Friday, January 25, 2008

Why Microsoft Points Are NOT Like Poker Chips

Robert McLaws recently posted that Microsoft Points Are Like Poker Chips, and how he loves MS Points, wants to see them everywhere.

I have been pretty vocal and consistent that MS Points suck because they are completely anti-consumer, they only benefit Microsoft. If anyone, like Robert McLaws, say they like them, well then they are a tool. And MS Points are only on the surface like poker chips because poker chips at any casino have two huge feature that MS Points don't:

  1. You can always convert poker chips to cash, not true for MS Points
  2. Poker chips are worth the same thing as dollars, MS Points are fractional to confuse consumers

Finally, until I see a legitimate independent study done comparing purchasing content using MS Points vs. dollars ala Apple and iTunes, I don't believe as McLaws asserts that people buy more content on Xbox Live Marketplace because of MS Points. I would argue that purchases on Xbox Live Marketplace are in spite of MS Points. There is a no way an additional layer of indirection, having to add a block of points before making a purchase and having to convert to dollars, is easier, more convenient, or results in more sales than simply pressing buy in iTunes using dollars and being done with it.