While Microsoft's heart is probably in the right place (as much as any corporation's 'heart' can be) its new Xbox Live Reward scheme asks you to spend big on Xbox Live for some small rewards. Microsoft has been fiddling around with its rewards program for quite some time but the biggest complaint is that the rewards are nickel and dime.
At least its latest rewards scheme for Xbox Live users ups the reward amounts – even if ever so slightly.
Microsoft calls this new rewards program, "Play to Earn," and uses the concept of retailer punch cards that reward regular customers. There are three punch cards in this offering:
- Punchcard One: Play 20 hours of any combination of arcade games and you will receive a free avatar item
- Punchcard Two: Purchase any four arcade games for 400 Microsoft Points or more from Xbox Live and you’ll receive a one month Xbox Live Gold membership
- Punchcard Three: Spend 3,200 Microsoft Points on arcade games and you’ll receive 800 Microsoft Points in return
Any game purchased on Xbox Live is eligible.
"Only the most devoted Arcade fans have what it takes to black out all three Arcade Punchcards," notes Microsoft's announcement. "Those who do will be guaranteed a spot in an upcoming VIP Exclusives. By simply playing your favorite arcade games and adding to your game collection, you can earn rewards in April. "
You’ll need to be an Xbox LIVE Rewards member in order to participate. You can learn more about that here.