Category Archives: Zune
Wed, May 27, 2009 | 10:29 BST
The Guardian is claiming that Zune HD won’t launch in the UK, and will rather be a US-only affair.
Instead, European punters will be given only access to Zune Video via Xbox 360.
The press release does only say that the handheld will be “available in the US this fall”.
Existing subscribers to Xbox Live are expected to be offered unlimited access to Microsoft’s video catalogue for a single extra payment each month, says the report.
We’re checking with Microsoft now.
Wed, May 27, 2009 | 07:31 BST
Here we go! Microsoft’s announced Zune HD “the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.”
Zune video content is to be made available on Xbox Live. The device which will be on show at E3 next week.
Says the release:
Zune will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, bringing an exciting catalog of TV and film to the platform. Zune will occupy the first slot within the Xbox user interface in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, exposing the Zune brand experience to millions of new consumers for the first time. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week, attendees will see firsthand how Zune integrates into Xbox LIVE to create a game-changing entertainment experience.
Unfortunately, only America, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Ireland will have access to Zune media on 360.
Full details after the break. It’s out this autumn.
Tue, May 12, 2009 | 11:15 BST
Microsoft: “June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers… hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre”
Oh, sweet jeepers. Via its Office 2010 Twitter account, Microsoft has told people to “hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre” and that “June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers”.
Let’s do some amazing detective work. E3 is in June. iPhone and Pre are phone products. Zune could be a phone if Microsoft put a phone in one. Miss Marple says Microsoft may announce a Zune game-phone at E3.
Might not, obviously. Might, though. We’re guessing at “might”.
Tue, Apr 07, 2009 | 07:28 BST
Microsoft chap Brian Seitz reckons there’s more Zune hardware on the way this year, if this Twitter post‘s the be believed.
Speculation was rife last year that the games format – if you can call it that – was to be dropped, and rumoured increased connectivity with Xbox 360 never materialised.
Still. New toys!
Mon, Mar 09, 2009 | 23:20 GMT
GamePro’s launched GamePro Labs, an independent publisher focussed on digital distribution.
From the label’s site:
With the launch of the Microsoft XNA platform, independent game developers now have a chance to distribute their titles straight through the Xbox360, PC, and even the Zune. Combined with the iPhone app store and evolving Playstation Network, there has never been a better time to make money from your own creativity.
GamePro Labs is a new service that can help you make the most out of these new platforms. By letting us handle all of the sales and marketing for your products, you get more time to code. And that can mean more game titles and bigger paychecks.
It’s your dream come true, Zune game-making students of the world. Get to it.
Mon, Nov 24, 2008 | 11:46 GMT
According to this Reuters report, Microsoft’s signed an exclusive deal to distribute gaming show Guild via Xbox 360, MSN and Zune.
With its short episodes up to seven minutes in length, the “cult” programme attracted 9 million views in its first season, making it one of the most talked-about web shows.
Lots more about revenue share and other thrills through the link.
Sat, Oct 18, 2008 | 09:22 BST
This Gizmodo report quotes Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp as saying there’s going to be a serious “step up” in Zune and Xbox 360 integration “within a year.”
Quite why no one managed to think making them work together in the first place was a good idea is a little beyond us, but this is cool nonetheless.
Not cool enough to buy the Gears 2 Zune, but we’re not sure what could be.
More through the link.
Wed, Oct 01, 2008 | 07:12 BST
It had to happen. There was no way a single game could keep us this excited without some kind of glitch. Microsoft’s shown off a special edition Gears of War 2 Zune, and it is, to all intents and purposes, horrible.
It’s a Zune 120 pre-loaded with 244 pieces of Gears of War media – shots, movies and the like – and is to ship on November 7, the same date as the game.
It’ll cost $280. As this Engadget piece points out, it still doesn’t synch with your 360. Which is pretty much the icing on the cake, really.
More through the link.
Fri, Jul 18, 2008 | 22:08 BST
Microsoft has finally reported a wholly profitable year for its entertainment and devices division confirming a $426 million profit in the company’s fiscal 2008, mostly as a result of increased 360 console and software sales.
The Microsoft sector has previously had profitable quarters, but this is the first time in Xbox’s history a full 12 months in operation have actually made money.
Fri, Jun 13, 2008 | 20:13 BST
Microsoft entrtainment boss Robbie “The Terminator” Bach reckons there are “cautionary tales” to learn from PSP, and he wants to apply them to Zune.
“The PSP is a reasonably successful product at the profit-and-loss level,” he said in this Venture Beat interview. “But as a product concept, there are cautionary tales to learn from it. While it is good at producing audio, it’s not a good music player because it doesn’t have local storage (except for flash memory slots). You can’t keep your music there. It has a beautiful screen, but you can only get the video under the Universal Media Disc format. That format hasn’t been successful.
“On a game level, it has done well. But even there, it is mostly PlayStation 2 ports. There isn’t much original content. When you do these devices, they can’t be pretty good at a lot of things. They need to be great at what they do. Zune is a great music player. We have local storage, a marketplace, the social network. We didn’t do video right out of the gate because you want to do those things in a high-quality way. Same thing in the gaming space. It is technically possible to do games on there. But you aren’t going to see a broad gaming effort from us until we sort that through and have it figured out. I don’t think of Zune like the PSP. The PSP is a game player that also does video and music. We think of Zune as a broad-based entertainment device.”
Loads more through there. Fill your Friday.
Thu, May 15, 2008 | 19:21 BST
Speaking at the Microsoft Gamer’s Day earlier this week, Xbox boss Shane Kim has finally put down perpetual talk of a Microsoft gaming handheld saying he’s pleased the company never entered the portable fray with Nintendo and Sony.
“I’m very happy we didn’t get into it, because launching a handheld platform is like launching another Xbox 360,” he said. “You have to be fully committed, as an organisation, from a resource standpoint, to doing that.”
“Frankly we’ve got a lot on our plate with Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. We don’t have any experience in that space. Our content assets don’t naturally lend themselves to driving success in that particular market. So we’re happy to let Sony and Nintendo slog it out.”
Read the full Eurogamer interview here.
Sun, May 11, 2008 | 19:19 BST
According to this Electronicista report, Microsoft’s Zune has now passed the 2 million sales mark globally.
The report says Microsoft now owns 4 percent of the mobile music player market in the US.
Zune originally launched in November 2006.
Tue, May 06, 2008 | 18:13 BST
Engadget’s reporting that Microsoft is planning to release a community technology preview (CTP) for Zune XNA games in mid-May.
The site’s also learnt that Zune can support ad-hoc wireless play with up to eight players.
There’s an image from a presentation over there will a bunch of details on it, such as resolution and memory spec (240×320 and 16Mb respectively). Go see.
Fri, Mar 14, 2008 | 11:04 GMT
Zune will be released in Europe late next year, according to the director of Microsoft France. The device, shown as part of the Microsoft game-life-connectivity dream at CES this year, should be on its third generation by then, so that’s nice. We’re quite prepared to be bribed with one of these, if you’re listening, Microsoft.
Thu, Mar 06, 2008 | 09:47 GMT
According to this, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about Live Anywhere, the mobile app that hooks users into Live. Many were expecting to see it showcased during John Schappert’s GDC keynote, but it didn’t turn up. Schappert was confirmed the project’s still ongoing, though.
“We continue to make progress against the vision laid out for LIVE Anywhere and remain committed to building out the network that connects you to your games, your friends and your entertainment in a variety of ways,” he said. “The work we have done furthering the Xbox LIVE experience, including the launch of Games for Windows – LIVE as well as integration with XNA and Zune, are examples of the many ways this original vision can come to life. We look forward to sharing more details on this in the future.”
Live Anywhere was first shown at E3 by Bill Gates in 2006.
Mon, Feb 25, 2008 | 06:45 GMT
Speaking to videogaming247 after his Wednesday GDC keynote, John Schappert – “Corporate Vice President LIVE, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft” – said that he believes downloadable content is now an accepted part of the gamer experience, and a precursor to the advent of “community gaming”.
“No, not in any way,” he said, when asked if accruing cash through Live micropayments was more important for Microsoft than expanding the general demographic for gaming. “What I think you should take away from the 20 million [Microsoft] Points spent to date is how successful Marketplace is; that it is a real Marketplace for content, and a big driver for that this past holiday in North America was Rock Band and Guitar Hero. I think just like we saw a year ago at Christmas 2006, Arcade kind of came to fruition and it just broke the doors down. It’s doing better than ever right now, but now all of a sudden downloadable content has come of age, and now we’ve got community gaming coming. I think people want to be able to extend their gameplay and experience, so I think it’s a great thing.”
Schappert’s keynote focused heavily on community features through Live and the now “democratised” XNA, including the launching of a service to allow bedroom coders to get content out to the Live community. Some of the numbers he through around for Live were impressive, including 1 billion Achievements unlocked so far and 3 million tracks downloaded for Rock Band in the US.
The ongoing success of the service, said Schappert, is down to the previous work of “shepherds” such as Peter Moore and J Allard.
“I think the shepherds that came before me that crafted that box and created the Live service did a phenomenal job,” he said. “I have to say that I think that they were visionary and that we are all pleasantly surprised at how well [it turned out]. We certainly had high hopes and expectations, but to hit 10 million members six months ahead of schedule – that’s just good stuff.”
Fri, Feb 22, 2008 | 09:32 GMT
In short, Microsoft got loads of American bloggers together yesterday for bacon and eggs and talked about XNA, Xbox Live and all the other stuff from the keynote. Kotaku, Joystiq, Destructoid and all the rest were there. Get it here. If you’re at work and you’re employed by headphone Nazis, Kotaku liveblogged it. See here.
Thu, Feb 21, 2008 | 15:22 GMT
Here. Zune games were demoed in yesterday’s Microsoft keynote, but we really didn’t know what to say about it, so we didn’t write a news story. There’s some good detail through that link, including release dates for beta development tools, storage partitions, and so on.