Ars has an interesting article about some coming updates to Xbox Live. Most of the items I’m pretty lukewarm about: games on demand (basically downloads of full-sized games like what you’d get through Steam) and easier ways to find/buy content (more UI changes). The big news that I’m exciting about is that they are going to start listing prices in actual dollars (or whatever your local currency is) and allowing purchases using credit cards. You’ll still be able to use points and buy point cards, but it won’t be forced on you. Using the marketplace always felt like being at a fair or carnival where everything required even numbers of tickets that you could only by in odd numbered batches.
I really never thought Microsoft would drop using points for their marketplace, and was one of the few features I envied PS3 owners.