Leftover Microsoft Points converted to cash when 'retired' in fall

We've all expected and awaited it for yonks, and yesterday Microsoft finally announced that it's dropping Microsoft Points and letting us pay for stuff on Xbox Live with real money. Having been mighty vague, the company has now put up a new FAQ to explain more of what'll go down when it "retires" Points with the fall Xbox update.

Microsoft won't simply send Points to live on a farm in the country where they have loads of space to run around, but will let people use leftovers and Points cards for some time to come.

If you have any Points left on your account after the switch, when you go to buy something MS will run the numbers and give you equivalent local currency, the FAQ explains (via Eurogamer).

"To make this a seamless and positive experience for our customers, we have considered many factors to ensure that the amount deposited in your Microsoft account will be of equal or greater marketplace value than your Microsoft Points," it says. Curiously, you'll need to spend this balance within a year or it'll vanish into thin air.

Users will still be able to redeem Microsoft Points cards "through 2014 and for a limited time thereafter," but after that the codes would become worthless. MS plans to launch new gift cards which simply inject hot cash money into a Microsoft account.

As well as making buying stuff on Xbox Live far less of a pain in the rump, this change also means that the XBL and Windows Phone stores take and share money from the same source.