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Wednesday, 10 January 2007 07:19

Play on your Zune

Microsoft's iPod killer is not setting the world alight with sales, but it may be given a boost soon with the advent of gaming software.  Coupled with the Xbox Live feature, will this be enough to push the Zune back into the spotlight?

Bloomberg is reporting on a statement by Peter Moore, Microsoft’s Vice President within the Xbox division of the tech giant.  He said ``I love the interface, I love the screen'' whilst at a reporter dinner during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

He went on to allude to a possible gaming service to be brought to the maligned MP3 / Video player within 18 months.  Possibly in a simple attempt to keep the Zune in the public eye as a barrage of information from competitors comes out of CES and Mac World

Given Microsoft’s focus of online gaming, including platform crossover titles such as Forza motorsport, and the forthcoming Shadowrun RPG, it would seem a worthwhile ambition to include the handheld.

With a 30Gb HD, reasonable interface and screen which can rival the Sony PSP, albeit not in dimension, the Zune could make a robust hand held gaming device.

As usual, most of the success X factor comes down to content.  Microsoft is well positioned to transpose popular Xbox and PC gaming franchises to the hand held.  Imagine whipping some Covenant ass during a Halo session whilst on the commuter train.  Being realistic though, the games presented may well be along the tried and true puzzle or side scrollers, similar to those offered already on the Video Ipod.

A major step would be to add better connectivity to the device.  Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballimer has already hinted at adding connection along with storage and feature options to a future Zune release.

Microsoft will do well to try to drop the “iPod Killer” tag if they can.  With the release of the new Apple iPhone, and only rumors of similar functionality being added to a future Zune, the big M might be meeting their match in that arena.  Still they have never held back from taking on other big players in foreign tech ground.

Perhaps we need to brace ourselves for a further Technology war, we already have HD DVD vs Blu-ray, Xbox 360 vs Wii vs PS3 and now Sony PSP vs Nintendo DS vs Microsoft GameZune ?

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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