Microsoft Releases the Zune HD, Twitter and Facebook Apps to Follow

In a press release, Microsoft today stated that their new Zune HD media player is now available at retail along with an updated Zune PC software which is available as a free download.

The most notable features of Zune HD are probably the multi touch sensitive OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen, a HD Radio that has access to over 2000 "crystal-clear" stations and the NVIDIA Tegra HD processor that enables the Zune HD to stream 720p HD Video direct to a HDTV when used in conjunction with the separately sold Zune HD AV docking station. The Tegra chip will also open the Zune platform up to a world of 3D gaming on a mobile platform via the Zune marketplace.

Could this mean that the Zune HD might actually end up as a mobile gaming platform for Microsoft to compete with the Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS platform and of course the iPod Touch? Though it is not marketed as such, I see no reason for it not be a decent platform for mobile gaming if the games can make good use of the NVIDIA Tegra HD processor and are made available at a reasonable price from the Zune marketplace.

The Zune marketplace online store will for the first time users allow users to download or rent both standard and high definition movies as well as purchase games and apps when they become available later this year. Launch titles on the gaming front include Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and Audiosurf™. Microsoft also confirmed that Twitter and Facebook apps will be added at a later date, so you'll be able to Tweet and Facebook till your hearts content via the built in Wi-Fi connection.

Microsoft states that the "Zune HD is available from major retailers with a black 16GB version for $219.99 (estimated retail price) and a platinum 32GB version for $289.99 (ERP)". It is no surprise that the official Zune store is sold out of both devices as this article is posted.


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