Zune HD promo videos available, 3D gaming revealed

BuyTV has posted several promotional videos of the new Zune HD which goes on sale next Tuesday, September 15.

In one of the videos, named "portable perfection", it's clear that the Zune HD will have 3D gaming capabilities as it appears mid-way through the commercial that a car game, most likely Burnout, is running on the Zune HD. There's more videos included that demonstrate overviews of the car dock, HD radio, Xbox integration, Zune HD video and AV dock.

Microsoft is planning a Zune software update on the same day that it will release the new Zune HD. It's expected that the latest update will include more HD video options and an apps marketplace. Zune HD applications were confirmed by a Microsoft official in late August. Last month Microsoft company officials also confirmed that current Zune models, the Zune 8, 16, 80, and 120, have all been discontinued and that the Zune HD will be the only Zune device manufactured. Prices for the Zune HD are currently $219.99 for the 16GB model and $289.99 for the 32GB variant.

Although Microsoft originally planned to release the Zune HD internationally later this year, company officials confirmed this week that there are no plans right now to offer the Zune HD in markets outside the US.

Portable perfection:

Zune HD AV Dock:

Zune HD car pack:

Zune HD radio:

Zune HD video:

Zune HD Xbox integration:

Zune Pass:

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Eargerly awaiting Tuesday. I pre-ordered a 32 GB at my local Best Buy store. It's a shame when you asked for information on media players other than Ipods they have to read the fine print which you've could've done yourself. Everyone is brainwashed to think apple is the only way to go. I love my Zunes from day one & this only makes it that much sweeter.

Wow, this looks cooler every day. I really want to play with one. I hope Best Buy gets working demo models in at launch, because I really want one! So cool...

Yes, it's powered by the Nvidia Tegra SoC (System on a Chip) and it's way way more powerful than any other PMP out there as of today. The lame ass PowerVRX crap in the iPhones is old tech, can't compete.

The question now becomes: how hard will Microsoft push games out, and how tough will it be to create them (given that they need to drop an SDK on Tuesday along with all the other new goodies we're about to find).

People complain about Microsoft's domination of the operating system market, and never think twice that Apple has a domination in the DAP/PMP market.

While the Zune HD may never "catch up" to the iPod's popularity, that's fine as finally Microsoft has the upper hand: the Zune HD is a superior device overall. This time out I choose not just to "Think different" by buying one...

I'm choosing to "Be different" from all the Apple iPod Cult members...

Damn, this thing looks sexy, if only I wasn't locked to a 2 year contract with my iPhone 3GS. Anyone knows if this devices is capable of better 3D gaming than the iPhone 3GS/3rd gen iPod Touch?

Problem is, especially in Australia, everyone is so bloody ignorant that they wouldn't even consider buying a zune simply because it's not an ipod. Everyone just associates "mp3 player" with ipod, little realising there are other players available. It's all kids want because it's what everyone else has.

If it's going to be accepted it REALLY has to have a fully functional setup with marketplace or whathaveyou so there are absolutely NO hindrances and no "oh, that feature isn't available just yet it's coming soon".

Baah!
Also, what's stopping this player playing back lossless WMA - OK so the battery life would be appalling with it, but surely it has enough processing power? I'd use lossless for use at home if it were sitting in a dock.

Not much different from here in Texas. Everyone assumes your PMP is an iPod. There's a rule at my school that "iPods and/or other MP3 players are not allowed out during school hours". Automatic assumption that everyone has/wants an iPod.

Quikboy said,
Not much different from here in Texas. Everyone assumes your PMP is an iPod. There's a rule at my school that "iPods and/or other MP3 players are not allowed out during school hours". Automatic assumption that everyone has/wants an iPod.


Well when they say Ipod everyone knows what they mean so its just easier that way.

NPGMBR said,
Zune already does play WMA Lossless

Good god, you're right! Apparently it was enabled from firmware 2.1 on the original zune, and on the zune 2.
But wait... it only supports up to 768 kbps - and a hell of a lot of my music is higher than that, so it'll have to convert said music. In which case, what does it convert it to I wonder - 768, or lower?

To that one poster above talking about the HD radio: it's an FM radio, with HD radio capability. HD radio is still using the standard FM frequencies, it's not some totally new technology - "HD radio" just piggybacks on the FM signal so...

It's an FM radio, dude... nothing to worry about. Learn more at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

And on Tuesday Microsoft will be going quite large with the Zune HD introduction. The entire Zune marketplace and the website, the forums, all of it will be taken offline on Monday afternoon to return on Tuesday bigger better and badder than ever, with the Zune HD leading the way and the 4th version of the software bringing the heat...

I think there were some shots of the new zune software - looks amazing. I wish they would integrate with Media Center, I would love to have those visualizations hit all my extenders!

It doesn't do what it shows in the "Zune Pass" video, with the WMC-like cover browsing. I can't wait to see what they have in store on tuesday!

Hopefully they won't continue to restrict the software in other countries by making some features US-only. The 'Now Playing' screen which shows the artist photo in the background and, I think, artist information does not seem to be present for me, even when I set my region to 'America'.

No, actually, some artists don't have the now playing screen. Try Lady Gaga, after a minute, her now playing screen should. Some artists don't have it and sometimes it doesn't come up for some reason. I live in US.

The now playing screen isn't like that though. The current one just has a picture and scrolling text/plays/other info.

That window to the right of the screen doesn't look like the playlist. It looks like it might have artist info in it or something.

Wow, the Zune logo looks so cool now that they actually made a little 3D animation with it. The Zune HD seems much cooler than ever. I really, really hope more people are aware of how much more awesome the Zune HD is compared to the iPod Touch in most areas.

International release would be great, but you people that complain just need to be a wee bit more patient. It's not easy to establish a product in a whole other country with different laws, languages, content sources, types of people, etc. Selling the Zune HD as is right now to foreign markets wouldn't make sense because of the HD Radio thing, and no official software for other countries which the Zune needs. That would just create a lot of issues for non-techies.

Quikboy said,
International release would be great, but you people that complain just need to be a wee bit more patient. It's not easy to establish a product in a whole other country with different laws, languages, content sources, types of people, etc.

You have to remember that the Zune was out in other country. They are scaling back to USA only for the new Zune. A step back.

TruckWEB said,
You have to remember that the Zune was out in other country. They are scaling back to USA only for the new Zune. A step back.

That is true, but they're also fading the old Zune out. They've upgraded the hardware. It's like Samsung releasing a phone. Japan gets it first, than Europe, and than (if we're lucky) the US. They could easily release it across the board but that would require waiting for hardware checks from every country. Modifying it to the laws of technology for those countries. Why not allow Microsoft to release the product where they know it will get in first?

TruckWEB said,
You have to remember that the Zune was out in other country. They are scaling back to USA only for the new Zune. A step back.


I think they are testing the market first for adoption of this product. If success, they may do it big. I think they are waiting for people to line up and buy the device,

It actually looks quite good. If it had a 4G module + GPS, a camera and a keyboard, divx/xvid playback wouldn't mind buying something that looked like this...

To be honest Quikboy, I think we've been patient enough The Zune has been out since 2006 and they have never released it internationally - we have been patient for 3 years. They then tease us from May till September with a product which looks better than the iPod touch, without telling us it is going to be US only. Despite all of that, they still let us download the Zune software off of the official website, which teases us the most because it is so much better than iTunes.

So yes, I think we have been patient enough. They could have easily sorted out legal and marketting issues with other countries within this 3 years in order to prepare a Zune HD for other countries, at least some other countries. Also, they do not need to test the market, with a product as good as that. The longer they wait to release the Zune HD here, the more people will purchase the iPod touch and the more Microsoft will lose out.

Luckily, I may be able to get the Zune HD off somebody who is visiting America soon, but not everybody is as lucky as I possibly will be

Calum, it's still not clear whether sorting out legal and marketing issues is worth it. The Zune's reception in the US wasn't stellar, so why should MS expect it to be a strong seller in Europe? I think more than anything MS wants to make sure the HD is a strong seller here and then release internationally.

No, more likely it's the RIAA, MPAA copyright restrictions and fee issues that are handled differently overseas versus the US.

The big 5 studios haven't even caught up with the 1990's yet...

I bet taking the marketplace international is the biggest thing holding it back. Who knows what hoops you have to jump through. Obviously Apple has managed, but when you're number one it's lucrative to go through the legal rigmarole. That might not be the case for the Zune.

Maybe what MS is doing is waiting to judge international demand after launch. That would be a smart thing to do. Never before have I heard people overseas genuinely ****ed off it's a zune won't be appearing, so launching might be something they do sooner rather than later if this is the case.

Exactly what I've been thinking since the original Zunes. MS can't just offer the device alone and not have the marketplace to compliment it and give you all the abilities the US users will have. So the only thing to do is to delay it yet again.

Zune HD = USA only, for now.

And I would not be surprise if it was because of the HD Radio, since the standard used (if I'm not mistaken) is only good for the USA. Canada and EU use DAB (unsuccessfully in many places). HD-Radio seems to be better. But that's nothing a firmware could fix (I mean, remove the HD feature for the rest of the world, just give us plain FM radio!!).

So in the mean time, it's going to be all Apple iPod Touch love....

If I'm not mistaken that would require re engineering the hardware? I might be but it was, to my knowledge, HD Radio =/= Internal FM Radio. Thus that would mean you'd have to use your headphones to pick up a signal.

I think if they are going to change around the hardware than they should give you guys DAB equipment.

In my mind the places Microsoft will get business are Canada, Europe, and China, and China is a maybe so I'll throw Australia in there.

Now, I'm talking out my ass but oddly enough when I talk out my ass I'm normally correct. Call it intuition cause I have a lot of that, or kindergarten analysis skills, but it is my suspicion that Asian markets have PMP's a hell of a lot better than the ones made in the USA.

PS: Would this count as a PMP or MID?

I dunno about the HD Radio, but I think what's holding them back is the inability or the delay in getting the green light to open the marketplace in the UK/EU etc. I think it's more a licensing issue than anything hardware related.

They added xvid playback support to the xbox360, I wouldn't be surprised if the new update adds xvid to the zune as well. If you can play mp4, doing xvid/divx isn't all that hard, in the end mp4 is just another container. I bet most of the videos inside mp4s are probably xvid.

Really nice...but Microsoft needs to bring this to masses (worldwide)...
And also, they need to keep on track with frequent updates (yearly or so) such that it is in sync with competitors..

Well at least it has a HD FM radio antenna and OLED screen, not to mention Nvidia graphics. Already 'ahead' of the competition specs wise. +1 to bring to masses.

Did anyone notice that in the Zune HD car pack commercial, the auto-tuner goes down to 80.4 MHz (at least in the ad)? lol. That's not even legal in the US to use, is it?

That's for Japan...which goes from 70-something to 80ish.
The current Zune supports the same, just change the FM region to Japan.

Deihmos said,
If Zune could at least play an xvid video and wasn't so locked down I would buy it.


Don't say this yet. Anything is hackable

satus said,
Don't say this yet. Anything is hackable


Still can't use anything but the zune software to sync the original zune so I assume it will be the same for this.

That is not true..you can use Free Zune Converter 1.1 to encode the files to the Zune. It's what I've been using. Free. Fast. Light. Easy.

darkmanx21 said,
That is not true..you can use Free Zune Converter 1.1 to encode the files to the Zune. It's what I've been using. Free. Fast. Light. Easy.

How is it not true, the fact that you have to convert videos pretty much proves it's true.

They were quite nice. Didn't really go into gaming to much though It's HD output and even menu system is really impressive. I want that on my iPhone

Yeah, it's certainly the user interface and menu system which impresses me the most I thought the iPod touch/iPhone interface looked sexy when I first saw that, but now this has been shown... wow!

thanks for the inspiration Apple. Now if only MS could officially release this device internationally then we're talking! (Australia, please!)