Microsoft Points are those points that are used in the Xbox Live marketplace to buy things like demos, in game items, maps, themes, trailers and previews, and actual games to be downloaded. They are international and are able to be used without need of a credit card. However, you are able to buy them with a credit card should you decide to use one to purchase them with.
The points are able to be purchased in some stores, especially ones that sell games and consoles. They are usually kept either behind the counter or out with the “accessories” section of the games section. They are in gift card form.
They are also able to be bought online if you have a credit card. Buying online can happen through xbox.com to get the points transferred into the Live account that the points are being purchased for.
Another credit card buying option is going through the Xbox Live Marketplace itself. This is identical to buying them at xbox.com.
The last option for getting points is through the Xbox Live Gold pack. These are at retail stores like the gift cards.
All of these are buying options, and Xbox has gone on record as saying that there can be points given as promotions as well. When these promotions will be remains to be seen.
What Are Microsoft Points
Points are purchased in batches, typically 1600 or 2000 points at a time. They go into a special account in the Xbox Live system. Then the gamer can use those to purchase items for download. These can be maps, extra themes, extra levels, or anything. The items are available to be browsed in the Microsoft Live marketplace. The number next to the MS points icon will tell the price of the item. There are items that are free, and these can be used without having a balance in the Microsoft point account. There is no currency conversions with Microsoft points, so it is a good way to travel international and still be fine with the games console system.
Community Games are yet another thing that you can buy with Microsoft points. In additions to demos and themes, maps and weapons for the top selling Xbox 360 games, there are special sections called “Community Games”. These are user created games that are very low priced. There is a free demo version of all these games to try. Using points to buy community games shows the game creator the value of his/her efforts. It is also a good way to find indie games that aren’t commercial bought and sold.