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Non-US customers paying up to 25% more for Microsoft Points

Microsoft Points are a necessary purchase for anyone wishing to purchase content within Microsoft’s Xbox, Zune, and Windows marketplaces. Prices remain constant, and the points were originally launched around the world at prices comparative to those in the US. Since that time, a lot has changed and the global financial crisis has slightly shifted the balance of financial power. So the big question is – what does this mean for Microsoft Points?

Differences in Microsoft Point pricing around the world

Sources: Oanda (exchange rates), IGN (international prices).

As seen in the above graph, the only ones benefiting from currency increases have been Microsoft – taking in up to 25% more than they were when Points first launched. The below table shows the price of 1000 Microsoft Points in local currencies at a launch, and the prices now (adjusted by the average trading price for the last 12 months).

Price of 1000 Points - Current and Adjusted

Region Current Price Adjusted Price
USA $ 12.50 $ 12.50
Canada $ 15.50 $ 12.87
UK £ 8.50 £ 7.97
EU € 12.00 € 9.58
Australia $ 16.50 $ 13.82
Japan ¥ 1,480.00 ¥ 1,105.21


The industry has questioned Microsoft in the past about the way in which they price Microsoft Points, a common complaint being that US$1.00 only equates to 80 points. Microsoft told G4TV in January that they were looking at how they charge for online purchases, and earlier this year, Microsoft dropped the use of points for its ‘Games On Demand’ titles in favor of local-currency prices.

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