How your Microsoft Points will turn into real money today

xboxliveThursday marks the end of an era — the Microsoft Points era, that is.

Starting today, transactions on the Xbox 360 will move to actual currency instead of Microsoft’s point system. So what if you’ve got thousands of Microsoft Points sitting in your account?

Not to worry, gamer. Microsoft is simply turning your existing points into real currency that may even be worth more than what you paid for them.

Here’s how Microsoft explains it:

Microsoft Points will be retired as part of the next Xbox 360 system update. The next time you initiate a purchase or redeem a Microsoft Points card or code on your console with your Microsoft account, we’ll add an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points to your account. You can then use the currency in your Microsoft account to buy a variety of Xbox content from your favorite Xbox stores, and if you have a Windows Phone 8 device, content from the Windows Phone Store.

As it is now, 80 Microsoft Points are equal to $1. So take your total number of Microsoft Points, divide it by 80, and that’s how much money — you’ll possibly have more — will be in your Microsoft account. More detailed information can be found at this FAQ.

Also closing on August 25 is the Xbox.com PC Marketplace. You’ll still be able to access purchased games and content via the Games for Windows Live client.

Editor’s note, 11 a.m.: Microsoft clarified that only a group of beta participants will receive the update that eliminates Microsoft Points today. The update will roll out gradually across members and regions “in the days ahead,” Microsoft said.