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Microsoft to pay Japanese Xbox owners with Points for a million hours of playtime

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Xbox Live stock
Xbox Live stock

Microsoft has failed to gain ground in the Japanese gaming market with its Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles, but that's not stopping the software giant from trying. A new incentive will launch on April 20th that sees Xbox owners receive free points based on the collective amount of time that participants in the campaign use the console in Japan. Gamers need to spend 300,000 hours using the Xbox 360 to get 100 ($1.25) Microsoft Points for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and 10 Points for free members.

There's a slight catch. Japanese Xbox gamers will need to play one of twenty games to be counted towards Japan's total time spent on Xbox 360 and will also need to sign up to the Xbox Live rewards program. If Japan manages, as a collective effort, to reach one million hours of Xbox gaming before June 19th then all Xbox Live Gold participants will be rewarded with 400 Microsoft Points ($5) and free members will get 30 Points.

With Microsoft's continued move away from its points system, 400 Microsoft Points is a small amount that could be used against some older Xbox Live Arcade titles. However, Microsoft's focus on Japan gamers shows it's willing and desperate to succeed with Xbox in this particular region. With the console battles about to reignite over the next-generation, Microsoft is clearly trying to alter the perception of Xbox in Japan ahead of another opportunity to succeed in the country with a new console.