Money in Motion

Microsoft Points on the Chopping Block?

Halo Waypoint

Microsoft Points, the currency for Xbox LIVE, may be facing extinction.

They have been described as "the coin of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace realm" - heady stuff.  But now there is talk that Microsoft Points may be on their way out.

Microsoft Points, a system for buying game add-ons, videos, and more in the Xbox world, enable users to buy items priced so low that a credit-card purchase would be tough. You buy the points using a credit card, and away you go. Simple, right? Not exactly. For starters, the price per point varies depending on the real-world currency you're using to buy them. They're cheaper in dollars than euros, and so on.

Users also have to buy Points in blocks, so if you use them to buy something cheap like a song, "you have to allow Microsoft, one of the world’s richest companies, to hold on to at least $4.01 of your money until you buy another," says Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal.

Plenty of other currencies have problems too, of course. (Euro holders, are you listening?) And so far, Microsoft is declining comment about the potential demise of Points. But if media reports are correct, this could be the end of a currency era.

Cue the ominous music.

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