Microsoft Uses Change from Points to Money to Raise UK Prices
The exciting change from the mythical Microsoft Points system (which, according to a friend in marketing, was designed to make people think they were paying less than they actually were) to real world currency might not be all that it’s cracked up to be for gamers in the UK.
Reports from Xbox Live users in the UK say that Microsoft has used the conversion from Microsoft Points to real money as an opportunity to raise prices by upwards of 34%.
Prior to the switchover, it was £10 for 1,200 MS Points. However, Microsoft hasn’t kept the prices the same as they were under the points system. They have increased the prices of games relative to what their real-world money equivalent was under MS Points.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the new prices against the old points prices:
400 MS Points previously cost £3.50 but those games now cost £4.49 (34% increase)
800 MS Points previously cost £6.99 but those games now cost £8.99 (29% increase)
1,200 MS Points previously cost £9.99 but those games now cost £11.99 (20% increase)
1,600 MS Points previously cost around £13.50 but those games now cost £14.99 (11% increase)
While I like that Microsoft finally caught up to everyone else by dumping points for money, using it as an excuse to make more money is unacceptable. It’s not two steps forward, one step back. This is one step forward, two steps back.
I seem to recall that you could occasionally get MS Points on sale but I doubt that you can get Xbox gift cards on sale any time soon. Not only do the prices go up but you are also losing out on an opportunity to save more money. No wonder why Microsoft wanted to roll this out. More money!
I should probably note that Microsoft says that these changes in pricing are actually errors that are being worked on as part of the Xbox Live Dashboard beta being used to test the change to real currency. I believe that’s PR speak for “Shit! They caught us trying to screw them again!”