Microsoft today revealed a new version of the Zune media player to be called Zune HD, which is set to feature a HD Radio receiver, HD video out capabilities, an OLED screen with multi touch, and an internet browser. It looks set to release in America in Autumn.
The Zune HD looks set to release in Autumn in America. There are currently no plans to bring it to Europe.
You’re probably asking what this has got to do with console gaming. Well, Microsoft has also announced that the Zune is coming to the Xbox for an improved entertainment service. The Zune team have confirmed more details will arise at E3 2009 next week.
In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, General Manager of Consumer Marketing for TV, Video and Music Business, Chris Stephenson, it was said that the “Xbox as a platform is broadening its audience, growing beyond games into living room entertainment. That’s what’s driven the prioritisation of an enhanced Zune video service to Xbox… It’s about changing the way people think about entertainment.“
Netflix is currently the Xbox 360’s most-popular entertainment service of choice, despite the service only being available in America.
Despite the announcement happening a short while ago, there has already been confusion surrounding the matter. The press release stated that the new Zune entertainment service would be “taking over the existing video marketplace” though Graeme Boyd, European Xbox Live Community Manager, confirmed on his Twitter that we will “see the Zune service pop up as part of Video Marketplace in Europe in the coming months,” rather than replacing it altogether as the Zune press release suggests. Graeme Boyd continued: “Expect to hear/see more at E3. No announcements on bringing the Zune hardware or Zune HD to Europe at present.”
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) starts next Tuesday (2nd June). Console Monster’s Ant Barker will be flying off to Los Angeles early next week to report on all the latest on-goings. For more details on Console Monster’s E3 coverage, you can read Ant’s latest blog here.