Xbox 360: Get the Points
Microsoft® Points are the coin of the Xbox Live Marketplace realm. Microsoft Points is a universal system that works across international borders, and is even available if you don't have a credit card. Here's how they work.
How Do I Get Points?
Microsoft Points let everyone in on the Xbox Live Marketplace action. First, though, you need to get some. Purchasing Points is like putting money into a special account that you can use on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. You can buy them online from the Marketplace itself on your console or here on Xbox.com by using your credit card, but if you don't have a credit card, no worries. You can also pick up gift cards at hundreds of participating retail locations and use the number on that card to buy your Points.
You can also get Points as part of the Xbox LIVE Gold Pack, available at participating retailers. Points will also be awarded to users for various promotions in the future. It's a simple thing, but it opens up all of the amazing premium content on Xbox Live to a whole new community of gamers.
You can buy games, add-ons
and more with Points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Why Do I Want to Use Points?
Points let everyone on Xbox LIVE—Silver and Gold members—pick up content to enhance their entertainment experience, opening up the Marketplace to everyone in the world that is connected to Xbox LIVE. But the big deal here is that Points allow what technical types call "micro-transactions."
On the original Xbox LIVE, transactions had to be around five dollars U.S., the minimum for most credit cards. But with Microsoft Points, the price for most anything—maps, skins, levels, demos, and more—can be much lower than that. That's a big deal. For example, say you want to get one of the new maps for your favorite shooter, but you're not that interested in a few of the others. Lucky for you, Marketplace can offer each map individually for just a few points. Now that's savings.
What Else Can I Get With Points?
Points can get you more than just maps and other multiplayer-focused features. For example, some games offer individual pieces of equipment, weapons, and other goodies that you can redeem Points for in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, even though it may be an offline, single-player game.
You can even find games created by other Xbox LIVE users in the Community Games section. Check out the free demo, and if if you like the game, you can buy it for just a few hundred points.