Microsoft has (finally) announced plans to let gamers buy content on Xbox Live with actual currency as opposed to Microsoft Points. Live is also rolling out a community rating system, so gamers will be able to offer their option, in star-form, on every piece of content the service offers, as well as a new avatar award system.
The actual currency purchases will launch with Microsoft's new Games on Demand service announced at the company's E3 press conference. The service allows the purchase of full-size, AAA games through download. So there is no real reason to ever leave your couch again. If, for some reason, you like paying in points instead of money, that option will still be there for you to enjoy.
Microsoft is also rolling out a new marketplace for avatars, in case you want to spend real money on fake clothing and accessories. Along with the purchasable avatar good, a new avatar award system is coming, where players will be given avatar-related rewards for in-game actions. This is totally separate from Xbox Live's achievement system, in case you were wondering. Way to increase the fake self-esteem with even more useless indicators of gaming prowess, Microsoft!
I've hated Microsoft Points since the launch of the system. We already have a system of "points" for determining the worth of goods and services: It's called "money." I'm glad that Microsoft is finally telling us what things are actually worth, so we don't have to convert an imaginary currency just to buy a damn game. As for the download of full-games: Love it. But yo know who hates it? Traditional, walk-into-the-store retailers!