You'll never have guessed, it's US only for the time being
Microsoft's Xbox Live spokesperson, Major Nelson, has announced today that you can now buy Microsoft Points (the currency of all things Microsoft) as a gift for other users of Xbox Live.
Had it been introduced a week or two earlier, it may have proven hugely successful among Christmas shoppers but as it stands, only the very very last minute shoppers will be rejoicing.
The official statement on Major's blog, reads:
"If you are looking for a last minute gift idea, why not give the gift of Points? The Microsoft Points team made the little gadget below to do just that. Assuming your browser settings are properly configured, you should see a little Xbox LIVE points card logo below that when you click on it will pop open the Microsoft Points site to sign in with your Windows LIVE ID. Once you do that, it will return you to this page where you will see your current points balance. You can then click on it to to purchase additional points OR (and this is new) you can gift points to someone else. (Currently, this is available for US accounts only.) You do need to know the persons Windows LIVE ID for the gifting. I have asked the team to add the ability to gift points based on Gamertag, and they said they'll work on that for the future, but for now…you'll need to know the recipients Windows LIVE ID. Anyway, I thought you guys may want to try if you have someone on your list you want to send some Points to this Holiday season."
It's about time Microsoft started offering such a service, I've always wondered why I couldn't buy items from Xbox Live Marketplace for other users. Hopefully this new announcement will lead to further developments too. If you're listening Microsoft Points team, how about the ability to buy Xbox Live Arcade titles as gifts for other users? If you really want to make us oooh and aaah, how about a personalised greeting card creation tool on the Xbox website that we could use to create and send little greeting cards with our gifts?
One step at a time mind you, bring the service to the UK first.