Well, the cat is out of the bag now. The Zune HD has been confirmed by Microsoft, and we can look forward to getting a new gadget to play with this fall. But, before the Zune hits retail outlets we'll get a great chance to see just what Microsoft's latest iPod killer can do. In just a few days the Zune HD will see daylight at E3.
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Microsoft's main target with the HD is definitely the iPod Touch. If they want to unseat the Touch, our friends at Redmond are going to have to do more than just make a pretty-looking media player. High definition video, excellent audio quality, and a shiny sleek design can only take a product so far. The iPod Touch is also a gaming platform, and the Zune HD is going to have to offer some seriously badass gamer functionality in order to make a splash.
Mobile gaming is huge these days, thanks in no small part to the iPod Touch and iPhone. It's been rumored that this new Zune is designed as a bridge between the Zune media players, and the Xbox. Microsoft's press release didn't go into any details about that, but they haven't denied it either. The fact that the Zune HD is about to be shown off at the gaming industry's largest expo makes me think that Microsoft is keeping some of their plans for the HD under wraps.
So what's on the horizon? For one, I'd be very surprised to see the Zune HD launch without some Xbox live support. I'm not sure what caliber of game the HD is going to be able to handle, but everything about Microsoft's posturing right now hints that their new gadget is going to come with some very hot games bundled with it.