Zune news: new firmware and lower pricing

ZunegamesCouple of bits on the Microsoft Zune Player front and I don’t just mean that the device works with Celio’s new REDFLY. Turns out that there’s a minor firmware update ready and waiting for Zune owners according to Zune Thoughts: version 3.1 adds new games and feature enhancements. Once you update, you’ll see Checkers, the ever-popular and maddeningly addictive SuDoKu, and Space Battle. Also included is an update to Texas Hold ‘em which adds multi-player support. I’m staying away from that because of a time-sucking similar game I’m using on my iPhone all too frequently… more on that some other time.

The flash-based Zune players are also getting a break in the MSRP department per Mobile Devices Today:

  • 4GB = $99
  • 8GB = $139
  • 16GB = $179

Hard-drive based Zune pricing isn’t changing. While it’s good to see the Zune gain more functionality and drop in price, the flash-based DAP market is packed with competitors and, in my opinion, dying a slow death. There’s still a market there to be sure, but I see it declining as smartphones and other small web-capable devices offer more in terms of features. I said this back in July and still believe it today. Regardless, the new Zune pricing makes this more of compelling purchase if you’re in the market. I still have my first-gen Zune and it’s a solid digital audio player.

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