Earlier this week, a rumor came out on InsideMobileApps.com stating that Microsoft may be getting rid of its Microsoft Points system in favor of a more traditional transaction system like that of the Android App and Apple App stores.
Though Microsoft gave the expected “we do not comment on rumours or speculation” response, InsideMobileApp reports of mobile developers being told to plan upcoming DLC and In-App purchases in accordance with this change. Whether this will affect just the Windows Phone which uses the Microsoft Points system that started with the XBox 360 or carry across all Microsoft platforms at this point is all speculation.
The Microsoft Points system has come under fire since the initial Marketplace pricing structure on the XBox 360 was revealed. At its origin, downloadable titles on the XBox Marketplace were either 400 or 800 Microsoft points which translates to $5 and $10 respectively.
The problem however quickly presented itself that points were sold in 500 point increments. This resulted in leftover points. It would force customers to make further purchases in favor of having unused currency sitting on their account. This problem further compounded itself when DLC evolved and was priced at other irregular point values.
This controversy hit the fan in early 2010 when a Pennsylvania man, Samuel Lassoff, filed a class action suit against Microsoft for “point fraud due to incomplete and or partial downloads.” Lassoff claimed Microsoft was at fault because Microsoft had agreed to charge for “the complete, whole, and or actual digital goods and services purchased.” These remaining points which could not be used without purchasing further point packs fall in breach of this agreement.
While the Microsoft point plan encourages the purchases of points cards in favor of just direct credit card transactions which leave customers more vulnerable to cyber fraud like that of the Sony network, it is almost universally regarded within the gaming community as a non-beneficial system to the customer base of Microsoft platforms. People have money sitting in Microsoft’s pocket and cannot access it at will or even apply it in many cases without making further transactions. In a vast majority of these further transactions, the points will still not balance out and even if the customer is able to purchase a piece of digital content they want.
Stick to the Flickcast for more on this Microsoft Points rumor as it develops.