Microsoft currently uses the Microsoft Point virtual currency for Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox 360 downloadable content and any other media users buy or rent on the Xbox 360, but that will soon change. Microsoft will allegedly switch to using real currency for media on the next Xbox.
The switch to actual money will come with new gifts cards that will work similarly to Apple’s iTunes gift cards. The rumored new gift cards will let users buy content from any of the virtual stores Microsoft operates. With the gift cards users will be able to buy Xbox games, Windows Phone apps, WIndows 8 apps, music, movies and TV shows from Microsoft.
The leaked gift cards say they will work in the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Music and Video and Xbox Games stores.
Of course, Microsoft will also let users buy their virtual goods with credit or debit cards as well. The change will hopefully eliminate the number of steps it takes to buy games on the Xbox 360. Currently users have to find the Xbox Live Arcade game (or other media) they want, buy a bundle of Microsoft Points, then confirm they want to use those points to buy the game.
The transactions almost always leave users with extra Microsoft Points. It’s common for users to have a few dollars worth of points in their account that they can’t use.
Microsoft will likely announce the switch to real money on the Xbox at the next Xbox launch event next week on May 21. Microsoft will give a few details about the new console, likely including a glimpse at a few new games such as Call of Duty: Ghosts. The company will give even more details and show off more new games for the console at its June 10 pre-E3 press conference.