With the announcement of a new console just a bit under a week away, it appears the Xbox 360 isn't the only thing Microsoft is leaving behind. New reports suggest Microsoft is finally getting rid of its confusing Points, opting instead to use real currency and gift cards like Apple's iTunes.

The report comes courtesy of The Verge, which indicated its sources say the move will spread across all of Microsoft's virtual stores. That means a unified scheme will work on Xbox Live, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. It's unclear what denomination the gift cards will be available in, but you will be able to use the cards to purchase apps, games, movies, books, and more.

Normal credit transactions will still work on the storefronts as well, but the gift cards offer a nice way for people to avoid having to hand over private information like debit card numbers. Microsoft may reveal the new system as early as next week's next Xbox event on May 21st or E3 in June, though there's no clear time table for the move.

This is far from the first time Microsoft has been believed to be swapping out the dull Points for actual money from the real world, but with the transition to a more unified brand in progress, it makes complete and total sense to happen now. We welcome the day when we don't have to try and figure out the cash conversion to buy an Xbox Live Arcade game, and hope the change happens sooner rather than later.