In one sense this wouldn’t really surprise me, but on the other hand, I don’t think it would really change anything. Certainly by now most of us are aware you can buy points online for as low as $5 for 400 MSP, while in stores (here in Canada) we usually find them $19.99 fr 1400 and so on. Would phasing them out really change any of the complaints by people that they end up buying more points than they need for a single purchase?
Not really, and here’s why….
Take Scarygirl for example, which was just released on XBLA for 1200 MSP. When I picked it up I spent 20 bucks for 1400 points, I bought the game and have 200 points left. Which I expected and it just means I will have some spare points floating around to be added to later or whatever. Changing over to a cash only system either means that XBLA games, avatar items, DLC, etc , would either have to be rounded up in price to a specific dollar amount in specific increments like $5, $10, $20, …. you get the point.
How would this affect you the player/user/consumer?
Well you would either only be able to buy this content with a credit card/online debit/paypal/ assorted other online payment method and they do away with buying Microsoft cards from retail stores. Or prices would simply translate to their equivelant cash value (ie 1200 MSP = $18-ish) and we could by $5, $10, $ 20 dollar Microsoft “Digital” cards in retail stores. Ultimately meaning we still spend more than we need and still end up with some small amount of money left over.
Yes I agree with many that it would be good if prices were set in such a way and purchasing power be done in such a way that we don’t have all those stray points/change floating around, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Either way this whole thing remains unconfirmed until Microsoft either confirms or denies the move. Only Time and The Great Pumpkin know what will really happen here Charlie Brown.