Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zune HD is Here.

I'm a bit of a Zune Fanboy. More accurately I'm a Zune Pass Fanboy. I think the Current Gen Players have great sound, and do their jobs as Music and Video Players very well. The newest Model, the Zune HD hit the market earlier this week.

The HD's Specs are pretty solid:
  • OLED Display
  • Multi-Touch Capacitive Touch-Screen
  • Nvidia Tegra Processor
  • HD Radio Tuner
  • 16gb or 32gb or Storage
To me this seems like a direct competitor to the iPod Touch, in reality the only thing the iPod has over the HD is the Application Support, hardware wise they are HD is either on top or they are even. There is indication from Microsoft that more in house Applications are on the way including 3D games. I'm guessing the reason Apple recast the Touch as a Gaming Device was partly because of what they saw coming down the pipe with Zune. With as powerful as it is, there is no doubt that it has the capability to be the de facto XBOX portable. The Tegra can run almost everything in the current Arcade Store, and probably could run most of the Legacy Xbox Games as well. We already know that the Zune Marketplace will be merging with the Xbox Live. Also in the works is Project "Pink" which is Microsoft's new phone platform and architecture specification for WinMo7. As part of WinMo 7 they have announced work on a new Unified Application Store for Windows Mobile devices. I'm guessing in the end all of these initiative will be merged and you'll end up with a single store, or at least a single repository, of compatible applications and games that will work between Zune, Xbox, WinMo, and Windows 7.

I intend to get an HD in the near future, I'll give my two cents when that time comes. In the meantime, here's a link to the Engadgets take

The final paragraph I think sums it up nicely:
So let's pretend for a moment that these players are exactly the same in every way except for how you get music on them. In that scenario, we think Microsoft's angle has some real advantages. Of course, these players are different -- you're still sacrificing a lot for that $15 subscription -- and even though the Zune HD is a tremendous media player with a lot of great features, we still don't think it competes 1:1 with a device like the touch. Still, it competes, and for Microsoft and the Zune brand, that's a major leap forward.