Xbox Live will soon let you gift games to friends

While Xbox Live is a fairly feature-rich service, one important feature that has been notably absent is the ability to gift games with your friends. Xbox players have been asking for it too -for years on end at this point. It seems like those requests will soon be answered, as Xbox executive Mike Ybarra has indicated that Microsoft is close to implementing game gifting.

Ybarra, who serves as corporate vice president of Xbox, said an awful lot with just a two-word tweet last night. In reply to a user who asked how far off we are from being able to gift a purchase to a friend, Ybarra simply replied "not far!" That suggests Microsoft has been working on bringing gifting to Xbox Live and will reveal such a feature soon.

Despite the fact that PC players have been able to gift games through Steam for years now, neither the Xbox One nor the PlayStation 4 allow it. It seems like a no-brainer feature for both platforms, as they ultimately net game sales where there would typically be none. For that reason, we're surprised to see that gifting hasn't been as much of a priority for Microsoft and Sony.

There's still a lot that's unknown about this gifting system, obviously. It'll be interesting to see what form it takes – will you need to send your gift as soon as you purchase it, or will you be able to keep it in an "inventory" of sorts to send to a friend later. It'll presumably be the former, but Microsoft could always implement a few quirks to its own gifting system.

Hopefully we'll find out more shortly. Gamescom is coming up next month, and though we can probably expect Microsoft to spend a lot of time showing off the Xbox One X, it's always possible that news about smaller features like gifting work their way into the show. If Microsoft doesn't say anything at Gamescom, then we'll keep our fingers crossed for a reveal by the end of the year. Stay tuned.

SOURCE: Mike Ybarra