Free-to-play games hitting Xbox Live in 2012?

We know that Microsoft have always been a little awkward when it comes to certain types of games. MMOs and LittleBigPlanet-style games have had a hard time getting onto the Xbox 360. The free-to-play model has been somewhat of a question mark for them too, but that could change in 2012.

A source trusted to IGN has revealed that Microsoft will make the free-to-play model available for their system next year. Publishers and developers could create games where consumers will be able to play without charge (obviously) but then purchase other aspects like weapons, perks, in-game points, basically all the stuff you find in other free-to-play titles.

The model made its way to PS3 recently with the release of Free Realms. JoyRide, a 360 exclusive, was originally intended to take advantage of it. What new games could fall under the model?