OXCGN Testing the Waters: Zune HD & Gaming


"Now bring on the Zune HD, with numerous cores similar in essence to the PS3's architecture of parallel processing with Nvidia posting specs of the Tegra powering it that aren't all that far below the original Xbox such as 64 million polygons per second and anti-aliasing support. Simply put, the Zune HD is a beast. And a remarkably tiny one at that.

All this discussion would be pointless though if Microsoft were going to ignore the potential but luckily the boffins at Redmond have been busy and released a press statement announcing – wait for it – Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and my personal most wanted: Audiosurf Tilt Edition.

It's great to hear the Project Gotham series is alive and kicking and will be one of the launch games for the Zune HD gaming service."

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darkmurder2956d ago

Audiosurf is a seriously underrated game, will go great on the Zune HD!

XboxOZ3602956d ago

While I'm not a huge fan of the Zune, I have to say it is finally starting to both look and sound half decent- after 3 years of fine tuning that is.

If they can get more decent games and make inroads with publishers, they could have something finally.

Not that it has a hope in Hades to shift or even dent the iPod or iPhone, it will offer users something different.

REALgamer2956d ago

There's no chance it'll become an overnight ipod-killer.

However, what it does offer is choice and competition in the marketplace. The Zune HD eclipses many of the ipod's features such as having an OLED screen, more powerful hardware and better PC software (I just downloaded the Zune 4.0 pc software - it's seriously awesome, very sexy and something Microsoft should think of using as a replacement for Media Centre.)

It probably helped drop the price of the new iPods too - after all, when it was announced the 32gb Zune HD would be $289 US the 32gb iPod Touch was still about $100 US more, whereas the price has suddenly dropped with the 3rd gen iPod Touch so the 32gb is $300 US, much more reasonable.

From what I've been reading Microsoft isn't planning a full app store for the Zune HD but will be focusing on selected games. I hope the HD sells well enough to justify letting external developers start making new games for it on XNA though. That would be excellent!

JokesOnYou2955d ago (Edited 2955d ago )

Picked one up first day. Really loving it.


cornfedgamer2955d ago

I want a Zune over an iPod. I have a 2004 iPod that has to be plugged in to play, so I'm about due for a new mp3 player.

But I heard that the Zune would have a somewhat closed app store, making it hard for third parties to develop apps. If this is true, then that might be a deal breaker. I gots to have all those wonderful apps.

FragMnTagM2955d ago

The Zune HD is one kick ass device. It is easily the best PMP I have ever used. I love the new DJ, thing where it plays music in your collection that is similar to the artist you type into it. It also recommends music from the Marketplace that is similar to what is in your DJ list.
There are so many neat things this thing does, it would take an essay to write about all of them.

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gaminoz2956d ago

When will it come to OZ, or will it...after all Zune never did!

I think it needs to have many more top level games to compete. It'll have to be a mix between Itouch and PSP with top level games too before it makes sense to me to buy.

Promising though...

REALgamer2956d ago

For me games would be the icing on the cake. I want to import one since MS doesn't seem to be releasing it very soon over here, but it's priced very well even as just a personal media player ignoring the extra features.

Hope XNA is opened up for it......I looked at the games available now for it and so far there are just 2D games such as ports from the old Zunes and puzzle games but Project Gotham and Audiosurf give me hope.

Halo Touch anyone? Lol jks.

Godem2956d ago

Ill still with my apple products I think. I dont really feel like supporting MS's Zune. When that name is unheard of in Australia still.

REALgamer2956d ago

An article on Engadget about it mentioned it's most likely because of music licensing issues. Apparently when Apple started up with iTunes Apple only had to pay a tiny amount because all the record labels thought it would be a niche thing, but since it's grown massively they can't go back on their contracts. Now that MS is doing a similar thing with a new service they're demanding high fees in case the Zune has the same success - Universal reportedly demanded Microsoft pay them $1 for every Zune sold! Notice almost no other media player has its own music store but just uses other existing ones?

And since there are more licensing problems the more regions it's expanded too it could be very pricey for MS - they probably want to get some revenue from the US to use for going international with it.

Must be hell trying to get a new product out in a market that's held in a strangehold by a single brand. People will generally stick with what they know or what's 'popular' even if a rival product offers something more or cheaper.

Immortal Kaim2956d ago

Therein lies the problem, until Microsoft make the Zune(HD) an international product, it will never (EVER) see even 1/100th of the success Apple has generated with its iPod products.

The Zune is essentially seen as an American only product, which doesn't typically sit well with other regions when you're trying to expand.

REALgamer2955d ago

Luckily you can still access the Zune Marketplace outside the US by simply changing your PC's 'region' to US (which doesn't really change anything).

I'm hoping for a 2010 release of the Zune HD outside the US - after all, MS has confirmed the Zune Marketplace will be available on Xbox 360 in 18 countries including Australia so what's the point if you don't even have a device to use it?

I'm sure they will though. The Zune HD seems like a reinvention of the Zune brand and the first serious contender to the modern iPods (Walkman have declined in popularity recently, Samsung are still very niche, iriver have pretty much disappeared, Archos is very limited in release and Creative have totally dropped the ball on the recent Zens).

Every tech market needs a second place to fuel competition. Look at how aggressively the prices of the 360 Elite and PS3 Slim have changed and moved rapidly.

cornfedgamer2955d ago

Zune & iPod gaming is like cellphone gaming. They are only good for casual pick-up-and-play games while you are waiting. Like at the Dentist office or for your wife to come out of the store.

So I'm not overly excited about the possibilities for very substantial games released on these platforms. And I like buttons and a d-pad for my gaming, too.

But there are opportunities w/ the wifi capabilities for innovation in social and location-based gaming. Games on these platforms need to find a way to stand out and innovate based on their strengths to become relevant to the serious gamer.

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