Microsoft claims Xbox Live game price increases were unintended error

Real money conversion may have its price

Microsoft Points

Update: While the bottom to this barrel may yet be reached, Microsoft chirped up with a word on the reported game price increases were an unintentional mistake.

"We are aware that select regions experienced some incorrect game title pricing in the Xbox Live beta," a statement sent to Eurogamer read.

"This was an unintended error that we are in the process of fixing. We'll be reimbursing impacted beta participants for the difference in what was paid and what the price will be after the update is available to all members."

The company went on to acknowledge that "issues" like this are why beta programs exist.

We'll continue to monitor the situation to see if Microsoft makes good on its promise and fixes this so-called error, or if its bidding time before it changes its mind on policy, like we've seen before.

Original story...

There was much rejoicing when Microsoft announced that its Microsoft Points currency system for digital games will be canned with the next Xbox 360 update.

But as Microsoft's digital game marketplace converts to real money prices, the prices of digital games will reportedly go up.

That's according to U.K. beta testers on Reddit who have downloaded the next Xbox 360 dashboard update before the general public gets access.

According to one user, games cost more with the update - and to make it worse Microsoft Points are being converted to real money at the old rate.

Nickel-and-gaming

Reddit user Jackski claimed yesterday that the new dashboard update that adds real money prices to games also jacks up those prices.

With the new Xbox 360 dashboard, games that used to cost 1,200 Microsoft Points - purchasable for $14.92 (£9.99, AU$16.28) - are now selling in the digital Xbox marketplace for $17.91 (£11.99, AU$19.58).

Meanwhile Points are converting at their old rates, i.e. inputting a code for 1,200 Microsoft Points only gets you $14.92 (£9.99, AU$16.28).

So while buying a 1,200 Microsoft Points voucher at retail could previously get you an entire game, now it seems it may not be enough. And users with unused Microsoft Points on their accounts who make the dashboard switch will no longer be able to afford games they could have previously.

Some users are claiming that the new prices will bring digital Xbox 360 games in line with their counterparts on PlayStation 3, though games on Sony's PlayStation Network Store were never locked into the four-tier pricing scheme (400, 800, 1,200, or 1,600 Points) that Microsoft used for its downloadable arcade titles.

A global phenomenon?

In the U.S,. 1,200 Microsoft Points retail for $14.99 (£10.04, AU$16.39), but we've yet to hear from any beta testers there on whether their prices have changed as well.

A gamer in India reported a similar price hike, though, on Indian gaming blog Jetpack.in.

Because these reports come from beta testers, it's possible the price changes are a mistake or that the situation will be different once the dashboard update launches in full.

Of course, Microsoft could also be using the currency conversion as an excuse to hike the general costs of digital games in anticipation of the Xbox One launch, even though Xbox One games reportedly won't go up in price.

If that's the case, it would be nice if they would at least convert existing Points at the same rate.

Via Eurogamer