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Microsoft Points (denoted as ) was the currency for the Xbox Live Marketplace, Games for Windows, Windows Live Gallery and Zune online stores. The points allowed users to purchase content without a credit card, and reduce the number of small credit card transaction fees which Microsoft would otherwise pay. Some downloads on the Xbox Live Marketplace are free, but most other downloads, such as full versions of games, aracde games, indie game and downloadable content for some games, used to cost Microsoft Points.
Point cost per region
Microsoft Points were sold in each country in the local currency. However, because the official price per point is defined differently for each country (in terms of their local currency), some regions pay more (in terms of cost relative to the US dollar) for the same quantity of points than others due to currency fluctuations.
Microsoft Points could be purchased either online via credit card or in the form of Microsoft Points Cards (also known as "tokens") from retail locations. Points can be bought in a number of different allotments ranging from 100 up to 5000 Microsoft Points. In the United States, 80 points are equal to US$1.As a result, an 800 point arcade game would retail for US$10 in real-world currency.
Note: Microsoft points have been retired, therfore so have the prepaid cards.
They have been replaced by Xbox Gift Cards .
The Microsoft Points system has been criticized for being deceptive in terms of actual real-world cost, as well as for users often having to purchase more points at once than are immediately needed. In his review of the Zune, news editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine Paul Thurrott mentions:
Microsoft is obscuring the true cost of this content. A song on Zune typically costs 79 Microsoft Points, which, yes, is about 99 cents. But it seems to be less because it's just 79 Points.
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