While it’s been possible to gift video games to people on digital PC storefronts such as Steam for years, Xbox One is now the first modern console to offer it. Microsoft has offered the option to Xbox One Insiders since last spring and later expanded it to more people for select games. Today, Microsoft is enabling game-gifting on Xbox One to everyone and for every game.
In addition to all Xbox One games now being giftable, PC games on the Microsoft store can be purchased and sent to friends and family as well. The only things that the new update doesn’t apply to are Xbox 360 and Xbox original games.
The way it works is you find a game, select “buy as gift”, and then use either an email address or gamertag to send it to the person.
The feature comes with a few restrictions. While gifting full-priced games is unlimited, only two discounted games can be gifted within a 14-day period and only up to 10 total overall. Also, the games can only be redeemed in the country they were purchased in.
Still, it’s a big improvement over not being able to send Xbox One games as digital presents at all. Being able to send one of my new favourite Steam games to a friend has been great for when birthdays roll around, or even just as a “thank you”.
It’s surprising that it’s taken this long for one of the major consoles to finally debut the feature in full. The fact that neither PS4 nor Switch have this ability, or a vague timeline for when something like it might be introduced, is even more of a head scratcher, especially with so many digital-only games coming out every week. After all, the Wii was already doing this back in 2007.
Who knows, maybe Sony will announce gifting alongside PSN name changes at this year’s E3. Or maybe Nintendo will add it as one of the extra features you get with a paid Nintendo Switch Online membership.