Zune HD's Pricing Revealed, Launching in a Month

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
It's been a few months since Microsoft made the Zune HD official, and we're inching ever-closer to the launch date. Over the course of the past few days, both Best Buy and Amazon.com leaked the pricing (the latter is allowing pre-orders). For those who have been holding out, your patience is likely to have paid off, as the pricing looks to be pretty reasonable.

The 16GB model of the player will retail for $219.99, while the 32GB will debut at $289.99. Comparing these prices to equivalent iPod touch's, which are $299 and $399 for the 16GB and 32GB respectively, Microsoft has done well to make sure there will be a huge draw for their latest player. The Zune HD, like the iPod touch, features a huge touchscreen, and while it doesn't support Apple's App Store, the more than $100 savings could be worth it.

With the pricing leaks coming from these companies at almost the same time, we could likely expect the announcement for the launch date anytime now, and if rumors prove true, it will hit the streets at around Sept 6 - 8.

As a refresher, what exactly does the Zune HD offer over the previous iteration? As you'd expect, "HD" refers to the screen, which here is a 3.3" OLED display capable of a 480x272 resolution. This is the same resolution that Sony's PSP supports, so if you are familiar with that device, you know what to expect here. Of course, the screen is also touch-capable, so all of your media control is done with an on-screen keyboard. Just how efficient it will be (and whether it will support landscape mode) is yet to be seen.

The Zune HD also becomes the first consumer device to run on NVIDIA's Tegra, which means both great battery-life (hopefully), and also 720p video playback through an HDMI output. Because this chip is highly-optimized for handling HD media, running 720p content on the device itself and having it downscaled shouldn't be a problem, but the size of the files could become a problem given the overall size of the devices.

Oh, and it actually has a freaking HD radio tuner. That's something no iPod offers (and something I whined about a few months ago.


The Best Buy screenshots also add weight to the previously rumored September 8th launch date so it looks like we’ve got less than a month until lift off. The only question is whether or not Apple’s impending iPod touch refresh will tout enough bells and whistles at launch to overshadow Microsoft’s new gem. Hit the jump for the Best Buy images.

Source: Boy Genius Report