View Full Version : Zune HD confirmed, as video service comes to Xbox Live in Europe

May 27th, 2009, 17:28
Microsoft has confirmed plans for a "next generation" of hardware for its Zune portable media player, in the form of the much rumoured Zune HD.

Available only in the US, the new player will be launched this autumn and will include a built-in HD Radio receiver, HD video output, OLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.

Microsoft has still not announced plans to release any Zune hardware in Europe, but the brand name will become the "premium partner" on the Xbox Live Video Marketplace in both North America and Europe.

Users will have the chance to stream video content or download it, as either limited time rentals or lifetime ownership. Although the US is already well served by Netflix on Xbox Live, there is no equivalent service in Europe and the selection of video content much smaller as a result.

"The Zune experience is growing beyond a music player in the US. Zune’s international expansion starts with video on Xbox Live; eventually we’ll offer the full digital entertainment experience spanning screens, devices, platforms and geographies," said Chris Stephenson, general manager of consumer marketing for Microsoft's TV, video and music business.

"Delivering on Microsoft’s connected entertainment vision; this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world."