Microsoft has finally officially confirmed the Zune HD’s existence with some hardware specifications and even an estimated time of availability. As it was speculated all along, the device is meant to compete head to head with Apple’s iPod Touch and could arrive this coming fall.
It will feature a 3.3-inch capacitive OLED touch screen with 480x272 resolution, which will offer some kind of multi-touch functionality, HD radio tuner, HD (720p) video-out, the ability to browse the Web and play high-definition movies. The latest Zune will also be the world’s first portable media player to pack HD radio, which provides song and artist info in addition to spruced up sound quality over conventional radio.
The Zune HD’s 720p output will allow users to feed high-def video to their TV via a dock. The company says that its Zune-branded video service will replace the Xbox 360’s current Xbox Live marketplace for TV and movies. More information regarding the Zune’s Xbox integration and presumably other aspects of Microsoft’s latest attempt at an iPod-killer will be available during E3 next week. For now though, it’s nice to have official recognition, some specifications and an idea of when to expect the device.