Microsoft is gearing up to take on rival iPod in the digital music industry, and have brokered for top quality placement in GameStop and EB Games stores. This move indicates Microsoft’s desire to capture a market so far untapped by Apple – gamers, and marks the first time that either store has carried an mp3 player.
The launch date and pricing information for the Zune was accidentally leaked by Amazon.com last week. Zune will launch on November 14th – just in time for the holidays. It features a 3 inch screen and a 30 GB hard drive, and will be available at for $249.00, pricing that is in direct competition with Apple’s iPod Video player. So further sweeten the deal, the Zune will come preloaded with content including songs from Sub Pop, V2, Astralwerks, and Quango, as well as music videos from BT, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Paul Oakenfold. Several video clips will also be included to allow users to sample the Zune’s video playback capabilities.
Pictures of the device have also surfaced, and can be seen here. Additionally, pricing for Zune accessories have also been revealed:
- Zune Home A/V Pack and Travel Pack for $99.99
- Zune FM Transmitter for $69.99
- Premium Earphones for $39.99
- Dock for $39.99
- Remote (dock also required) for $29.99
- Car Pack for $79.99
- Various interface cables from $19.99 to $29.99
Other than the preloaded content, which frankly doesn’t interest me in the slightest, what’s the Zune got that Apple hasn’t? What do they have to convince me to switch from the iPod to the Zune? It’s not any cheaper, and they don’t offer a smaller version, like the Nano. If they want to win over the geeks like me who are already addicted to their iPods, they really have to come up with something that really sets themselves apart. I’m still waiting to be amazed.