We saw the signs, we heard the rumors, and now it’s official: Microsoft is doing away with Microsoft Points. As the publisher heads into a new console generation, and prepares to unify all its services through Windows, the antiquated currency system no longer fit.

Moving forward, Microsoft plans to stick to more traditional (read: obvious) currency systems like credit and gift cards. There is no word, however, on what Microsoft plans to do with gamers’ unspent points.

Gamers can expect Microsoft’s new currency system to function almost exactly like those available through the PSN or iTunes. As well, consumers can purchase a gift card online or through a retail chain, use the gift card to replenish their account, and use those funds to purchase any number of items (games, DLC, avatar trinkets, music, movies, etc.). Those funds can also be used on the Windows Store, the Windows Phone Store, and any brick-and-mortar Microsoft store.

This announcement has been a long time coming for Microsoft, who suggested they might move towards real currency with Windows 8. And with a new console on the horizon, now seemed like as good a time as any to say, “Au Revoir,” to MS Points.

There were certainly a lot of features and ideas that Microsoft got right with the Xbox 360, but Microsoft points was not one of them. Sure, MS Points were a good idea from a marketing perspective — as they encouraged spending — but they were not user friendly.

Purchasing content like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon or a track pack for Rock Band, for example, became a headache-inducing ordeal. How many times did you go to buy something, only to discover you were a mere 20 points shy of the price tag and had to fork over another $5-$15 just to add $1 to your account? Never again!

As we alluded to briefly, there’s no word on what Microsoft plans to do about MS Points on the Xbox 360. After all, the Xbox 360 sn’t going to disappear once the Xbox 720 launches. Better start hoarding them now; they might be worth a fortune in the future.

Are you glad Microsoft is finally doing away with Microsoft points? Will you be more apt to make online purchases now?

Source: Polygon