Microsoft has been promising the addition of new Xbox One store features for some time now, with wishlists and digital gifting among the most requested. Earlier this month in an interview at PAX West, Xbox Platform CVP, Mike Ybarra, discussed the current state of both these features – noting the imminent arrival of one of these on the horizon.
It now appears that the early stages of Xbox One digital game gifting are already live in the Microsoft Store, despite an official announcement yet to come from Microsoft. For those in the Xbox Insider Program running 1710 preview builds ahead of the upcoming fall OS update, the feature is now live and seemingly fully functional.
When navigating to the Microsoft Store (the Xbox Store was recently rebranded under this name), the option to gift products is located adjacent to the option for traditional personal purchases. Following the steps, you'll be given the option to send a game by email address or Xbox Live Gamertag and attach a personalized name/message. The remainder of the checkout process is seemingly identical to the existing purchasing experience, allowing you to choose and payment type and complete the transaction.
On the recipient's end, the notification of a gifted game will appear via email, regardless of the option you chose above. In the email will be a redeemable 25-digit pre-paid code, that can be redeemed via Xbox Live to any Microsoft account. We've already tested this out between colleagues and have been able to successfully download a gifted title.
Without an official announcement from Microsoft, we're currently unsure if this is a near-final implementation of game gifting, or if a version without an email access requirement will be offered later down the line. Regardless, the feature already works relatively seamlessly in its current state.