Ah, the holidays. Tis the season - for chilly winds countered by warm cocoa, self-centered attitudes countered by love and generosity, and long lines at the local game store countered by staying home while you do your gift shopping. That's right, Xbox One owners: with a new update now live for all users, you can purchase and gift digital games right from your console.
It's pretty simple. Just go to the Xbox Games Store and find the game you want to give to a friend. Select it, and next to the usual purchase option should be a "Buy as Gift" option. The system will run through the usual authentication and then ask you for the recipient's information. All that's left is to actually pay for it and boom, done.
Alternatively, perhaps your friend already has all the games they want, but you think they'd like Microsoft's 'Netflix for games,' Xbox Games Pass. You can gift that too - just like you would if you were gifting a game, head to the Xbox Store. From there, select the "Memberships" button, and then scroll down to Xbox Games Pass. Choose it and you should see the same "Buy as Gift" option as before.
There are a few restrictions, mind you. You can't gift any Xbox 360 backwards compatible games, and not even all Xbox One games are eligible. According to Xbox spokesman Larry Hryb (opens in new tab), you should also be able to gift an Xbox Live Gold subscription. However, I will say that when I personally tested this, I was unable to find a gifting option for it. Perhaps that particular feature isn't live yet, or maybe I just missed it.
In any case, this new feature came along at just the right time. While Black Friday (opens in new tab) crowds descend upon retail stores, you can gift from home.