The long-rumored death of Microsoft Points is just around the corner, according to The Verge’s sources. Recently, Microsoft has been slowly transitioning away from points across its various stores. While XBLA games can only be purchased with points, the Games on Demand platform uses real-world currency in addition to points. When Windows 8 launched, app, music and movie purchases defaulted to real world cash pricing.

The Verge’s sources report that Microsoft may unveil the new payment standard as early as E3 (Microsoft’s pre-E3 media briefing is scheduled for June 10), and a full launch is expected by the end of the year to coincide with the release of the next-gen Xbox. The gift cards will reportedly function like iTunes gift cards many people are already familiar with, and credit and debit cards will also be accepted. The new pricing/purchasing system will supposedly span across Microsoft’s various marketplaces: Xbox, Windows Mobile Store and Windows Store.

Going to a real currency system lifts the veil of confusing point conversions to determine how much something costs or the requirement of buying points in bundles instead of exact amounts. This much more consumer-friendly approach makes console holder’s purchasing ecosystem easier for everyone in the household, which will help in Microsoft’s battle for the living room.

Source: The Verge