Zune announced, gaming bits not

Microsoft confirms its digital media player is in development, but gaming potential is just that for now...potential.

The battle for digital music supremacy officially began today with a song from NYC antifolk singer Regina Specktor.

Microsoft finally confirmed today its plans to launch its own digital music project, dubbed Zune, with a company statement and a Flash-animation teaser site featuring the song "Us" by Spektor. The line of would-be iPod/iTunes killers (and possible threat to the PSP and DS) has been the worst-kept secret throughout the electronics world, but Microsoft had so far declined to comment on the rumors of its move to take on Apple, Sony, and Nintendo.

"Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune," Microsoft GM of marketing Chris Stephenson said in a statement. "Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year. We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together."

As for the gaming prospects of Zune, nothing has yet been announced. When asked about the chance that Zune may compete with the PSP and DS in the portable gaming sector, Microsoft wasn't exactly forthcoming. "While we do not have specific details to provide, the primary focus of Zune is to deliver great music and entertainment experiences."

All that has been declared is that the Zune brand will encompass "a family of hardware and software products" and will incorporate various digital entertainment services. But confirmation that the first Zune product will be music-centric and that other entertainment services are on the map, as well as Microsoft's push towards its Live Anywhere service, definitely leaves the door open to another Zune down the line being a portable game player.

Microsoft's penchant for such teaser sites is notorious: Earlier this year, its Project Origami site helped build hype for its line of "Ultra-Mobile" PCs. In 2005, it used a series of mysterious games on ourcolony.net to slowly unveil its Xbox 360 game console. (Microsoft has since sold the ourcolony.net URL to a Florida real-estate developer.)

For more on Zune and Microsoft's plans for the device, head over to MP3.com.

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Discussion

99 comments
ewmgreendawg
ewmgreendawg

i hope ms gives apple some competition in the portable music market. i'd really like to see these prices come down on mass storage portable players. too bad its called zune. why dont they just call it the dicknose? that would sound just as lame but get more attention.

Kfoss
Kfoss

what is it with names these days Wii and now Zune?....GAG! MAN

tuff_gong92
tuff_gong92

Wii sound awsome compared to "ZUNE". I hate M$ even more for this.

pwnr
pwnr

Zune? AHAHAHAHA. Must be a plug into xbox or it wont work thingy

LordBraz
LordBraz

Who are the ad-wizards behind this one? If they hope to comnpete with the DS they will fail. If they cimpete with the iPod, they will fail. If they keep coming up with dumbass teasers like that, they will fail. Anyone else think the man petting the bunny looked like a sociopath?

0diablo0
0diablo0

can it get any worse??????

SnakeVenom3000
SnakeVenom3000

IT will have gaming similar to IPOD I bet. But we can onlyhope they make it a gaming machine also.

toadster101
toadster101

Well it will be crap then cause some of Microsofts franchises are gettin games on the DS

jasonmacrillo
jasonmacrillo

great flash... turns me off completely.. some one should get fired for that one

UzEE
UzEE

man i'm already having trouble choosing between PSP and DS

monkkito
monkkito

WTF!!! that teaser was a bit disturbing

grnidbandit
grnidbandit

hey everyone their not trying to sell you an MP3 player, their trying to sell you a bunny? and the way how they procreate, there will be as many as Windows

chickenoverlord
chickenoverlord

hmmm... there is definitely something very disturbing about that flash animation... better apple are scared of bunnies...

SARSROX
SARSROX

Could be interesting to see a third competitor in the portable gaming industry.

SARSROX
SARSROX

Could be quite interesting to have a third competitor in the portable gaming industry.

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

That picture is odd. It's like a threesome between one small guy, one large guy, and a rabbit. The Flash cartoon almost justifies my theory of a threesome.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

handheld market is tough to get into right now unless you have some nice games to go along with your music/video playing.

shasam712
shasam712

Pretty much anything that Microsoft do in Handhelds won't perform well against the DS unless they do something completely unprecidented. And as far as mp3 players go, ipods have the formula pretty much down...

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

I hope this will be good and if it cost less than iPods then it has a chance. But there is tough competetion in both handheld gaming and music player market.........

Agreb91
Agreb91

As we learned from the PSP, Nintendo is still in control of the handheld market and probably always will be. As for it being the iPod killer, this "Zune" has a challenge ahead since iTunes and Apple already have a huge cusumer base already.

Andron666
Andron666

Yeah, but I still buy CD's so everyone can just keep their download services. And why try to cram everything in one box ?

wave1000
wave1000

If they can't take over the gaming market how could they take over the ipod market?

Leick3
Leick3

That clip just freaked me out so much that I will never buy that thing

jkr2krz
jkr2krz

Someone needs to bash in some heads at MS's ad department...like this second...

seg555
seg555

One word that describe the flash video. Freaky.

Quiiick
Quiiick

Ohhh, jeeez! Another MP3-Player ... Well done, Microsoft!

Nawras
Nawras

They have to ruin everything do they

assassinX01
assassinX01

bet you its friggin huge. I still might get one though; I've been waiting two damn years for someone to allow music transfer using wifi and not just cords. That was the most worthless flash I have ever seen, though.

thestickman
thestickman

WTF HAHAHAHAHAHA That Flash makes NO sense XD

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Oh, man...So this "Argo" now Zune will not be gaming systems after all. That really sucks. I would love to see Microsoft get into the handheld business. But the chance of it being a "I-Pod killer" has even less of a chance as someone making a World of Warcraft killer.

i-ninja-u-dead
i-ninja-u-dead

After watching that Flash, NO ONE can complain about the name "Wii"

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

Microsoft can't beat apple. And wtf was that flash video that made no sense. That doesn't make me wanna buy an mp3 player.

mrgokugf
mrgokugf

my best advise to microsoft is to target the fact that apple releases 4 new Ipods every month, let this zune thing have an update maybe once a year and they might have a chance

dadeisvenm
dadeisvenm

I see a creepy pedophile... the poster is eerie

taekwondodude7
taekwondodude7

There is a chance that the Zune could replace the market leading iPod just like how Nintendo was thought to never lose its position at the top of the gaming market; however, apple could just create a new ipod a few years later and take the market it again, just like how Nintendo has an overwhelming chance to retake the gaming market with the Wii. No company is truly invincible but also no company as big as Nintendo or Apple can be completely destroyed by competitors.

RunnerGunner480
RunnerGunner480

YES!!!!! I hate iPods and am looking for an MP3 player to buy. If it has wi-fi downloads and Live Anywhere, I'm in!

Bloodoflamb
Bloodoflamb

"Damn I wanted a portable Xbox, oh well some day one will come out." Maybe in 7+ years or something along those lines. Microsoft is allowing THEIR OWN franchises to appear on the Nintendo DS, and they are letting THEIR OWN developers create games for it. Microsoft currently has ABSOLUTELY NO PLANS to create a portable gaming device. Period. End of story.

Mit_Man
Mit_Man

Give it up GameSpot, Zune is not going to play games, probably ever >_> It's designed to compete with iPod, not DS and PSP. The portable market is already a little crowded even with just PSP stepping in, and chances are, Microsoft would do even worse than they are doing with Xbox money-wise in that market, and I don't think they feel like losing any more money than they already have to over games.And to you doubters of this Zune series, you are going to find yourself wrong. It's probably going to launch with the same capacity as iPods, at the same price, with more features, and best of all, the ability to better interact with windows, and do stuff like put .wmv movies on it for free, with official free software (unlike Apple, who tries their hardest to get you to pay for all of your visual media, and makes you pay for their program to convert your own videos to iPod format, which is still a bit shaky). That, and all Apple haters and casual electronics people, will look at an iPod and a Zune, and go for a Zune because it's Microsoft. It's a genious market for them to go into, and it will be iPod's first seroius competitor for sure.

MysticGenie
MysticGenie

I think MS forgets that what sells the iPod is not just the fact that it's a pretty decent MP3 player that has tight integration with its software (iTunes), it's that the iPod has become a status symbol. The iPod is cool. It's the same reason people buy Nike shoes over whatever the KMart special is, it's because they want to be seen wearing Nikes. With the exception of the Xbox (and the "coolness" of video game consoles is debatable, at best) MS has never really made a product that has become a pop culture phenomenon like the iPod has. I think its going to be a serious uphill battle for MS to dethrone something that has become so engrained, like an iPod. That name really isn't helping either...

UMCP
UMCP

Another BS.... ?

grizam
grizam

ipods suck imo, they break too much, or something goes screwy with it, plus I'm not too big of a fan for its music quality. Oh well, I still use mine. If Zune can come to us cheap, and better quality, i'd gladly replace my ipod for that.