Zune HD Gaming Confirmed
The company said in a press release that the touch-screen media player, which released in the US today, will support “fun 3D games” such as Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and Audiosurf Tilt.
Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to Zune PC software.
The announcement follows comments made by Shane Kim, the outgoing corporate VP of strategy and business development at Microsofts Interactive Entertainment Business, that a Microsoft handheld gaming device was an inevitability and only a matter of “when”.
Available in the US only, the 16GB Zune HD retails for $219.99 and the 32GB version for $289.99. The device features a built-in HD radio receiver, HD video output capabilities, an OLED touch screen and an internet browser. Microsoft also said that it will support applications like a calculator, an MSN Weather app, Twitter and Facebook.
While the company hasn’t announced plans to introduce Zune hardware in Europe, it has said that the brand will become “the premium partner” in the Xbox Live Video Marketplace. Xbox Live users will soon be able to stream to rent or download to own TV and film content, representing the first time the Zune service has been available in Europe.
“With today’s announcement, the Zune business is growing into a comprehensive entertainment service that’s no longer tied to any one screen or device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. “Zune lets consumers connect to their music, TV shows and movie content and enjoy it on the three screens they use every day.”