The Xbox Live Rewards program is now out of it's year-long beta and is up and running in the US and Europe, finally providing Xbox gamers in those regions with a loyalty program all of their very own.
Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb updated his blog yesterday to announce the new program. With immediate affect, Xbox Live users can sign up to the free Xbox Live Rewards program by hitting this website, and immediately begin earning points by taking part in various Xbox Live-related activities.
The complete list of Xbox Live Marketplace items that kick-back reward points is not available, but the overview below should give you a general feel for the scope of the rewards and the baseline amounts for several key Xbox Live activities. Notice in this menu the item 'Activate and Use Sky on Xbox LIVE' -- Sky is the streaming TV service implemented on European Xbox Live dashboard, similar to Netflix in the US, which will also reward points for watching.
The points earned in the reward program are real, genuine Microsoft Points, but note in the above picture that Xbox Live Gold subscribers will earn more points on average than silver members. In either case, though, this still means that you can use the points to buy more things from the Xbox Live Marketplace, but with less impact to your real-life wallet and, in-turn, your marriage/relationship. These are all good things.
The fact that MS Points are now being rewarded for simply doing what we were doing anyway is a great example of how companies should acknowledge digital-age consumers on a digital-only platform. Microsoft are rewarding you. So keep streaming Netflix movies, impulse-buying Star Wars gear for your avatar and renting episodes of The Walking Dead, and laugh all the way to the non-existent bank.
I'm signing up to the Xbox Live Rewards program as I'm writing this, but are you guys going to do the same? What do you think -- is this the kind of rewards program you want, or were you hoping Microsoft would go in more of a Nintendo Club route?