Following a brief testing period earlier this year, Microsoft has now started introducing Xbox One game gifting. That means that this holiday season gamers can send games to one another over Xbox Live, much like they can on Steam and other digital distribution platforms.
Like Facebook reminding you of your family and friends’ birthdays, game gifting makes the practice of sending your loved ones a little cheer far easier than buying something physical for them. While the practice has been available on some platforms for years though, it took Microsoft much longer to enable such a system on the Xbox One. It’s now caught up though and it should mean a lot more games are purchased during the 2017 holidays.
The system is only for new games, so don’t expect to be able to send your old games to a pal — unless you want to stick the disc in an envelope. Sending them a game digitally will work across regions though, so you can save on postage costs and send games to the other side of the world right through the Xbox One store.
ICYMI: Gifting is now available to everyone in time for the holidays. Go ahead and send those digital ????! #Xbox
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) November 14, 2017
Considering there are likely to be a lot of new Xbox One X owners this Christmas, the timing is opportune for Microsoft to see a real benefit, especially considering, as The Verge points out, game gifting was such a hotly requested feature.
Although this feature has now come to the Xbox One, it’s still not something that Sony fans can enjoy. In the never-ending battle between the two major console manufacturers, it will be interesting to see if this latest development nudges Sony to adopt the practice, too. With the larger install base, it certainly stands to benefit equally, if not more so than Microsoft by enabling a new avenue for game purchases.
Game gifting is just one of a number of changes Microsoft is making to its online Xbox platform in the coming months, with a new avatar system expected to debut in early 2018. Amazon also recently rolled out its Prime Video application to many more countries, allowing much more of the wider Xbox One audience to enjoy its features.