Microsoft is finally sharing details about how it will transition users away from using Microsoft Points to real currency.
According to the post on Xbox.com, Microsoft plans to make the change officially sometime this fall, and replace the amount of Microsoft Points in user’s accounts with that of their equivalent in local money. This transition will happen automatically, which sounds pretty straight forward until you read some of the finer details:
“You will begin using local currency or an Xbox Gift Card (denominated in your local currency) to buy music, games, videos, and more from your favorite Xbox stores. When you use your existing Microsoft Points to initiate a purchase or redeem a Points card with your Microsoft account later this year, we’ll deposit into your account an amount of money equal to or greater than the marketplace value of your Microsoft Points, and your Microsoft Points will be retired. The purchased funds you deposit into your account after the transition will not expire. However, the funds we deposit into your account at the time of the transition will expire one year from the deposit date.”
So if you’ve got any amount of Microsoft Points sitting in a LIVE account right now, the entire amount that’s been turned into local currency after the switch will disappear a year after the switch. Microsoft does assure users that they won’t be losing any buying power, as they will each completely match the amount that’s currently in each LIVE account in local currency or add a little extra if it’s necessary.
The company will automatically switch all content available on Xbox LIVE, to be purchasable with local currencies as well, and all content already purchased by users will continue to work just fine. The gift cards that many users are familiar with won’t be going away. Instead, they’ll be replaced by updated cards the come in the currency dominations of each market.