Print 43 comment(s) - last by sebmel.. on Sep 16 at 5:11 PM

The Zune HD is officially available as of today

Today is the big day for fans of Microsoft's Zune -- the Zune HD is launching and new details about the device, and the software behind the scenes has turned up with the official launch. The new Zune 4.0 software to go along with the Zune HD player is now ready to download.

Older Zunes are getting some new software love too with a 3.2 update. The new software is fully Windows 7 compliant, naturally. It Supports all those nifty 7 features like Jump Lists, previews, and Aero Snap.

Other new features of the software include a Quickplay menu to access your favorite media on the Zune HD player. Smart DJ is rather like the Apple Genius feature and creates music mixes with similar genres from your collection and it will add music from the Zune marketplace for those with a Zune Pass.

A new Mini Player mode is now available that keeps the mini player on top of any PC apps that are running. Microsoft has also introduced download to rent or own movies and TV shows in SD and HD formats. Engadget also reports that the ability to move DRM tracks between Zune users has been removed from the new software.

Perhaps the most interesting new tidbit of info for the new Zune HD player is that Microsoft plans to position the device as a mobile gaming platform. If the popularity of gaming on the iPod touch and iPhone are an indication of the popularity of mobile gaming, this is a very good thing.

The official Microsoft press release states, "Later this year, Zune plans to release free applications such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, in addition to fun 3-D games such as "Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition," "Vans Sk8: Pool Service" and "Audiosurf(TM) Tilt." Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to the Zune PC software."

Microsoft reports that its strategy at this point is to keep some games and apps offered on the Zune HD as free products that are developed in-house or in close collaboration with third parties. Premium 3D games will be items you have to purchase presumably. There will be no SDK to allow devs to build apps for the Zune HD at this point.

The launch of the Zune HD today also marks the retirement of all other Zune devices.

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By CrazyBernie on 9/15/2009 11:36:59 AM , Rating: -1
I have yet to see someone playing games on their iPhone or iPod Touch... makes me wonder if it's really that popular or if people get the games an end up not playing them.

By ussfletcher on 9/15/2009 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that many of my friends were showing off the games on their ipod touch/iphone the first couple days they had them, and I've never seen them do anything other than talk or listen to music with them since, that they just don't use them regularly

By mherlund on 9/15/2009 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 3
I play games all the time on my iPhone and see people playing them as well.

By rmlarsen on 9/15/2009 1:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding, right?

By Einy0 on 9/15/2009 2:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
I see people using their iPhones to play games and non-communication apps all the time...

By 67STANG on 9/15/2009 2:25:58 PM , Rating: 3
I use my iPhone (when it works) to check email, do online banking, surf the web, make calls and check the weather. (Listed in the order of frequency).

I also use the iPod part of it on road trips when I take them. Haven't downloaded a single app or any games-- I can't spare the battery life as I have to charge the blasted thing twice a day anyhow...

By zerocool84 on 9/15/2009 3:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes many people play games on their iPhone/Touch but as everyone knows 99% of the games are horrible games. Just like that comment that was made that the iPhone/Touch is better than a DS or PSP is stupid cus practically all Apple App Store games suck with the exception for a handful.

By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
What's the problem with only buying the good ones?

By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sort of like saying: The iPod's no good because most of the songs on the iTunes store are lousy.

Are you saying that amongst the 75,000 apps on the Apple app store there aren't enough good games? Maybe you're right. It's a new platform... but at over a billion downloads in just over year it's growing at a hell of a rate... as long as the hardware becomes competent enough those good games are going to appear pretty damned fast.

Fair enough, though, if you're saying they aren't there yet.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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