updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed June 24, 2009
Zune HD Only 16GB and 32GB
A leak today of purported ad material from Microsoft appears to have clarified some of the company's launch plans for the Zune HD. The documents handed to Gizmodo show the player shipping only in 16GB and 32GB capacities; they also indicate that colors will be dictated by capacity and that the 16GB version will have a simple black while the 32GB model comes in the golden color seen in most previews.
The tipster also slightly contradicts rumors of a September 5th launch with an assertion that it will ship on the 8th of that month. While uncorroborated so far, the new date gains credibility as it's set for a Tuesday, when Microsoft and most other companies release new products in stores.
Pricing is unknown but may depend highly on competition as well as the actual cost of the device. The Zune HD is already confirmed as replacing most or all of Microsoft's existing flash-based players and is unofficially expected to replace its high-end devices in that category -- however, these cost $140 and $180 for 8GB and 16GB respectively. Whether or not extra storage is more expensive, the multi-touch OLED screen and the 720p-capable NVIDIA Tegra processor are likely to push the costs significantly higher, possibly overlapping the $250 price of a Zune 120.
Apple is widely expected to update the iPod touch near the same time of the Zune HD launch and should increase capacities as well as borrow features from the iPhone 3GS.