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Microsoft Points to be retired in next Xbox 360 system update

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The transition from Microsoft Points to local currency — and the retirement of the points-based currency — will arrive with the next system update for the Xbox 360, said Microsoft chief product officer Marc Whitten. In a post on Xbox Wire, Whitten outlined the company's plan to put Microsoft Points behind them.

"After the next Xbox 360 system update," he wrote, "when you go to buy something or redeem a Microsoft Points card or code on your console with your Microsoft account, we'll add to your account an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Xbox Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points, which will be retired."

Xbox 360 owners will be able to purchase goods in real-world currency amounts with a credit card and Xbox Gift Cards denominated in local currency will be rolling out in "late 2013," Whitten said. Existing Microsoft Points Cards will still be valid, he said, and when redeemed Microsoft will "add to your account an amount of local currency equal to or greater than the Marketplace value of those points."

In a FAQ on the transition, Microsoft said it has "no plans to discontinue acceptance of previously purchased Points cards and codes."

One aspect of the transition from Microsoft Points to local currency will expire however. Microsoft says, "The currency we add to your account at the time of the transition will expire on June 1, 2015. However, the currency you purchase and add to your account after the transition will not expire."

Microsoft began beta-testing the upcoming Xbox 360 system update, which includes the currency transition, in July.

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