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Courtesy of Pilot Online
Microsoft has its sights on bringing gaming to its handheld

Microsoft has confirmed its plans to feature video games on the Zune by 2008. This feature will be launched in 18 months to compete with Apple's iPod's ability to support games.

This need for adaptation comes from Zune sales dropping in the music player market. In its first week of launch, Microsoft sold captured a respectable 9% of the MP3 player market, landing it in second place in the holiday consumer device rush. Zune sales dropped to fifth place the following week. 

If Microsoft offers popular games for the Zune, while allowing for wireless gaming, it will throw the Zune into the competitive market with devices such as Sony's PSP, and Nintendo's DS. Also, with the device's 3-inch display, it is already adequate to handle gaming.

Adding video games is just one of the features Microsoft plans on adding to the Zune. The company announced that it wanted to add wireless video sharing and possibly fuse the device with a phone -- just minutes after the announcement of Apple's new gadget, the iPhone.

Microsoft's projected goal of 1 million sales in its first seven months.

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$4 billion
By CheesePoofs on 1/9/2007 4:41:50 PM , Rating: 4
Did they really make $4 billion in sales in the first week, or was it $4 million. $4 billion seems a bit too big.

RE: $4 billion
By timmiser on 1/9/2007 5:00:41 PM , Rating: 3
You are right, there is no way it's billions!

RE: $4 billion
By SunAngel on 1/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: $4 billion
By TomZ on 1/9/2007 5:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, this is a typo worth noting and fixing. I don't think it is obvious to everyone that the figure is incorrect.

RE: $4 billion
By timmiser on 1/9/2007 5:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the problem. People point out the errors, DT fixes them.

You are annoyed by the people pointing out DT's errors but you are not annoyed at DT for making the errors?

RE: $4 billion
By StevoLincolnite on 1/10/2007 9:31:34 AM , Rating: 1
"Why! Why oh why must you guys continually point out errors in spelling, grammar, and mathematics. Obviously its an error. Commonsense would indicate so. Even if commonsense was less than adequate, you could always use the what is already known. There is only one company on this planet that has the ability to rack up $4B in sales for one week. And the only reason they had trouble doing so was because of blue diodes and the manufacturing issues. Alas, DT is fully aware of the quality control issues. They don't need outside help. Please, leave it up to the professionals to handle their business."

Oh please where is the shotgun. -.-
Sony is small in comparison to Microsoft.
And I don't think sony has ever earned 4 Billion dollars in a week, on a product launch.

RE: $4 billion
By kkwst2 on 1/9/2007 5:52:46 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're supposed to say it in your best Dr. Evil impersonation.

Up to snuff?
By GaryJohnson on 1/9/2007 4:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
The 3" display may be adequate for gaming, but is the rest of the Zune's hardware up to snuff?

RE: Up to snuff?
By dubldwn on 1/9/2007 6:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I was thinking if the buttons were on the top (A/B), you could hold it sideways (widescreen) for gaming. The way it's oriented now, while better for music playback, would be awkward for gaming, and comes across as an afterthought.

By thebrown13 on 1/9/2007 4:49:17 PM , Rating: 3
Please Microsoft, put PlaysForSure support on the Zune.


Then, create a new device for portable gaming like the PSP. Also with PFS support.


18 months!?
By Supa on 1/9/2007 5:47:09 PM , Rating: 3
These two sentences do not make sense together.

"This feature will be launched in 18 months to compete with Apple's iPod's ability to support games."

"With Microsoft's projected goal of 1 million sales in it s first seven months, this new feature puts it one step closer to reaching that humble goal."

With ipod updating yearly, in a year and half, ipod (which refreshed last year) will be 2 generations updated. Zune will be updated too. Why would consumer buy the original Zune now for features that won't be available for 18 months? Assuming it can play games as intended for the future gaming feature.


Competing with the DS and PSP?
By Zebulunite on 1/9/2007 4:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft offers popular games for the Zune, while allowing for wireless gaming, it will throw the Zune into the competitive market with devices such as Sony's PSP, and Nintendo's DS. Also, with the device's 3-inch display, it is already adequate to handle gaming

Eh, I wouldn't say downloadable games on the Zune would thrust it into the handheld gaming market with the DS and PSP. The iPod has games, but it is far closer to a cell phone in that respect than a dedicated handheld gaming console (as in the games are cheap, simple, and have subpar controls compared to something like the DS or PSP). I don't see how the Zune would be any different, barring perhaps a well designed, snap-on control pad.

Other Zune Devices...
By Exodus220 on 1/9/2007 5:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think that Microsoft would benefit greatly from having other Zune devices of differing storage size. Not everyone needs 30+ gigabytes to hold their music on the go. Heck, I think the Nano is the coolest iPod on the market. SanDisk and Creative have several flash based players that compete with that section of the market, and some cost quite a bit less than Apples offerings. So come up with more than just one device and I am sure that Microsoft will have a stronger position. Gaming is not going to help all that much...because who goes out to buy a $250 mp3 player to play games like PacMan on?

Der Bach response to Apple
By crystal clear on 1/10/2007 3:17:23 AM , Rating: 2


Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, said it too is considering a mobile phone integrated with its Zune digital music player, but launching such a device is not at top of its priority list

The longtime Apple rival plans to come out with new Zune models later this year, but Bach said do not count on a phone model just yet.

"It's probably on the table of things for us to look at, but not the number one thing we are focused on," said Bach, speaking to analysts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The latest rumor we hear is that it is going to be a MVNO phone and there hasn't been a lot of successes in that MVNO space for a lot of different reasons," said Bach, who oversees the Zune business and Microsoft's video game division.

Bach said MVNO phones often have difficult relationships with the mobile operators. One of the few successful MVNOs in the United States so far is Virgin Mobile.

"Historically, working with partners hasn't been a strong point for Apple, so maybe it will find a way to work around those relationships," he said.

An Apple spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

Putting together a phone with a media player raises many design questions, including how to manage various inputs, the optimal screen size and battery life, Bach said.

"You have to find out what it's great at. Is it great as a phone or is it great as music player? If it's great as a music player, then it's just another iPod trying to be a phone," said Bach

By Xeronix on 1/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: ???
By bobsmith1492 on 1/9/2007 5:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Y'know, in the hotel business, I hear the original owner and investors never make any money; it's always the second or third to come along who makes it work...

RE: ???
By Visk on 1/9/2007 5:15:18 PM , Rating: 3
This is true because Apple invented gaming.

RE: ???
By robharvil on 1/9/2007 11:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
Apple did not invent gaming. "Gaming" is rather a broad term to be using, not to mention the fact that aside from the Apple 2, Apple is the last platform to be considered when it comes to gaming. Apple and gaming are not synonymous.

RE: ???
By JNo on 1/10/2007 10:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
wow - I don't think it's that your sarcasm detector doesn't work, I think it's that you just don't have one!

RE: ???
By df96817 on 1/9/2007 5:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing wrong with copying if they improve on the existing product. It creates competition which keeps prices low and raises quality.

In Kazakhstan
By Borat Sagdiyev on 1/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: In Kazakhstan
By thecoolnessrune on 1/11/2007 11:10:41 PM , Rating: 3
I dont know why your trying to pull off Borat, but its getting old now. Your impressions aren't even near correct. And this "impression" is seriously warped... You need to check yourself into a mental ward because someone taking the time to genuinely concoct something so distasteful in their mind definitely has some screws loose.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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