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Xbox Live 4200 Microsoft Points
What are they? -------------------
For those not into gaming, who do not own an Xbox or have simply never heard of these, Microsoft points are in principle an online currency used to purchase additional game related content from Xbox live to your Xbox for use.
What can you buy? -------------------------
Completely depending on what sort of a gamer you are, then different things will appeal to you. Over all there is such a vast range of things that can be brought, including: Full Arcade Games (Game releases that do not really have enough content to warrant a full title release at full price), Additional Maps for First Person Shooters (Gears of War, Halo and Call of Duty Etc) Additional songs for music related games (Rock band, Lips or Guitar hero etc) Then there is extra extended stories and side quests, for when you have finished a game but would like to keep playing with a reason. Extra costumes and additional weapons for characters in games can be brought also.
You can also download features like themes for your Xbox (which are different backgrounds and menus) as well as behind the scene “making of” videos etc for your favourite games.
Where can you buy them? -----------------------------------
You can buy Microsoft points one of 2 ways, either online, or offline.
Online you will need to be in front of your Xbox with an internet connection and follow the instructions on screen to pay for and download points to your account.
You can also purchase points from shops such as HMV, game or WHSmiths, usually anywhere that would stock Xbox games are likely to have these. The points are actually a code in this case, written on the back of a small cardboard credit card size card. There is a scratch panel on the back that will reveal your code with you enter onto your Xbox to get the points.
I have a bit of a dislike for the way they package these, the card comes in a plastic box the same size and shape as an Xbox game box. I find this completely unnecessary; the card is tiny in comparison, surrounded by a whole load of casing. The thing I cannot understand is why they thought this was a good idea, the only reason I would want something the same size and shape as my Xbox games would be if it was to live on the shelf with them, but surely anyone out purchasing these has an idea what they want to spend them on and would add them straight away? It just leaves me getting home, opening and adding my points, then having to dispose of the box which is not recyclable. I can’t see the point.
My Opinion ----------------
I do like the idea of Microsoft Points overall, they are a quick way of getting additional content to make much loved games even better. They obviously have a varying importance to the different type of gamers, those that play for hours and hours a day will want or “need” these to get the most potential out of their games where as the more casual gamer may see them as a silly way to get people to put more money in Microsoft’s hands. Myself, I fall in the middle. I like games; I have the additional Halo maps and enjoy the arcade games. I have also brought many music packs for Rock Band and the additional story for Fable II but not a great deal more.
I think Microsoft have been clever and noticing this obvious chance for more profit by releasing content that may have been a part of the additional game if this option didn’t exist in the first place. The use of points instead of actual money (unlike the PS3) means it doesn’t seem quite as expensive and the points don’t seem like “real” money after they on your system.
I do buy these however; I tend to buy the 4200 point boxes as opposed to the 2100 points will set you back on average £16. You can buy 4200 for £29.99 saving you a few quid as long as you are likely to have to end up buying more.
Buying 4200 for £29.99 makes then 0.007p per point. Your average arcade game will vary between 800 -1200 points, so about £5 or £6. This is a pretty reasonable price but when it comes to the other content it starts to get a little bit more expensive. Do you really need 2 extra swords and a hat for your character at £3 a go? Or really want to play along to 5 more songs at a cost of £5? The little bits do add up to a reasonably big expense.
I like the fact that the points do not expire. If you were to add some to your account in December they will still be there the following year as long you have an Xbox live account. This is great for presents or buying only when you have a little extra money. You can add as many as you like and leave them there until you find something you want to buy without buying for the sake of it so as not to “waste” your points.
One thing I do not like about these, is the fact that the points are allocated to your gamer tag on your account and cannot be used by another person. As much as I understand the security issue here and how it saves any people sharing an Xbox (for example with siblings) stealing each others, it stops people like me buying as many as I would actually use. My other half and myself have an Xbox each, one lives in the Bedroom one in the Living Room, we each have hard drives (Obviously previously having owned one each before putting them in the same house) we both flick between the 2 and save games on which ever hard drives etc we happen to be using at the time.
If my other half buys 4200 points to purchase an arcade game he likes the look of for 1000 points, his account will have another 3100 left. If I was then to wish to purchase a game I would have to buy my own points. I understand Microsoft is making more money this way but they aren’t. I, as a more casual gamer, will simply not bother to buy any. If I was to be able to use his points, by maybe saving them against your hard drive as opposed to gamer tag, then when he wanted to buy something else (which as a more serious gamer he would no doubt) we would purchase more if I’d used his.
Overall I think these are a clever idea. I like the options they give and will continue to use them. I would have a moan about the cost and the way you feel like you aren’t really spending money, but in fairness, I actually think that’s pretty clever marketing on Microsoft’s behalf and can’t really blame them.
I know the real cost of these and I know that 800 points seems like a lot less than £5, even though it really is £5. But as long as there are people like me who are going to buy them anyway, then Microsoft are on to a money maker!
The points are simple to add and do not expire. They aren’t transferrable which is a little frustrating, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that they are a good tool at expanding your game play without having to buy an additional full price game.
I think most people who use their Xbox frequently would find something available in the Xbox marketplace that they would like to buy. These allow you to do just that. I would recommend that any keen gamers do buy these, but go for the larger quantities to save a few pounds. Any more casual gamers ignore as best you can. You’ll only end up using them because they are there and not because you “need” any of the items available.
I think these would be best brought as a present. If someone can have some without having to pay, then all the better!