Well, the ZuneHD rumors have now been confirmed by Microsoft and it's coming this Fall. And they are talking about a tie-in with the XBox Live service too.
Looks like the ZuneHD is targeted as a direct competitor to the iPod Touch.
A press release by Microsoft tells us the following about the new ZuneHD:
- The Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver - I like this idea although it's not something I'd pay much extra for to get the feature. Still its a differentiater that should help.
- It comes with a OLED touch screen interface and a 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution)
- A high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station that connects direct to an HD TV in 720p is available at an additional cost
- Zune HD will include a full-screen Internet browser optimized for multitouch functionality.
- Zune HD is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for instant streaming to the device from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store.
- "Zune will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace." This means TV, movies and games could be accessible to the Zune through the Xbox Live Video Marketplace
I see a few things here with the Zune HD that are interesting for sure and I definitely would love to see Apple get a little more competition on the iPod front. But you know what I see glaringly missing from the Zune HD press release? There is no mention of any Microsoft MediaCenter tie in - absolutely none. I hope I'm wrong on this, but this really sounds like once again MediaCenter is not going to get "connected" to another Microsoft hardware device.
The ZuneHD Website is now live as well.