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Microsoft exec says game gifting on Xbox Live ‘not far’ off

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Gifting games to your fellow Xbox games may be something that you can do in the not-to-distant future. Although we don’t have any kind of confirmed date for its debut, Microsoft’s vice president of Xbox, Mike Ybarra, told one fan on Twitter that the feature is “not far” from being implemented.

Game gifting is something that has proved hugely successful on platforms like Steam and GoG, by giving gamers a chance to send games to friends on birthdays, during sales or other special events. But consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 don’t have that functionality, despite it being a major boon to sales. But that may soon be about to change.

When asked “how far off are we from getting the ability to gift a new purchase for a friend?” Ybarra answered, “not far.” While that isn’t exactly a detailed response, it does indicate that the feature is something Microsoft is planning to implement and has been working on.

While it might seem like something simple to add to a platform, it’s not necessarily a cake walk. As Engadget highlights, pricing differences between regions can lead to users gaming the system, with people buying games for one another when faced with better prices in their own locale. Microsoft will no doubt be looking to avoid that when launching its own gifting system.

The alternative while we wait for it to show up at some point in the future, is to use Xbox gift cards. While a little less direct than gifting the game to someone, they do at least let you send funds to another gamer, who can then use the money to buy whatever they like — though you can prod them to buy a certain game.

Ybarra purportedly receives a lot of questions on his Twitter account, one common one recently having been “when is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds coming to Xbox?” Although he wasn’t able to answer that question himself, by addressing the many requests for comment, he did prompt the developer itself to step forward and confirm it will arrive on the console before the end of the year.

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