By Steve Wright
Insider Mobile Apps reported today that Microsoft is working on phasing out Microsoft Points from their platforms, including Xbox Live and Zune, and will do so by the end of 2012.
Says the report, "by the end of 2012, all transactions will be based on the region set on the purchasing account and real money will be used to purchase all Windows Phone content. The move puts the Windows Phone Marketplace in line with the purchasing practices used in the App Store and the Android Market."
"Mobile developers that have publishing agreements with Microsoft are being warned to plan their upcoming downloadable content (DLC) and in-app purchases in accordance with the change. Customers with existing Microsoft Points balances will have them converted into their local currency after the switch," the report continues.
When we reached Microsoft for comment, their (predictable) reply was simply, "Microsoft doesn’t comment on rumours and speculation."
The move does make sense, and ultimately will make figuring out pricing that much easier if true. Rather than having to equate 400 Microsoft Points to a dollar amount (it's about $5, by the way), the rumoured new model will simply feature prices in the currency of the country your gamertag resides in. This move would mimic the PlayStation Network, Steam, and the Windows Phone Marketplace itself. Though, whilst the Windows Phone Marketplace charges a set dollar amount for apps, in-game purchases like in the new freemium Xbox Live game Bug Village are still in Microsoft Points. Confusing, much?
Some outlets have even gone as far as to speculate the changes are due to the so-called "FIFA glitch" that has been making news of late.
We'll keep you updated when we know more.