Zune 3.1 released, Zune now cheaper than iPod

Microsoft has released firmware version 3.1 for all models of their Zune MP3 players.

The 3.1 update adds three new games: Checkers, Sudoku and Space Battle. A new multi player mode for the existing Texas Hold 'Em card game has also been added. The multi player mode uses the Zune's Wi-Fi, letting players connect to each others Zunes. The new Checkers game also supports multi player.

The Zune Social online community was refreshed with a little UI visual action and a new feature called "like minded listeners," was added. The feature allows you to see the Zune cards of those with compatible music tastes.

The Zune PC software received an update too which includes software stability patches and performance improvements. To download the free Zune software and firmware update, open up the Zune PC software, click on Settings, and select Check for Updates.

Separately, Microsoft also announced price cuts for the Zune range. In an interview with Cnet, Zune marketing director Adam Sohn said moves were being made to "ensure hopefully we have a good holiday season." The prices put Zune's flash players cheaper than Apple's iPod Nano range.

The prices are as follows:

  • Zune 4GB: from $129 to $99, a saving of $20
  • Zune 8GB: from $149 to $139, a saving of $10
  • Zune 16GB: from $199 to $179, a saving of $20
Screenshots of the new Zune games Soduku, Space Battle and Checkers can be found below:

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