Zune HD games, sponsored by the Kia Soul

Zune HD games, sponsored by the Kia Soul

Summary: Microsoft has stated that apps like Twitter and Facebook will be released for the Zune HD before the end of the year, but at launch you will find 2 apps and 7 games available for you to download from the Zune Marketplace. These apps are not preloaded on the Zune HD so you will have to load them from the Zune via WiFi or onto your PC and then sync to your Zune HD. Microsoft has stated that the apps are free and future apps are planned to stay free, but as you can see in my video below the games available so far are all ad sponsored. This may impact the user wanting to play the games to have to sit through an ad every single time it is launched and I think people would rather pay 99 cents for the game instead.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft, Mobility
6

Microsoft has stated that apps like Twitter and Facebook will be released for the Zune HD before the end of the year, but at launch you will find 2 apps and 7 games available for you to download from the Zune Marketplace. These apps are not preloaded on the Zune HD so you will have to load them from the Zune via WiFi or onto your PC and then sync to your Zune HD. Microsoft has stated that the apps are free and future apps are planned to stay free, but as you can see in my video below the games available so far are all ad sponsored. This may impact the user wanting to play the games to have to sit through an ad every single time it is launched and I think people would rather pay 99 cents for the game instead.

The two available apps are a calculator and weather utility. The calculator is basic in portrait mode and then switches into a basic scientific calculator in landscape mode and I am pleased with this application. The weather utility is pretty basic and just gives you the high, low, and an icon for the condition for the week. You can setup cities you want to follow and it can work as a very basic weather indicator, but that is it.

The seven available games are as follows:

  • Chess
  • Goo Splat
  • Hexic
  • Shell Game of the Future
  • Space Battle
  • Sudoku
  • Texas Hold 'Em

One thing you can see in my video is that ads play when you launch each game and some of the ads are actually rather long video ads while others are just a car image. Unfortunately, you cannot bypass these ads so you have to sit through them each and every time! I would rather just pay 99 cents for the game and avoid the ads.

I run quickly through each game in my video above and play a couple so you can see what they are like. I personally liked the Space Battle game best as it reminds me a bit of Galaga and has some nice graphics and sound. In the Shell Game of the Future you actually shake the Zune HD to start each phase of the game.

I am not sure if we can expect too many more apps since there is no public SDK and all games will come through Microsoft. Sorry, as you can see my readers are much smarter than me when it comes to Zune development and there is an SDK so let's hope we see some great things for the Zune HD.

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • ho hum

    I must say im unimpressed. I was hoping they would have been more on. thats the problem with the OS setup also, no good preinstalled apps. They need to step it up if they want any consideration and I havent looked at pricing but I hope they dont think they can afford to compete with the touch at the same price.
    willtur@...
  • Public SDK

    Hey Matthew, MS just released XNA 3.1 for Zune HD:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2009/09/15/xna-game-studio-3-1-zune-extensions.aspx
    silent.griffin
    • And there's already a game..

      developed for Zune HD.

      http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/16/microsoft-releases-xna-update-for-zune-hd-developers-multitouch
      silent.griffin
  • RE: Zune HD games, sponsored by the Kia Soul

    Matt,

    There is a public SDK, there has been an SDK for Zune for quite a while called XNA. Microsoft just released an update to cover Zune HD:

    Devs can download an add-on for the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 and start building gaming content for Zune HD. The Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions has been released concomitantly with the general availability of Zune HD, namely September 15th, 2009.

    ?We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions to support Zune HD. This add-on for XNA Game Studio 3.1 adds the following functionality to the product: the ability to target and develop for the Zune HD media player; the addition of new Touch APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD; the addition of new Accelerometer APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD...?

    ?You'll also find new documentation and examples integrated into Visual Studio help that will show you how to leverage the new APIs, as well as a tutorial on how to update the Platformer Game Starter Kit to use the new Touch API's. Barring the new input models available, your game should port over relatively easily,? the XNA team member stated. ?Beyond the changes outlined here, all of the other XNA Game Studio functionality with the Zune HD remains the same as it did with earlier versions of the device.?

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2009/09/15/xna-game-studio-3-1-zune-extensions.aspx

    You'll find the download for the XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions by following this link:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=48f7ba37-8ba7-4d16-8873-0b7f83ef77f9&displaylang=en

    fyiguy
  • So Is This Going To Be The Second "Social"

    I bet all three people who have Zunes are stoked over this!
    itanalyst2@...
  • Wow! That's slooooowwwww...

    UsernameRequired