As Microsoft prepares for the launch of the Xbox One on November 22nd (in 13 territories), they are slowly phasing out, and phasing in, new features and services. The end goal of these transitions will be to introduce gamers to easier and friendlier services that they will enjoy taking advantage of during the Xbox One’s lifecycle.
One of the major shifts for Microsoft heading into the launch of the Xbox One is the dissolution of the Microsoft Points currency, which has now been converted into a real money system. Additionally, Microsoft has revamped their Xbox Rewards program, and has outlined the changes coming to the program today.
The most obvious change for Xbox Rewards going forward is that instead of earning points, gamers will be earning credits. Everything from renewing an Xbox Live Gold membership to purchasing a map pack will earn a gamer credits — anywhere from 250 all the way up to 5,000.
After a gamer earns 5,000 credits they can turn those credits into local currency for spending at the Microsoft store on new games, Avatar items, or DLC. Presumably, since Microsoft mentions the Microsoft store and not just the Xbox Live Marketplace, those credits would be good for other items as well, but there has been no confirmation with regards to that just yet.
For a quick overview of the Xbox Live Rewards program check out this shiny new infographic:
The infographic also mentions Microsoft’s My Achievements program, which rewards players for ranking in certain GamerScore tiers. Players with a GamerScore above a certain mark can receive up to 3% back on all their Xbox Live Store purchases. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a lot, but every little bit counts.
Which makes the Xbox Live Rewards program nothing but a good thing. It, as the name implies, rewards players for feeding back into the Xbox 360, and now Xbox One, ecosystem with a little extra cash to spend on more Xbox Live items. Microsoft even rewards gamers with some extra points (now credits) on their birthday, or at least they used to.
And even if you aren’t planning on picking up an Xbox One later this fall, the program is also available to Xbox 360 gamers.
Now the real question, though, is if Sony might co-opt a similar program with the PS4? Both Microsoft and Sony have been borrowing from each other’s leads as of late — Microsoft with their own free game program and Sony with PS Plus for multiplayer — so there’s no reason not to think the PS4 (and maybe the PS3) might offer its own rewards program.
Do you like the new Xbox Live Rewards program? Does a program like this increase your likelihood of making an Xbox Live Marketplace purchase?
The Xbox One will be out November 22, 2013 in 13 territories including North America.