I think we can all agree that virtual currency is the worst part of any digital marketplace. Often times, you're forced to buy more points than what's needed for the product in question, and then you're stuck with 20 points that can't be used for anything. One of the worst offenders is the Microsoft Points system, but it may finally be on its way out.
The Verge reports that Microsoft is planning to get rid of Microsoft Points with the launch of its new game console. Instead, Microsoft will focus on selling gift cards that allow consumers to purchase content across the Windows Store, the Windows Phone Store and Xbox Live Marketplace.
For those who don't like gift cards, Microsoft will thankfully also support cash transactions via credit and debit cards. Now we can only hope that Microsoft will support transactions of any amount without having to load a minimum amount upfront. It's pretty annoying that I have to pay $10 on Nintendo's 3DS eShop to buy a $5 game. Microsoft would be wise to avoid that scenario at all costs.
It seems that Microsoft is planning on unveiling its new gift card system around E3. It won't be implemented at that point, however, as Microsoft will apparently start using the new system when the next Xbox launches. We might even see the official launch of Windows 8.1 at that time. If that's the case, Microsoft may go all out in promoting apps and the new gift cards on both the next Xbox and Windows 8.1 machines.