports suggest that this change will be rolled out “by the end of 2012”.
Developers working on these platforms have reportedly been told to anticipate these changes and plan their future downloadable content with the currency change in mind.
Users with pre-existing Microsoft Points will automatically have their points switched to their local currency.
Microsoft recently moved away from the Microsoft Point system when they began selling Xbox 360 ‘Games On Demand’ for actual currency. With iPhone and Android already offering simple purchases without the unnecssary obfuscation of prices through currency convertions, Microsoft may well be looking to simplify the buying process in order to compete in the mobile space. On top of that the Microsoft Point model has come under criticism in the past for forcing users to buy more points than they need, often ending up with unwanted, surplus points, not to mention making it needlessly difficult to work out the real-world price of any one purchase.
While I’ve never had a problem with Microsoft Points (I know I’ll always be buying more points for new arcade games) it has always struck me as a needlessly complicated way of doing things. I can’t say I’m particularly bothered either way, but no doubt a large segment of gamers will enjoy not having to pay for moon-money before they can pick up their latest CoD map pack.