Microsoft’s Xbox Live Rewards Actually Have Value

By  |  Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 9:32 am

Five years after the Xbox 360 launched, Microsoft has created a loyalty rewards program. It’s about time.

Xbox Live Rewards doles out Microsoft Points — the currency used for games and other content — for things like renewing a subscription, activating Netflix and buying specific downloadable games.

Sony launched its own rewards program for the Playstation 3 in late October, but the perks are inferior. Instead of getting points that you can spend anywhere on the Playstation Network, you get “exclusive” avatars and themes and a chance to win prizes. In other words, buying lots of stuff doesn’t bring you any closer to getting free games or movies.

But Sony and Microsoft have different reasons for offering rewards in the first place. Sony, quite simply, wants you to buy more stuff, while Microsoft is trying to enroll more people in Xbox Live. Many of its rewards are aimed at new users — you can get 400 points ($5) for getting an Xbox Live family plan, or 100 points for buying your first item on the Xbox Live marketplace — and the biggest payouts come from staying enrolled. Clearly, Microsoft is trying to get all those Kinect buyers onto paid subscriptions.

Still, you don’t need an Xbox Live Gold plan to earn rewards from Microsoft. Buying select games and taking monthly surveys are enough to get a couple bucks in points every year. Maybe I’m just not enough of an avatar junkie, but I’ll take the points over Sony’s incentives any day.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. James Says:

    The best thing Microsoft could do to get me to re-enrol to XBox Live is enable me to transfer my account originally set up in the UK, with my gamerscore, achievements and small amount of purchased Marketplace content, to Australia where I am now living. I don't want to keep having to find a way to fund my UK account from Australia, and I'm loathe to create a new account and 'start again'. Seems like such a simple thing for them to enable, perhaps one international transfer per year (or paid), especially since they have permitted it for the new regions that were recently introduced to XBox Live (Russia, Brazil, etc, etc).

  2. Intensive Says:

    I just want the ability to delete gamerscore games that I have played. But I'm sure Microsoft will make me pay for that feature whenever they get around to making it.

  3. VeryInvensive Says:

    Did you mean "delete zero gamerscore games"?

    You can already do that. There is even an Xbox 101 episode for it.
    Search for it in the dashboard.

  4. zongzeets Says:

    Valve is very annoying at times.