Microsoft released an update to the Xbox 360 on Monday that ends the use of MS Points to make purchases on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Owners who currently have a point balance on their account should see it converted to real world currency.
The update is slowly being rolled out across all 41 regions that support Xbox LIVE so Xbox 360 owners shouln't be surprised if they haven't received it yet. Whatever point balance was attached to their Xbox LIVE account will be converted according to local currency values. For example, in the United States 80 MS Points is the equivalent of $1. So, those that had 280 MS Points on their account should now see $3.50.
Any existing MS Point cards can still be redeemed on Xbox LIVE but will be converted to local currency immediately.
That converted money won't hang around forever though. Users will need to spend it by June 1, 2015 according to a FAQ posted by Microsoft or else it will expire. However, any cash added to an Xbox LIVE after the update is downloaded will not expire.
The conversion also brings the addition of local sales tax being added to purchases according to the FAQ. Interestingly, any converted money spent won't be subject to additional taxes. However, any regular world cash spent after the update will be subject to local sales taxes.
Other restrictions include the fact that currency stored on a user's account currently cannot be used to purchase LIVE Gold subscriptions or music via Xbox Music. Stored currency can be used to purchase music sometime in late 2013 or early 2014 depending on region but there is release for when LIVE Gold subscriptions can be purchased that way.
You can follow Scott via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed or email alerts for all the latest game news and deals as well as the weekly Furious Fourcast podcast/videocast. All game news on Examiner can be followed at the Game On Facebook page and Twitter feed.