Xbox Live Rewards has been around for a while and allows users chances to get free points through taking surveys, renewing Gold membership, and various other things. Today, Major Nelson revealed a new offshoot of this program which is called Play to Earn. Starting in April, this new program will track player purchases and play to reward them accordingly.
Users are still able to participate in the standard Xbox Live Rewards tasks, but Play to Earn gives back to players who simply make a lot of purchases or play their games. For the month of April, playing four XBLA games for 20 hours or more gives back an avatar item. If four XBLA games are purchased at 400 Microsoft Points or more, then you'll be gifted a month of Xbox Live Gold. Finally, if you spend 3200 Points, you'll get back 800.
So far, it seems that Microsoft is heading in the right direction although they may want to amp up the prize for being a dedicated Xbox player. Either way, the incentive of giving players something back for contributing to Microsoft's economy is a smart one.