PSA: 2013 Xbox 360 update rolling out, exchanges MS Points for local currency

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Time for a public service announcement. We’ve reported on the demise of Microsoft Points on the Xbox platform in the past. The community has been divided on whether they like or dislike the point system. Well it doesn’t matter anymore how you feel, because Microsoft is moving away from points to local currencies. And it’s starting today.

A few readers have tipped us this morning about an update for the Xbox 360. What’s new in the update? We’re hearing that MS Points have been retired alongside some aesthetic changes. Sure enough, Major Nelson and Xbox have confirmed that the 2013 Xbox Live update is slowly rolling out to users. This update does include a conversion of MS Points to local currency.

After you receive and install the update you’ll walk through a guide detailing the change. Your current MS Point balance will be converted to your local currency. It will round up, not down, in situations where you don’t get a nice number. The amount will be applied to your Microsoft account so you can purchase content in other places like the Windows Phone Store.

Read up on the FAQ posted to the Xbox website. It details a few other changes like needing to use the amount added to your account at the time of transition by June 1, 2015. Codes and gift cards you get for MS Points will be redeemable for the remainder of the year.

Source: Major Nelson

Thanks for the tip Hitesh S!


Reader comments

PSA: 2013 Xbox 360 update rolling out, exchanges MS Points for local currency


I'm part of the Xbox Live beta, so I've had this for some time.
That being said, making purchases makes so much more sense now.

By not having to buy a set amout of points before buying somthing, for example if I bought 2,100 points I could buy 2 games at 800 points then I'd have 500 left, If I wanted another game at 800 points you can't just buy 300 points so I had to buy more than I need  then keep ending up in a visious cycle of having left over points, at least now I just pay what I need to then I'm done & also being able to see how much your actually spending is nice to =)

I'm happy about this, too. Though the practice is hardly new - it's common in quite a few microtransacted MMOs.  Also, at many dim-sum restaurants: I mean, why do they typically serve three pieces/ plate when its usually an EVEN number of people dining!?!?  We know why... LOL  Keep points (money) in the bank and to sell more.

Been a long time coming. No more convoluted cash-to-points conversion. I'd much rather build up a credit in actual dollars.

I am glad to see the change, and am especially glad to see the new system work in multiple Microsoft stores (for XBox, WP, etc.)

For a few weeks now users had a choice to use cash or local currency. When performing (certain, not sure if all) transactions, you could press X to switch to local currency.

Yes, there was a choice.  If you didn't buy anything through the Xbox but used the XBL website instead you could carry on using points.  It was only on your first purchase through the Xbox that you were forced to convert points to cash.

Can we still add money to our accounts with a card purchased in a store though? Not everybody owns a credit card...

Prepaid cards are an option plus I bet they will offer redeemable cards much in the same fashion they do now but with cash and not ms points

Yes you can currently using MSP cards. The points convert to cash instantly apparently.
I assume 'gift cards' will come soon, a la PSN.

I haven't kept up with this, so a few questions for anyone who may know the answers. I have points, but no Xbox currently and my understanding was, the conversion would allow us to purchase WP8 apps. How do I go about adding the converted amount to my account without an Xbox? As of now, I see no difference in the amount of my MS account. It was at, $6.94 before and remains at that amount. Is this possible or do I wait until the new Xbox One comes out to see the conversion?

Yes, you can use your MS account for WP purchases.
If your account shows a $ amount and not points, it has already been converted.
Check your 'wallet' in your app list on WP8.

That's the way I thought it was supposed to work. However, I still don't see anything added when checking wallet. Perhaps it needs a little time to show.

Finally I hated the points system mostly cause I was so use to a dollar being a dollar on psn so this is a huge also it's cool that you can use your credits on your windows phone

Click this http://support.xbox.com/en-US/billing-and-subscriptions/account-management/microsoft-points-retire-faq

Why would they update the X360 UI 3 months before the X1 even hits the market?
Also i don't see them updating the UI this year.

Thought I read it somewhere that they would since the want all (Xbox 360 and Xbox One) to be inline just like WP7.8 and WP8. And also ot will come before Xbox one gets released....Can't remember where I read it but I sire remember.

You can also now play any songs you've bought on Xbox Music on WP on the Xbox, quite cool but long overdue

The points actually show up on my WP under my existing gift card I used from Bing rewards so can use it on phone too

I do find it frustrating though they are going to expire since points never do and I live in a state where gift cards can never expire.

I was also in the beta. You will notice the green colour is slightly darker to match the xbox1 guidelines. Also updates to games will download in the background (enable in settings)

I was in the Beta and I have to say I love what they have done, its alot more faster and simpler to make a purchase now.

Its a weird thing-- I was supposedly part of the beta (I signed up and everything) and all I got was a new "beta" tab on my dash for the last couple months with a couple of non-responsive links explaining that I was part of the beta,and ive also been using real money for a few weeks, but I thought everyone else was, too. That's it, no new look or anything. Until reading this article I was under the impression that the beta hadn't even started yet! :-o

Hi, I am a bit disappointed with this dashboard, I expected intergration of skype. A missed opportunity in my opinion cause there is a bloody good cam in kinect, I have relatives in russia and would have used it a lot.
Rumours go that xbox one has skype so I will be patient.

I thought the same, the tech is already there, it shouldn't be so hard to polish the Video Kinect app and turn it into Skype. And they could do that while keeping IM funcionality. 

Windows Live Messenger has been silently removed, too... And yet no sign of Skype. Hopefully it won't stay only on One (I'm getting the One anyway but it doesn't hurt to get more out of the 360) 

I am happy the points system is gone. It never made sense. 400 points was 4.99, but 800 points was 9.99 and 1600 points was 19.99. They charged you extra to buy more points, so I always bought points 400 at a time. It was a ridiculous system and it's about time they abandoned it.
BTW, did they get rid of that annoying messenger notification? Yes, I know you couldn't sign into messenger, because messenger doesn't exist anymore.

but, now here is a question... I have $40.79 left for geting a 928 (verizon's promotion) and it says that they will make sure that goes first, is there a way to confirm what my balance that will expire ? When these combine (I assume when i use my 360 tonight), can I use that $40.79 on my xbox or is it only Windows Phone 8 ?