It just got a little bit easier to find a gift for that special gamer in your life, in case you want to get a head start on the holiday shopping season. That’s because Microsoft has expanded the option of buying games from the Microsoft Store as a gift to include PC games and PC downloadable content (map packs, skins, and the such). In addition, all Xbox One games available in the Microsoft Store are now eligible for gift giving as well.
The ability to gift games is something Microsoft rolled out last fall, though at the time it only included select Xbox One digital titles and DLC, along with Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. Microsoft says this proved popular with gamers, saying the feature was a “huge hit with our fans” particularly around the holidays. That being the case, Microsoft has decided to open the flood gates.
This is also a push to promote the Microsoft Store as a digital delivery platform for games (and other content) in Windows 10. Back in the Windows 8 days, there was a lot of talk about Microsoft building a so-called walled garden around Windows 10, with Valve”s Gabe Newell particularly outspoken on the topic. That hasn’t happened, not to the extent that was feared, though it’s still in the back of people’s minds as Microsoft continues to push its Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) model with Windows 10.
To be fair to Microsoft, the company has been making a concerted effort to highlight gaming in Windows 10, such as the addition of the Game Bar and a Game Mode. From our vantage point, this is just another move in that direction.
If you want to send a game as a gift, go to the Microsoft Store on a Windows 10 PC or on an Xbox One system (or in a web browser), go to its product page, and select “Buy as Gift.” You’ll be asked for the recipient’s email address (PC) or Gamertag (Xbox One).
There are a few things Microsoft says you’ll need to keep in mind when gifting a game. They include:
- Gift purchasers can only buy two discounted products—and a total of 10 discounted products—every 14 days. There are no limits for gift purchases made at full price.
- Gifting of Xbox 360 and Xbox original games, pre-orders, free products, and consumable downloadable game content such as virtual currency is not allowed.
- Gift recipients can only redeem gift tokens in the country or region where they were purchased.
Microsoft was working to update its Store yesterday and says all games should be available for gifting today.