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Zune HD to start at $249, get 720p movies?

updated 09:30 am EDT, Fri June 26, 2009

Zune HD Price Leak

When it ships later this year, the Zune HD could cost as much or more than the iPod touch by the time both updates are released this year, an additional leak said Thursday. An interview with a previous source on Neowin cautions that prices aren't "set in stone" but has the base 16GB model costing between $249 and $279, or at least as much as the Zune 120 does today. A current 16GB clickpad Zune costs $179.

The insider also supports notions of a 32GB version and adds that a 64GB model is possible later in the Zune HD's life cycle, though he doesn't say what the larger-capacity model might cost.

Such a price could potentially hurt the Zune HD, as Apple is widely assumed to be lowering the price on its 16GB iPod touch from its current $299 for its next revision. The Microsoft player is likely to cost more through its use of a multi-touch OLED screen, which should produce more accurate colors than Apple's LCD, as well as the NVIDIA Tegra chip that supports decoding 720p video.

Besides capacity, the source also claims that the Zune Marketplace will finally add movies and should match Apple in offering 720p, though unlike Apple will have the hardware necessary to play these movies directly on the Zune, including at native resolution through HDMI output. To match, the Zune 4.0 software is claimed to evolve into an entertainment center app, while the Zune HD itself will integrate with other Microsoft services; the company has already hinted at some level of Xbox tie-in.

While it's unclear how much of the information will prove true by the rumored early September launch of the new Zune, the source claims that Microsoft is aware of the leaks and is allowing them to continue, suggesting the company sees leaks as a form of early marketing.

by MacNN Staff



  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Microsoft will aim for a higher price point, because the new iPhone telegraphs the iPod touch's new features.

    If/when the touch gains 720p video, Microsoft can just dial back their price.

    The question is, if the iPhone 3GS (and iPod touch v.3) hardware really support 720p, will Apple unlock it with a 3.1 OS upgrade?

  1. siromega

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Upclock the chip

    If Apple wants 720p, they can upclock the A8 chip, but it would come at a penalty of reduced battery life. I don't see it coming for the iPhone 3GS, but its possible with the Touch (since there is no cellular baseband chip to power).

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We've got an article that is guessing at both the price of a new zune, but also the price of some unannounced iPod touch revision.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why HD?

    Seriously, is there a market for people to take their Zunes around to other people's houses and hook them up to their TVs to watch 720p video? There are better ways to get HD content on your TV.

    This seems like a marketing gimmick more than anything.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    720p only on TV output

    The Zune HD has a screen that is below the resolution of the iPod Touch and is only capable of outputting 720p apparently through an HDMI out cable which is probably sold separately.

    This is typical MSFT. They hype up features that almost nobody will use or to use those features, you have to pay more.

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Why HD

    I think we can pretty much expect the Zune HD to be Microsoft's future mobile gaming platform; an extension to their Xbox 360. Givent that, their in as advantageous of a position as they were with the original Xbox. i.e. they saw everyone else's hardware and trumped it completely. We see how advanced the PSP was when it came out compared to the DS.

    Imagine pulling out your Zune, hooking it up to your TV and playing a Xbox-ish game downloaded from the market place in HD. All of this supported by bluetooth enabled controllers.

  1. SlimGem

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hope MS can make a go of this. I want to see some serious competition in this area. Plus, it gives everyone something else to argue and fight over.

  1. joeypk07

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Gitcypher: I'm not sure I follow. You're pulling out your zune... to play an Xbox-type game downloaded from the market place in HD? and using the Zune as a controller? Instead of just playing with the XBox?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Huh?

    joeypk07, in case you missed it, he doesn't have an xbox. He's playing the game from the zune.

    You know, same reason as why you don't need to buy an ipod AND an iPhone, since the iPhone has iPod features. And no need for the Palm, as the iPhone has contact features and such. And you can keep the Nintendo DS as well, as you can play games on the iPhone. And don't buy the GPS, because you can get that feature with the iPhone...

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The placement of "in HD" could have been a little better on my part. I mean you can play games directly from the zune. The games are downloaded via the marketplace, and are played in HD. All you haev to do is hook it up to your TV.

    A very viable scenario could be a college student visiting family during a holdiay. They fly home, listening to their Zune on the trip. Once at the house they can plug the Zune directly into the TV and watch HD movies or play games supported by a couple of controllers. It takes portable gaming to a new level.

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