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:
- Goo Splat
- Shell Game of the Future
- Space Battle
- 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.