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  1. 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.
  2. American Express teamed with Microsoft for Halo 4 by offering an achievement based promotion earlier this month that provided an opportunity to net an easy $25 statement credit. This long awaited sequel is not quite done with incentives as the Xbox Live Rewards program is now set to reward the most avid online players with a new Halo 4 Combat Tour Offer. The combat offer boasts a scaling system of rewards based on the length of time played online. Halo 4 players who accumulate 35 hours of multiplayer time from November 6 through the end of November will find themselves 100 Microsoft Points richer. The gamers who manage to hit the 70 hour mark are eligible receive 300 points, but the fanatics will reach the maximum yield of 600 Microsoft Points at 140 hours. Xbox Live Rewards will also reward members who purchase any Halo content during the month of November. The maximum reward for purchasing digital goodies is 200 Microsoft Points, which is earned by spending 3000 Microsoft Points on Halo-related items. The Halo 4 Combat Tour offer is considered a 'first-come, first-served' promotion, limited to the first 10,000,000 Microsoft Points earned throughout November, and will be distributed by the end of 2012.