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Insider program members can now gift games from their Xbox One

People playing video games with Xbox One controller Mike Ybarra
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Microsoft is seemingly preparing to introduce an often-requested feature to the Xbox version of the Microsoft Store as of a future update. Gamers will soon be able to gift content to one another via their Xbox One, based on a preview build that is currently doing the rounds.

While the company is yet to officially announce this feature, members of the Xbox Insider program who are running built 1710 are reporting that gifting functionality is already available, according to a report from Windows Central. As such, we can perhaps expect to see it rolled out to all Xbox One users as of the upcoming fall update.

Over the course of the Xbox One’s lifespan, we’ve seen Microsoft respond to a bevy of requests from its community regarding new features. It was fan pressure that prompted the much-touted addition of Xbox 360 backward compatibility, and likewise, it was players who pushed for mouse and keyboard support.

The option to gift a piece of content is right next to the standard purchase button on a product page in the storefront. It’s possible to deliver the gift straight to the recipient’s Xbox Gamertag, or to their email address. If the latter option is selected, they will receive a 25-digit pre-paid code that can be redeemed to any account. It remains to be seen whether or not this functionality will still be present in the final version of the feature, but it would certainly be handy to have.

The only reason it might be removed from the fall update is that the ability to purchase codes lends itself to reselling, which can be a thorny issue for the companies that operate digital storefronts. For years, it was possible to gift games via email or to another user’s inventory via Steam, but Valve retired that functionality in May 2017.

The fall update for the Xbox One is set to introduce various new features and improvements, like an overhaul of the system’s user interface, an expansion of its avatar creation tools, and backward compatibility with original Xbox titles. Given that members of the Insider program have been testing the update since August, its official release shouldn’t be too far off.

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