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  #1  
Old 05-27-2008, 06:30 PM
Darius Wey
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Default Purchase Microsoft Points With Your Phone... In Japan

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/05/docomo-to-suppo.html' target='_blank'>http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/05...o-to-suppo.html</a><br /><br /></div><img alt="" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//dht/auto/1211906410.usr2.png" /><br /><br />What if filling up on <a target="_blank" href="http://points.microsoft.com/">Microsoft Points</a> was as easy as picking up your phone and having the cost added to your phone bill? That's how it is for <a target="_blank" href="http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/05/docomo-to-suppo.html">NTT DoCoMo users in Japan</a>, and hopefully, that's just a starting point.<br /><br />If Microsoft is working with other carriers to make this available around the world, great. If not, they probably should. A vast majority of Xbox Live Marketplace and Zune Marketplace users <a target="_blank" href="http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/mobile-phone-users-top-33-billion/2008/05/25/1211653822824.html">probably have a mobile device</a> of some sort - some have their reasons against directly linking their Windows Live ID and credit card together, while others don't always want to make the trek to their local store to pick up one of the many Microsoft Points cards on offer, so this third option makes a lot of sense.
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2008, 07:34 PM
Dyvim
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There's something just so wrong about the whole "Microsoft Points" scheme. I'm sorry, Microsoft, but if you want to sell me online stuff, just charge me whatever the price is and be done with it. This whole points thing is patently ridiculous.

Sorry, rant off.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:51 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
There's something just so wrong about the whole "Microsoft Points" scheme. I'm sorry, Microsoft, but if you want to sell me online stuff, just charge me whatever the price is and be done with it. This whole points thing is patently ridiculous.
You're not alone, it seems that a lot of people dislike the points stuff. It allows for the sale of content that otherwise wouldn't be reasonable to sell (50 cent theme packs for instance) because of credit card processing fees. Myself, I don't mind it at all - or at least, I didn't until I got the Xbox movie content here - I find it frustrating not knowing how much I'm really paying for an HD movie rental unless I do the calculations to figure it out. I wish there was some sort of "conversion" rate listed so I'd understand the real dollar amount.

But the idea of buying $50 worth of points and using them up until they're gone is just fine with me - it's nice and easy.
 
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:02 PM
Dyvim
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Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
It allows for the sale of content that otherwise wouldn't be reasonable to sell (50 cent theme packs for instance) because of credit card processing fees.
iTunes, Amazon.com, Walmart etc. seem to be able survive charging me 89 or 99 cents for a music single. iTunes even lets you pay using PayPal instead of a credit card if you so wish.

Of course Microsoft wants you to buy that $50 card and get their money up front with no guarantee that you'll ever even use it. True, Apple hopes for the same thing when it sells you a $50 iTunes gift card (as does every business that sells gift cards), but with iTunes you don't have to pay that way if you don't want to and can just pay as you go.

I know iTunes tries to batch purchases together. i.e. it won't actually charge you that $0.99 immediately but wait a few days to see if you buy anything else and try to combine purchases into a single charge. But that's fine by me.

I don't like prepaying- I'd rather keep my money in my account earning interest for me for as long as possible. And as you mentioned, I like knowing how much something costs without having to run a currency calculator.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:27 PM
nmcclana
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Default Short term loan to microsoft

Ostensibly, they use points to avoid having to pay transaction fees to Visa and Mastercard (they usually charge a minimum amount, say 10) on each transaction. It seems more likely, however, that the purpose is to get consumers to feel as if they aren't spending 'money'. And, microsoft gets a 0% loan, and gets to keep any money that consumers fail to redeem.

What's in it for me? Hopefully this scrip bullcrap will die. More annoying is how they try to make it hard to figure out how much money you're spending (80pts = $1), and on the xbox marketplace, they sell blocks of 2000 points while most things cost 800 points. Like selling packs of 10 buns and 8 hot dogs.

the whole microsoft points thing came out when zune did, right? Microsoft charged 80pts for a song instead of itunes' dollar (of course, 80pts = $1).
 
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2008, 11:35 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
iTunes, Amazon.com, Walmart etc. seem to be able survive charging me 89 or 99 cents for a music single. iTunes even lets you pay using PayPal instead of a credit card if you so wish.
Ah, but I didn't mention music now did I? It's fine for commercial music, but with the Xbox, Microsoft had to come up with a system that would allow for "small" items to be sold - gamer theme cards, images, small in-game items ("Get a +5 Sword for 25 points!") - that sort of thing.

And what if there are some smaller, indy bands that want to sell their music for 50 cents? Suddenly those per-transaction charges start to prevent things like that.
 
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2008, 11:37 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcclana View Post
the whole microsoft points thing came out when zune did, right? Microsoft charged 80pts for a song instead of itunes' dollar (of course, 80pts = $1).
Nope - it's been around since the Xbox Live service launched with the Xbox 360. The Zune just got adopted into the system.
 
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:43 PM
Stinger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcclana View Post
More annoying is how they try to make it hard to figure out how much money you're spending (80pts = $1), and on the xbox marketplace, they sell blocks of 2000 points while most things cost 800 points. Like selling packs of 10 buns and 8 hot dogs.
You've hit the nail on the head here. Microsoft sells points in bundles of 500 and games are sold in multiples of 400. It's Disney dollars nonsense.

It's my biggest Xbox gripe after reliability. Heaven help any poor Zune user who only wants to buy one track...
 
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2008, 05:30 PM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
You've hit the nail on the head here. Microsoft sells points in bundles of 500 and games are sold in multiples of 400.
I guess there's an intellectual gripe factor there that's understandable (the old hot dog bun thing), but in reality we're only talking about $1 or so...it's something I put under the "Doesn't Matter" column in life. I understand why it frustrates some people though.
 
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:47 PM
Stinger
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It's the principle. It proves that the points system is just a cynical attempt to extract money from people.

And when Apple are giving people better value for money, you KNOW something is wrong.
 
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