As we reported back in April, the Zune HD will be releasing this year. Microsoft officially announced the device yesterday, putting to rest much speculation about the portable media player. While we still have some questions, what information we do have is very cool.
The new Zune HD features a laundry list of new features to make it competitive with the iPod Touch. As taken from Microsoft’s press release:
Introducing Zune HD
Zune HD is the next iteration of the Zune device family and brings a new level of listening and viewing experiences to the portable media player category.
* Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver so users can listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio stations as well as additional channels from their favorite stations multicasting in HD. If you don’t like the song playing on your station’s HD channel, switch to its HD2 or HD3 channels for additional programming.
* The bright OLED touch screen interface allows users to flip through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen format display (480×272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the go.
* The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.*
* 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.
More information on Zune and related images is available at http://www.zune.net/press and http://www.zune.net/ZuneHD.
The Zune video marketplace will replace the Xbox Live video marketplace, and offer full integration with your Xbox 360. No word on pricing, CPU, battery life, or the like. We will more than likely get all of this information at E3 next week.