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Xbox Live Points On Pre-Sale

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the microtransactional dept.

XBox (Games) 22

Microsoft is offering up Xbox Live Marketplace points for presale, according to Edge Online. Ala iTunes prepaid cards, the relatively cheap cards are to allow players to conduct microtransactions, purchasing game enhancing features like new texture elements or game levels. From the article: "Its worthy of note though that, according to the item's description, the points allegedly can also be used for both games purchases on the Xbox Live Arcade service and subscription fees for forthcoming MMORPGs. This may suggest a new unified and universal online currency for all Xbox 360 transactions, adding a layer of obfuscation as well as convenience to the potential buyer, who may be quicker to spend '800 points' than the equivalent £5 for that coveted new multiplayer map."

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Where does it end? (1)

turtled (845180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889455)

You can use REAL money to purchase Virtual "Official" items (wheels, clothes, etc to deck out your online player), but can you sell yuor virtual items to other players for REAL money ala MMORPG? Seems like that is a hazy line depending on game creators, and obviously a big deal for "farmers". Will Microsoft allow me to sell my 24" rims online to someone for real cash, or will Microsoft somehow tax that?

Re:Where does it end? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889617)

You can sell your own items to other players for points, but not for real cash. It's all points when you're online. Of course, by getting points in this way, you have to spend less cash on your MMORPG subscription and so on.

Re:Where does it end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890263)

Most MMO farming is done by real cash outside the gameworld, not inside (except for a few that actually condone it). The buyer makes the transaction in cash in the real world, then the in-game materials are transferred afterwards.

Farming on Live, with the microtransactions, would depend on two things: Being able to freely obtain/earn these points, and being able to freely transfer those same points. By free, I mean without dumping money into the system (Time is another matter). If someone can repetitively do something to earn points, then find a way to transfer those points, then you have the possibility of farming. If both are easy enough to do, then we may see farming.

The only trick is a balance of time/cost. If you can sell the points for less than MS is selling it, without wasting too much time to get those same points, it might work. But it'd probably be easier to buy a card with points you can transfer, and it'd have an air of legitimacy to it.

Re:Where does it end? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895176)

Very interesting, players could use generic items as "currency" even if Microsoft stop them transferring points to eachother. That currency could then be converted back into opints at will.

Summary is slightly off: (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889611)

FTA: "To that end, and taking a tip from other online services like iTunes, American online retailers have begun taking preorders on pre-paid Xbox 360 Live Marketplace Points.

FTSummary: " Microsoft is offering up Xbox Live Marketplace points for presale, according to Edge Online."

A subtle distinction, perhaps, but MS is not retailing the points directly as of now.

The silliest part -- why would anyone prepay for these Points, it's not like inventory is limited by physical supply, right? Unless MS chooses to artificially induce delays in delivery, or can't handle the volume (which would really, really surprise me).

Re:Summary is slightly off: (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889967)

I'd assume that these are like mobile phone top up cards, so the game shops are selling physical cards with a code on them to add X points to your Xbox. So theoretically the cards could run out.

I think this is just an alternative way to pay for Xbox Live and extra content for people who don't have credit / debit cards - IIRC Microsoft said they were working on ways so that people without them could get on Live (I'm exstatic about the prospect of more 12 year old American twats on Live...). I'll probably stick to the direct approach and keep on using my debit card if / when I get a 360.

Re:Summary is slightly off: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13891355)

(I'm exstatic about the prospect of more 12 year old American twats on Live...)

As opposed to the perfectly behaved British 12 year olds?

(you twat)

Re:Summary is slightly off: (1)

ScottyUK (824174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13892417)

As opposed to the perfectly behaved British 12 year olds
To be honest it doesn't matter where the 12 year olds come from; anyone with a high pitched voice and the inability to shut up for more than 2 seconds deserves to be barred from ever using a microphone. Many people I know, myself included, like to set up games in Midtown Madness 3 (dullish game, but good for this purpose) and just mess about, using Live as a "chatroom with cars" in cruise mode. Usually we leave the room open to let people in, but half of the time someone (usually American - don't take offense at my saying this, it's probably just because there's more of you on Live anyways) will join and disrupt the session. If the host has fallen asleep or gone out for a bit, there's absolutely nothing we can do except mute them - when they click on to that fact they'll just start disrupting the gameplay itself. It's good to let new people come in and mess about in-game, and we don't like locking the room to prevent this. So we're stuck between a rock and a hard place - let new people come in and risk the "twats", or lock the room and be restricted to our current friends list (and where's the fun in that? :P)

Live for the 360 needs to implement kick voting and such - I'm not aware of many current Xbox games that allow this, but I'm mainly a PC gamer and don't use my xbox for much more than racing games. Improvements to the feedback system (ability to demo a player perhaps, or attach a message) would be helpful. Allowing people to get on live using these points cards, without some sort of credit card verification (even though most parents would do it), would be hellish.

Itchy and Scratchy Land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13889734)

'Would you like to buy some Itchy and Scratchy Land Money?'
'What's that?'
'It's money just for use in the park. It's like regular money except for ... uh more fun.'
'Alright I'll take $2000 worth'

[signs everywhere]We do not accept Itchy and Scratchy Land Money[/signs everywhere]

Simpsons has a quote for everything ...

I wish Microsoft luck with their virtual money and virutal products ... um ... I'm sure they're like real money and real products but ... um more fun.

Re:Itchy and Scratchy Land (0, Offtopic)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890156)

Hehe, as southpark said, Simpsons has been around for more than 10 years of course they have said everything and done everything possible by now.

Re:Itchy and Scratchy Land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13893065)

They reran the episode last night before the new one and it was 13 years. And then there was the comment that everything was done even before The Simpsons.

New textures (2, Insightful)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890272)

purchasing game enhancing features like new texture elements

Hoo boy, am I looking forward to that.

Maybe Microsoft can sell me a game for $60, then nickel and dime me for another $30 so I can download newer textures. What a fanfuckingtastic business model. Oh yeah, they're in this "for the gamers."

Re:New textures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13892529)

You're not being nicked and dimed.

You're just paying for:

* All the xbox owners getting free harddrives from Microsoft over the past few years

* Microsoft's utter lack of competence in creating console hardware - Uncle Bill sure as hell ain't footing the 4-5 billion dollar xbox party

* NVidia's IP being used to let you play Halo and Halo 2 ports on your 360 - because if there is one thing xbox owners didn't get enough of it was Halo

* The MTV special - suckage of that magnitude doesn't come cheap yaknow

* Massive payouts to the gaming press to keep the shockingly bad 360 launch title reviews underwraps until the pre-orders have gone through - yes they really are that bad - total jafest

Don't blame Microsoft just because they suck.

Re:New textures (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13893143)

Its funny, a lot of my friends bashed MS for doing this, and then go right back to playing HL2 which they got through Steam...which is starting to charge for mods....chilling indeed.

Re:New textures (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13893353)

Maybe Microsoft can sell me a game for $60, then nickel and dime me for another $30 so I can download newer textures. What a fanfuckingtastic business model. Oh yeah, they're in this "for the gamers."

First off, only EA has said they'll be pricing games at $60. In fact, Microsoft has said that all of their 360 launch titles will be at $50 or less ($60 for the two-disk PDZ collector's edition). One could extrapolate that future Microsoft titles will be $50 or less, too, but I won't go there.

Second, there's always talk of selling stupid crap like textures or weapons or whatever via Live. It happened with Xbox Live a couple of years ago, and it's happening now with the 360 revision. That doesn't mean it will happen. So far, premium content on Live has been truly "extra" stuff. New maps in Halo 2 (which, BTW, were eventually released for free as well), new cars and tracks in PGR2, etc. And they weren't "one map/car/track at $5", either, but a bundle of several maps, several cars and tracks at $5. Points will allow for micropayment-like transactions so that you could theoretically buy one of the cars for $0.25 instead of all 9 for $5.

Finally, please keep in mind that while Live is a big selling point, the 360 (as the Xbox before it) still needs to be accessible to people without broadband (even though Live Silver is free and comes with every 360, you still may not have the required broadband). Thus, you're not going to buy just a game engine for $60 and be nickled and dimed trying to buy all of the models, textures, and maps needed to make a full game. As well, Microsoft doesn't allow developers to charge for patches that fix problems, so you're not going to see a case where you buy a $60 game and then have to spend another $5 for a bunch of bug fixes.

Be paranoid all you like, but it helps to actually understand what you're scared about first.

Presale? (1)

Max_Abernethy (750192) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890347)

Why would you buy these "points" in advance? One of my friends was planning to buy XBox 360 games before the system came out - I thought that was stupid enough, but I guess the idea is to make sure the game doesn't sell out before he gets it? But these points are a purely digital construct. It's not like Microsoft can run out of them. So why are people so eager to buy something they can't even use? Why do they want to hand their money over earlier than they have to?

Marketplace = multipurpose vacumn hose attachment. (2, Insightful)

wift (164108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890685)

I admit, I'm a big fan of my xbox and xbl and will be buying a 360 but this Marketplace concept makes me nervous. I'm afraid of game publishers piece-mealing us to death with digital clothes, tattoos,weapons and car paint jobs. Selling someone a digital island for real money makes my skin crawl. I'll vote with my $ by not using the marketplace for the stupid crap and only use it for new maps/levels that I feel are above and beyond what would be considered a complete game.

The obvious analogy of Bungie's map pack will be used. I did pay for so I could play with my friends online. If you were patient it was free except for the extra material on the disk. That was the only acceptable way of handling it with maybe the possibility of making it free from day one.

Re:Marketplace = multipurpose vacumn hose attachme (1)

akmarksman (928492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951468)

I joined XBL after a year or so..and come to find out the new content available was free..I don't play H2 online,so I didn't buy the new map pack..but what's cool is eventually it became free.. I downloaded 3 packs for Ghost Recon2.I like the additions.New maps,new added a different feel to the game. I'm guessing it all depends on the game maker..Red Storm might make their stuff free after a time(another "corporate" game company)...but if I want a new paint job for my car in Midnight Club3 Dub Edition..I'd rather buy it by winning races and earning money by playing single player mode.. In other words,there are some things worth buying(if they won't become free after awhile)and some things that are not.

possibilities (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890793)

There are a couple of major benefits to this "abstracted currency", at least from Microsoft's perspective:
  • It's international. The exchange rate of real currency to live points only matters when a user buys some points, which is a transaction with their local MS subsidiary; after that the points have the same value anywhere in the world.
  • There could be ways to get points without directly spending money on them. Since creating points costs MS nothing, they can give them out as prizes at the drop of a hat. Someone wants to hold a tournament on Live? give them some points to distribute to the top players. Sales of some peripheral doohickey not what you hoped? Put a points voucher in the box.
  • Any multiplayer game that wants to have an in-game currency could use the live points service instead, and leave to MS the problems of implementing transactions, integrity, and security. Of course, it would be tricky to do this without opening the door for some sort of cross-game arbitrage (earn a ton of cash in an action game you're good at, spend it outfitting characters in an MMORPG)

Re:possibilities (1)

xbox360news (926401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891406)

All good points but anything virtual, especially currency, can be scary stuff.

Re:possibilities (1)

akmarksman (928492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951548)

I do like the last part in your post..where you could have a ton of money(save some by switching to Geico)and spend it in a different game..That would be FUN! Say you become real good at quests..and eventually you have 10,000 Virtual Money(let's make it easy and make it $) and you REALLY want a new lightmachinegun or sniper rifle(.50cal anyone?) for your squad-based shooter..a transfer order later..your looking at a new shiny gun. They could curb some of the large amount transaction/transfers by implementing a fee/surcharge for anything over..let's say 5,000..then again it's all fake..but who knows..

re-reading your post..and I do like the 2nd idea...however in a game like Unreal Tournament or Halo2 you'd have squads of pointswhores..playing for 12 hours straight..hell maybe even clans of pointwhores.. They they might use something like Ebay and sell them for real money...there's a scary thought.

Representative (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895131)

This is representative of the whole MS philosophy.

Maps and mods and better textures used to be things people in the community would do for the love of it and share with the community for nothing but the hope of kudos and respect if they did a good job.

Now MS has found a way to make you charge and pay for things that would otherwise be free. Everything has to have a pricetag on it in Microsoftland, especially free things because they're, uhh, viral.

It's a bad idea and it's completely unavoidable. Roll on, corporate machine, roll on.
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