August 9, 2013
Xbox 360 Update Will Replace Microsoft Points With Local Currency

The next Xbox 360 system update will replace Microsoft Points with the user's local currency.

Microsoft sent an email to 360 users Friday, saying that they will receive an amount "equal to or greater than the Xbox Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points" when they make a purchase or redeem a Points card or code. Microsoft Points will be retired, and users will immediately be able to make purchases using their new funds. Xbox Live Rewards will remain in the Xbox Live account, and will transition to the local currency along with the Microsoft Points.

The company hasn't said exactly when the local currency options will arrive. All that is known at the moment is that the next update, which will most likely be by the end of the month, will get rid of Microsoft Points.

Microsoft Points have been much maligned for several years, but Microsoft didn't officially announce that it would be moving away from that system until E3 in June.

"This change was a direct result of customer feedback," Marc Whitten, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer for Xbox, said in the email. "You told us you want to be able to buy things using money instead of points, and we listened."

Microsoft also announced that it would be rolling new Xbox Gift Cards, in the user's local currency, through its online retailers and local stores.

Microsoft also announced on July 28 that the Xbox 360 would allow self-publishing as soon as August. It had made the same announcement for the Xbox One earlier that week. That means all units will be able to function as development kits, giving anyone who wants to the opportunity to put their game on the system. It also means that developers will have access to the full functionality of the device.

"This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox Live," Whitten said.

Are you glad to see Microsoft Points going away?