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.


Sean Brady

Hmm. I don’t know. I am planning to get a BB Storm later this week, and when I spoke to the Verizon guys about the storm (they came to demo one for us at the office) they were talking about 3 ish hours of battery with audio and the wireless radio enabled. My old Zune and my current Creative can play much longer than that, I was able to watch a movie on my Creative recently and still listen to an Audible book in the car on my commute home for an hour. The battery was not drained. Until modern smart phones offer better battery life I will be carrying a dedicated PMP.

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