Thanks to Gameinformer.com & Gamesindusty.biz:
“Aaron Greenberg, Xbox group product manager, recently clarified that Microsoft isn’t trying to trick people into thinking they are spending less on games with their points system. He also mentioned that they may begin advertising the price for downloadable items in dollars alongside the MS Points price.
“We never intended to mislead people,” Greenberg said in a chat with G4. “We want to be transparent about it, and so it is something that we’re looking at.
“How can we be more transparent and let people see it in actual dollars? You’ve got to think that we have one service that we’re offering around the world. The nice thing about Points is that no matter if you’re on the JPY or the EUR or the USD – something that’s 200 Points is 200 Points everywhere around the world.”
Greenburg goes on to explain that there are technical hoops to jump through in order to localize pricing, considering you much customize the price tag for each country along with their currency fluctuations. He also mentioned plans to expand Xbox Live users’ friends list beyond the 100 cap.
“Exactly when that happens I can’t say because there’s some technical requirements tied to it. But I can tell you that, just like consumers, I share the same frustration and I, too, want more than 100 friends, and so know that we all want that and that we are working on getting that fixed.”
Somewhat interesting article on the state of MS points (the points used to buy all things from the Xbox Live Marketplace). Let’s be honest here though, MS points are misleading, and can also be confusing when you’re going to add points to your account. First though, let’s take a look at why they’re misleading.
The best way to explain it is by using the Nintendo approach to how their Wii points work. A Wii point, costs one penny. So, if you wanted one thousand points, you’d pay ten bucks. Pretty simple. There’s no confusion when determining how many points you want. You know exactly how much money you’re putting onto your account for points.
The MS system goes that for one dollar, you get eighty points. So if you buy eight hundred points, you’re paying ten bucks in real-world currency (not eight bucks that you would spend on the Wii). Here’s a great example of how they’re misleading. You can buy say a song from Zune for seventy nine points, but in reality you just paid ninety nine cents. So you think you’re saving money, since it’s only seventy nine points, but you actually spent a buck. I’m not complaining about the price of songs or games (that’s a different article), but they could at least show the real world cost so you don’t think you’re saving money. This is why it gets confusing.
While Nintendo obviously has the best system for points, MS seems to want to confuse people when they purchase points. Why not have it at one point equals a penny? Screw it, copy the formula from Nintendo, so people don’t have any confusion about how much they’re getting for their money.
Another issue with the point system is that you can’t just buy however many points you need. Instead you’re forced to buy points in blocks. So let’s say that you bought a game and have three hundred points left, and you just need another hundred to get one more game, rather then being able to add those extra points you’re forced to buy more then you need. While some people have no issue with this, since they buy a lot of games or DLC (you can look at it like a bank account), I’d rather have the option of choosing how many points I buy at a time rather then buying a whole block. Giving the gamers the ability to purchase however many points they want instead of buying in bulk is a step in the right direction, hopefully this happens sooner then later.
The only way to fully fix the issue with the misleading points would require a drop in the price, or upping the price to even everything out. That’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Gamers are in a corner so to speak with the issue, some are just buying however many they need, while others are not buying at all.
As for having more people on the friends list, I’m in the middle with the issue. I have around seventy friends on my list that I barely play games with or even talk to. Personally, I don’t mind there being a cap, but that’s just me.