Life's Mysteries: Why Xbox Live's Point System Makes No Sense

Illustration for article titled Life's Mysteries: Why Xbox Live's Point System Makes No Sense

One of the most annoying things about Xbox Live is the currency setup. The points aren't 1-to-1 with real money (like on the Wii where $5=500 points), and you've gotta buy 'em in bulk—the bulk aspect made worse by the non-direct setup. There's a good reason for that, right? Well, Xbox Live's Aaron Greenberg actually provides one that sorta makes sense, if you ignore the slight stink of bullshit hovering around it:

"The reason why we do that, the core reason, is around credit card transaction fees," said Greenberg. "If we do this in bulk, we don't have to burden the consumer with the transaction fees, or ourselves or publishers. It's about keeping infrastructure costs down and I know sometimes it's frustrating because you end up with odd points, but we don't have any plans to change that."

Forgive the quick brush-off, but the fact is that there are a lot of other systems around—iTunes, Nintendo's Virtual Console—where you can buy credit or points with a credit card or on a gift card from Target or wherever, yet they still manage to use a setup that's easily translated to and from real money, making bulk purchases less annoying. If credit card transaction costs really are the issue, to be honest, I'd almost be willing to pay the premium for a setup that makes sense. What do you guys think? [1UP via Kotaku]

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Why are people trying to explain away the stupidity that is the points system? In the Zune marketplace, I still have 5 points left over, but wtf am I going to do with it? Supplement it by buying another block of 400 points? Granted, this is a rather trivial amount, but does present an issue with the points system that I just don't like. If I was able to buy 79 points by itself, then I'd have no problem with that. I'd think it was goofy, but I'd at least be able to blow all of my points in one shot, not have what seems to be an arbitrary amount.

Credit fees? Bullshit. Not everyone uses a credit card to make transactions online. However, my credit card does not have a limit on the minimum transaction.