The Microsoft Xbox Live Marketplace is a great way to view and download new items for your console, but there is always talk about how the points are a rip off and that Microsoft have implemented them to hide the true cost of your purchased items. So why were points used to represent the cost of themes, gamerpics and game downloads?
In many articles and podcasts, the negative side always seems to become the predominant argument and I am yet to hear the positive side of using points. So what is the advantage?
For any of you who had the original Xbox will remember the advertisements for premium content that stated the price in dollars. On the rare occasion, Microsoft would declare the different prices on their websites in USD, GBP and maybe if you were lucky others.
For Microsoft the points system makes advertising Xbox Live Arcade games and other downloads very clear. All they have to say for example is 800 points and instantly we as a consumer have a good idea of whether this is the bargain of the century or something we should hold back on. Chatting with your Xbox Live buddies from other countries about new content is also easier as the points are the same everywhere.
So basically points are recognised globally as at the very least a good estimate of how much we are actually spending. There is no need to worry about mentioning to people about the cost in the usual terms like dollars, pounds, euros or anything else for that matter. It also makes it easier for people who run Xbox 360 related websites who share any information on downloads from the Marketplace. There is no need to get out the old currency converter and risk making mistakes!
Just to make it clear I don’t work for Microsoft, but I felt it was a good idea just to make this post to at least try and make the reasoning to use points instead of currency viable, especially as someone who used to run an Xbox fan-site and remembers the tedium of trying to explain the cost of items.
So that is what I think coming from a webmaster background who used to get really aggravated explaining the cost of downloads in currency, but what do you think?