In a recent interview with Game Informer, Xbox Live General Manager Mark Whitten was asked about the possibility of Microsoft dropping the points-based system for sales of items on the Live Marketplace for real-world currency. Think he avoided answering the question? You bet your ass he did.
Using language like, “It’s Microsoft points right now,” and, “We continue to think about it,” Whitten deftly dodged anything resembling a direct reply with the skill of an Olympic slalom racer.
There is some precedence for dollar amounts being used on the service. Games on Demand offers the option of dollar amounts, which has led some to believe that the MS Point’s days may be numbered. According to Whitten, the point system has been pretty successful for retailers but I don’t see how that’s an argument in favor of them. The gift card isn’t exactly a new concept and I’ve never had to whip out a calculator to find out how much $50 dollars will buy me.
Just ditch it, Microsoft. You can still provide a system that will satisfy retailers and offer a more convenient system for your users. Of course, you will miss out on the cash from all those leftover points around the world but I wouldn’t be surprised if you get sales which make up for that by removing a step from the process.