Steam and Origin may have lead the way with allowing consumers to refund digital game purchases, but Microsoft looks to be following in their footsteps. Users on the Xbox subreddit report Microsoft's announced this policy as part of their Xbox Live preview program, presumably to be rolled out wider later. Any game may be refunded in the first 14 days, with less than two hours played.
Microsoft did not respond to my request for comment, but here's what shows up on the Xbox Live dashboard:
"You've spoken; we've listened," reads the announcement. "In support of offering gamers the freedom of choice, we're making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience."
The refunds will apply to both Xbox One and Windows 10.
To submit a request, players head to account.microsoft.com, sign in, navigate to the billing section, and click on a recent purchase. Right now, downloadable content, season passes, and other add-ons can't be refunded, and you have to wait 24 hours after a game is released to submit a request.
Microsoft also "reserves the right to block access for users who abuse self-service refunds."
The refunds are already going through, as well.
It seems inevitable Sony will eventually add something similar to PlayStation Network, but in the meantime, Microsoft has given people a big reason to consider Xbox One. Though refunds are sometimes used for nefarious reasons, losing the ability to sell or return a game in the transition to digital was a problem.
It's taken too long, but consumers are getting power back.
Update: Microsoft has since issued a statement:
We're always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience and regularly release new features into the Insider Program to encourage and foster fan feedback, which helps us test and refine features before they reach general availability. Earlier today, we enabled self-serve refund pilot testing for digital content via the Xbox and Windows Insider Programs and this testing is presently limited to select Insider members. Insiders can learn more about the criteria for claiming digital refunds via the Insider Hub. Beyond that, we have nothing further to share.