Overpaying With Microsoft Points May Go Away

By  |  Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

xboxlivecardI’m no fan of using Microsoft Points to purchase Xbox Live content. The idea that you can only purchase preset amounts of points, which are always more than what you actually need, discourages me from shopping the console marketplace altogether.

So I’m happy to hear that Microsoft may give shoppers a way out of that system. When announcing downloadable games over Xbox Live for retail titles such as Bioshock and Mass Effect, the company said users could purchase the game directly with a credit card. That means you won’t have to buy Microsoft Points to get the game. Hallelujah.

I stopped by Microsoft’s E3 booth today and asked Michael Wolf, Xbox Live’s senior marketing manager, whether this could lead to credit card payments for other Xbox Live products. “It’s an indicator that we might,  yes,” was his response. Can I get an “Amen?”

It’s easy to see why Microsoft would do away with Microsoft Points for downloading big-budget games: Asking the customer to pony up for thousands of points is not only obnoxious, it can be confusing when trying to add up how many points you need. Furthermore, making shoppers overspend in the process is a deterrent to what the company is probably trying to do with this initiative — sell more Pro and Elite 360s with hard drives.

But once the credit card cat is out of the bag, customers will start asking why they can’t purchase everything directly. That’s why I’m praying for Wolf’s quote to pan out. Until then, there’s always Amazon.

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