Microsoft confirms Zune HD prices and launch date

By on August 13, 2009, 11:51 AM
It was only a couple of days ago that we were talking about leaked pricing for the new Zune HD. Today, Microsoft has gone ahead and not just confirmed the recent slew of rumors but also began accepting preorders for its next-gen media player at, Best Buy, Walmart and its own Microsoft Store. As previously reported, the 16GB Zune HD Black and 32GB Platinum model will be available for $220 and $290 respectively.

The device will be officially available on September 15, when ZuneOriginals will also begin offering both 16GB and 32GB units in five different colors and the option to customize them with one of 10 new engravings.

The Zune HD is Microsoft’s first portable media player to offer a touch screen, so naturally its biggest competitor will be the iPod touch, which is priced significantly higher at $299 and $399 compared to its similar-size counterparts. Apple will likely introduce new models soon though, and if its strategy with the iPhone is of any indication it might also slash iPod touch prices to comparable levels and leave the old 8GB model on shelves as a lower-end alternative.

Besides confirming pricing and availability details, Redmond also announced a slew of Zune HD-specific accessories for preorder at the Microsoft Store, including two docks and a premium car pack. Check out all the details in the official press release here.

User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

Even though the retail price of the Zune is going to be lower than the iPod, you can always find online stores that are discounting the iPod, however, i don't see this as much with the Zune. Hopefully if this starts getting put on sale around the holidays i might give it a try.

tengeta tengeta said:

Well, I may finally get around to replacing my PSP-1000 with something like this around the corner. Depends on the overall "usability" of the device, because that is what turned me off the last Zune, simply too much for something that can only store and play music/video.

Guest said:

how does the Zune sound quality compare with the iPod?

Guest said:

I'm not an audiophile and I don't own an iPod to really compare with. But I can tell you that my 4GB Zune sounds great to me. It sounds better than any CD player I had in the past at least. I know the Zune HD is going to support some very high quality sound formats.

Guest said:

I own a 4th gen iPod and I recently gave a Zune 8gb to my daughter for a present. I can tell you that the Zune sounded as good as iPod. Granted the iPod is about 5 years old. ( However, I had it replaced under warranty a couple of years ago).

I also have a Sandisk View 16gb and the Zune sounded as good as that one also.

I also liked the on-line interface for the Zune.

If my View ever quits, I plan on upgrading to a Zune.

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