Happy Birthday! Having fun? Well, Microsoft has a "sweet surprise" for you!

Microsoft is gifting 20 Microsoft Points to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers on their birthday.

That's 17p worth of points. Don't spend it all at once.

"Congratulations! This month you'll be a year wiser," reads an email sent to subscribers on their birthday. "But what's a birthday without a sweet surprise? Try this: Enjoy 20 Microsoft Points as our gift to you.

"Use it toward anything you wish in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Your birthday Microsoft Points will be automatically deposited into your Xbox LIVE account by the 15th of the month."

The "sweet" birthday gift forms a part of Microsoft's new MyAchievements initiative, which rewards players with bonus discounts on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for unlocking achievements.

Only those who have earned a minimum of 3,000 Gamerscore qualify for the free points.

Microsoft had previously warned that its birthday gift would only hold a 15p value. Many had assumed, however, that it would an exclusive birthday-themed item for their avatar, rather than a paltry sum of MSP.

So what can you buy with 20 Microsoft Points? Well, not a lot, unless you want to buy a new gamerpic for your profile. Barely anything on Xbox LIVE Marketplace is priced below 80 Microsoft Points.

Still, at least that discount will net you an extra 2% off whatever you do decide to buy, right?

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!