The long-lamented Microsoft Points system will be retired as part of Xbox 360’s autumn update.
“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 company confirmed.
“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.
“To make this a seamless and positive experience for our customers, we have considered many factors to ensure that the amount deposited in your Microsoft account will be of equal or greater marketplace value than your Microsoft Points.”
Note that any funds credited to your account as part of the process will only be valid and usable for one year. They also cannot be redeemed against Xbox Live membership costs.
Microsoft added that any points earned through the Xbox Live Rewards program will also be changed to currency credit.
Existing Microsoft Points Cards will continue to be redeemable through Xbox Live or Xbox.com throughout 2014 “and for a limited time thereafter but will be discontinued after the launch of Xbox Gift Cards this fall”. After that Microsoft Gift Cards will be sold in currency denominations much like you see with iTunes gift cards.
Users will not be able to trade funds between accounts. There are also no plans to make Microsoft account funds usable in third party applications such as Netflix or Hulu.
Microsoft is also doing away with the ability to split purchases between Xbox Gift Cards and credit cards although “this option may be available in the future.”