Microsoft may be phasing out its proprietary "Microsoft Points" currency used on its Xbox platform, according to online reports.
Sources speaking to Inside Mobile Apps
say that Points will be phased out by the end of the year, giving all the company's virtual transactions their appropriate real-world values.
If the plan comes to fruition, it would mark a major change for all of Microsoft's virtual marketplaces, particularly Xbox Live, which has historically relied on Microsoft Points as its primary form of currency.
Inside Mobile Apps reports that some mobile developers have allegedly been told to plan their future game updates based on the impending change. In addition, the report states that all existing Microsoft Points will be converted to match their region's local currency.
At the moment, Microsoft Points are used on Xbox Live, the Zune Marketplace, and Windows Phone, though the latter two services also provide the option of paying for content with real-world currency. Some Xbox Live content, such as downloadable versions of retail Xbox 360 games, also use real-world monetary values.
Recently, Microsoft updated
its pricing structure for Microsoft Point bundles, and now sells online packs in 400 point ($5) increments, which makes the bundles more accurately match the standard pricing structure for games on Xbox Live. (Prior to this change, online bundles were only available in 500 point increments.)
When contacted for clarification, Microsoft told Gamasutra that it does "not comment on rumors or speculation."