No Plans for Xbox One Digital Game Gifting

Xbox boss Phil Spencer says he likes the idea, but adds, "We don't have a plan right now."

The concept of being able to gift games or downloadable content to friends is great one, but don't expect it to come to Xbox One anytime soon. That's according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who says on Twitter, "I like the featured, great part of digital, but we don't have a plan right now."

Digital game-gifting is a relatively new concept. Valve's Steam service on PC is one of the only online game marketplaces to support the feature, allowing its 75 million users to buy games for friends. This feature is also available on The Witcher developer's online platform, GOG.com.

Spencer isn't the only Xbox employee to broach the subject of digital game gifting. Ahead of the Xbox One's release last year, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said it's a "great feature we'd like to add in someday, but it won't be there at launch."

Xbox director of product planning Albert Penello said in September 2013 that Microsoft originally planned to support trading and loaning of digital Xbox One games for launch. This functionality was dropped, however, when Microsoft changed some of its controversial policies last summer.

Like Hryb, Penello said gamers can expect various digital game benefits to come to Xbox One sometime after launch. "I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience," he said at the time.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

78 comments
gunnmetal
gunnmetal

you can buy a microsoft card and give the serial number... 

blackace
blackace

Could care less. Most of my games are bought physically. Only the free monthly games 're downloaded for my XBox or PlayStation.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Play sh*t network doesn't have this either, still. I tried to buy my roommate Tony Hawk HD when it came out on consoles and it ended up stuck on my account because we, being PC gamers, couldn't imagine that PSN was so antiquated.


Both of them need to step up their sh*t.

grenadehh
grenadehh

They'll have a plan now that they actually read this idea which is years old.


But most console kids are whining crybabies so they would rather have a physical game to sell I'm sure.

compu22
compu22

Just buy a physical copy?

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

On one hand it looks like another opportunity for revenue, but on the other hand it looks like a huge opportunity for fraud. I guess Mucrosoft Marketing crunched the numbers and it didn't work out for them.

oflow
oflow

This is one of the features that got dropped when all the people nerd raged about the original DRM policies. Family sharing is another one.  

People were too busy whining about always online and the Kinect to understand the benefits of the original policy which had some pretty nice features, it basically would have been like Steam for Xbox One.


kujel
kujel

Lame Phil, the has been a feature on the Wii  for years already.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

This isn't even a difficult feature to implement.  More excuses from Spencer.  Is that all his job entails now?  Giving excuses?

saltlife225
saltlife225

This article needs an ice bucket challenge video.

wookiegr
wookiegr

This isn't really a feature that matters like some other stuff they were working on. You can use the Xbox gift cards (the old Live Points) just as easily. If they drop the price of digital content more people can affordto  buy it themselves instead of have it gifted!

Gen007
Gen007

It's a good idea really I mean works fine for steam why not can only mean more money for them in teh end. I see it coming into play on both the ps4 and x1 eventually just as pre loading has.

Shango4
Shango4

And once again x bone is one step behind PS4.

unreal849
unreal849

The important thing is to have it on the PS4, so I can be finally rid of the abomination that is Knack.

ghost140
ghost140

Translation: "We are still deciding on how much of a fee we can charge you...ya know service fees."

rasterror
rasterror

I'd like to gift Fighter Within to somebody just to show them how much I truly care.

Llama345
Llama345

@gunnmetal Thats not really the same thing, although that was my first thought. 

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

Not sure about the technicalities. But I'm sure you could have family sharing and gifting without an always online service.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@wookiegr You know the price of digital content on XBL generally matches steam or gamefly or a dozen other sources, right, as of about 3 years ago.


XBL always has a sale. They're outlined in detail on MajorNelson, too.

irishrizo
irishrizo

When digital takes over physical some people are still going to want to buy their friends/Family games. I know they're suppose implement those Download Code Game cards too.

We'll see how it flows

grenadehh
grenadehh

@unreal849 I don't believe it works that way. "I hate this game so I'ma gift it to my friend and get rid of it."


Game services that do feature gifting don't even let you do that.

lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

Ah, the digital turd in a brown bag on someone's porch. Them accepting the gift is like setting that bag on fire.

lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

I would agree with you. At that time it came across very poorly.

I read my email I received from MS and it did play into next gen decisions at the time. 4 people for $100 jumping to $60 a person is no small price increase.

It was at this time I looked into sony online policies. I had plus but only for games really since online didn't require it. I learned what I had paid $100 annually to MS could be done for $49 on playstation with sub accounts. Figure in the price increase it was more than frustrating. The ditching of family share just made me reassess the value propositions of both ecosystems.

I realize the xb1 was different than 360 but treating me poorly on 360 doesn't go into the pro column when considering upgrades on the coming gen.

oflow
oflow

@RicanV I can agree on that. Make the check in once a week or something not 24 hours.  But it really cheeses me off because cancelling the original DRM policies seriously gutted a good chunk of the console's potential. Now you have people here complaining that its not on the console now and asking for the policy, some of the same people that complained about it at launch without even understanding it.

MS did a horrible job explaining the virtues of the system and instead basically pissed everyone off telling them to 'deal with'.

The part that people dont get thats major is they were basically trying to work around the used game sellers like Gamestop, by letting you trade and share the actual licenses for games thru Live like you can on Steam. Currently when you buy a used box game, to use it online you have to pay $9.99 to activate the online portion, which would have gone away with just being able to digitally trade the game to someone.

The other thing the policy would have let you do is access your entire digital library with your Live account, not just your console. So you could goto a friends' house and log into their console and play all your games on their console thru your account. It also would let you share a game with up to 10 family members.

I'm pretty sure some of them will eventually come back in a kinder, gentler form, but a big part of the reason MS is behind is them not sticking to their guns and caving to the whiners,  handing Sony ammo to fight with. When you reverse a policy based on reactionary fans, it gives the appearance of failure, same with the Kinect. Instead of unbundling the Kinect, they should have just lowered the price and sold bundles as the standard from the beginning. Without the Kinect its like throwing the baby out with the bath water since the media features are part of the overall package.  Why buy a $399 lower spec system when you could buy a $399 PS4?

Combined with the higher price point and lower specs, they basically handed Sony millions of undeserved sales.The PS4 isnt selling outrageously just because its just so much better, its selling because people view the X1 as weaker and more expensive.  I know a ton of people that have PS4s and never even use them because they dont like indies. They are waiting on next year's exclusives.

Hopefully they will actually stick their guns on making games their primary driver now and adding great features to the console.  Its just sad to me to see them scr3w up something like this that was potentially great.

xblorder
xblorder

@grenadehh  Depends on what country you're in, here in Aus the xb games are 50% or more in price than pc.  I just picked up Skyrim for $4, its $20 normally on GMG, $35 on steam and $50 on the xb marketplace

saltlife225
saltlife225

@irishrizo Just get them a gift card or sign into their account. It's not really a big deal.

rasterror
rasterror

Well my son's friend let us borrow it and it's an amazi.....I can't even lie, that game is a piece of crap.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@lrdfancypants It was never 100 dollars annually unless you were too lazy to purchase live the cheap way. I'm that lazy, but come on.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@oflow It was MS fault for not understanding the market to which they were trying to sell. They assumed console players were smart enough to understand Steam and that they had experience with it, which absolutely wasn't the case.

lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

Yes it was. I didn't say there are not sales.

That has nothing to do with the fact they cancelled the plan that was 4 for $99.99 family live plan forcing 4 individual live subs instead. They should have kept it.

It was a useful plan. That's didn't create incentive for me to upgrade. It created the opposite.