Microsoft is killing off its Points system that's primarily used for its Xbox console. The death of Microsoft Points has been a long time coming, and follows Microsoft's move away from the virtual currency towards cash in Windows 8. Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed to The Verge that the software maker plans to replace Points with a new gift card system.

The new gift cards will be offered in a similar way to Apple's iTunes vouchers, allowing Xbox owners to purchase true currency to be used to download content. We're told that normal cash transactions, using credit and debit cards, will also be supported. Microsoft currently offers gift cards in its retail stores, but these can only be used for purchases in brick and mortar stores. The new system will work across Microsoft's various marketplaces, including the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox. We understand that Microsoft is planning to unveil the system as soon as E3, with a planned launch later this year in time for the next-generation Xbox console.