When Microsoft announced their plans last week at CES to out-Home Sony with their own virtual space in the form of the Game Room, something stirred deep in the disconnected storage shed in the back of my brain. As Microsoft announced the pricing structure, specifically the Microsoft-Points-for-Credits part, it finally clicked. May 8th, 2007 was the day I posted The Virtual Token; Impossible, Potential, or just Plain Stupid? and put the idea out there into the great subconscious hive mind.
Instead of paying 800 Microsoft or Wii Points, roughly $8-$10, for an old arcade ROM that may only last a half hour, how would you feel about paying two dollars or less for a download and a few credits? Play it once or twice and then when you get squashed decide if it’s worth paying… one Point to continue. Now that’s what I envisioned as a micropayment!
One Point is exactly the wistful, innocent number I’d have picked three years ago, but aside from the pricing of it I think I was pretty spot-on. Like most “big ideas” of mine I end up trailing off into more questions than suggestions by the end but it looks like Microsoft filled in their own answers for Game Room. Ya know what, though, guys? This one’s on me. You can just slide me a lifetime supply of Microsoft Points and we’ll call it even, k?