It certainly seemed like a godsend: the news that Microsoft would be eschewing their Microsoft Points system in the next hardware generation and, in preparation for that, converting the current marketplace to a real-money system. However, as those in the UK pilot program are currently discovering, this may come with some unintended and frustrating side effects.
400 MSP items have been made available for £4.49, where the same number of points used to cost about £3.20. Similarly, 1200 MSP products now cost £11.99, but one can purchase that many points for £9.99. Similar increases can be seen at all price points, including 800 and 1600 MSP games and items.
This is particularly unfortunate since, in response to the changeover, gamers have had their existing bank of MSP converted over to currency at the old exchange rate, essentially shorting them out of money.
Meanwhile, in Australia, prices have actually dropped a bit as a result of the somewhat schizophrenic conversion.