Fresh from its transition away from its points system into local currency, Microsoft is rolling out a new Xbox Live Rewards program
to incentivize customer participation.
The new rewards points -- "credits" -- cannot be purchased, only earned through actions such as renewing an Xbox Live Gold subscription, registering a new game, or answering customer surveys.
In a sense, this makes the new credits system more analogous to Nintendo's rewards program through Nintendo Club than through Microsoft's previous points currency. Additionally, Xbox credits are viable only through Xbox's marketplace. After players earn at least 5,000 credits, the amount is converted into the player's local currency and added to their account, to spend on games, items for avatars, and so forth.
The rewards program, whose previous version was Xbox Live Rewards
, also enables players with a higher Gamerscore to receive up to a 3 percent rebate on store purchases. "Rebate" is the operative word here -- this won't translate into reduced revenue share for developers who sell their games through Microsoft's Xbox Live storefront.