Throughout the history of the Xbox 360, the console’s Achievement system has always seemed a bit hollow. Sure, it tracks your gaming prowess over every game you play on Microsoft’s machine, but beyond bragging rights the gamerscore system has never really offered players a tangible, useful reward. However, that changes now, as Microsoft has unveiled a program to reward gamers for their dedication to earning ever-higher piles of largely meaningless numbers.
Dubbed “MyAchievements,” this latest Microsoft initiative offers three tiers of rewards, depending on how massive your gamerscore has become over the past handful of years. Those of you with 3,000 to 9,999 Achievement points can earn an unnamed “Special Gift” to be delivered during your birthday month. Gamers with between 10,000 and 24,999 points are eligible for that aforementioned Gift, as well as a “1% Rebate on your Xbox LIVE Marketplace purchases EVERY MONTH.” Finally, those of you who have been working really, really hard to pick up Achievements and are currently sitting on a pile of more than 25,000 points will earn the omnipresent Gift, and be eligible for a 2% rebate on Xbox Live purchases.
There are two important, if largely minor, cavets here though: First, you need to have an Xbox Live Gold account to pick up any of these rewards, and second, you’ll need to sign up for Microsoft’s MyRewards program. That’s a simple enough process (visit this site and follow the short, easy instructions to sign up), which while allowing Microsoft to periodically bombard your email inbox with advertisements also makes your Gold account eligible for free bonus Microsoft Points based on a number of things you’re likely to do anyway (like renewing your Gold account). Bottom line: Sign up and you’ll be trading a bit of privacy for points that can be redeemed for Xbox Live Marketplace items.
Back to the MyAchievements deal for a moment: Try as we might, we’re unable to find any mention of what that “Special Gift” actually is. This just happens to be my birthday month, and my Xbox Live Gold account has been signed up for any and all Microsoft promotions for years now, and yet I’ve not received any Gift, nor can I find any information on what the Gift might be. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for some sort of clarification on this issue, but have yet to hear a response.
Assuming that doesn’t totally quell your interest in the MyAchievements program, you should know that Microsoft’s site is running a bit wonky at the moment. We’re having trouble getting pages to load in a timely manner, though when they eventually appear everything seems copacetic. Unless you’re adamant about joining the new initiative as soon as possible, maybe wait a few hours before attempting to link your Xbox Live account with any of Microsoft’s customer loyalty programs.